K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Resources on the web

Adventures in nonfiction: A guided inquiry journey
The activities in this ReadWriteThink lesson provide a foundation for using nonfiction resources for developing and answering questions about gathered information. Using a wide variety of nonfiction literature, students learn to sort and categorize books... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade K–2 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Alaska Native stories: Using narrative to introduce expository text
Students debate the role of narrative text versus expository text to provide information on animal species. After students make a KWLQ chart about sandhill cranes, they listen to John Active tell the Yu’pik tale, “Crane and His Blue Eyes”. The... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Animal study: From fiction to facts
This lesson from ReadWriteThink, describes how to use selected fiction and nonfiction literature and careful questioning techniques to help students identify factual information about animals. Children identify possible factual information, and then confirm... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Be a reading detective: Finding similarities and differences in ideas
Students learn to use Venn diagrams as a tool for comparing and contrasting subjects in nonfiction writing. After participating in an introductory activity comparing apples and oranges, students work in small groups to compare other items by listing the... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
The Big, Bad Wolf . . . is this a fact?
This ReadWriteThink lesson combines the nonfiction works of Seymour Simon with teacher modeling, discussion groups, and student-created multimedia presentations to increase comprehension, vocabulary, and research skills, and boost students' willingness... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 Computer/Technology Skills and English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Blending fiction and nonfiction to improve comprehension and writing skills
This ReadWriteThink lesson supports the use of a text set (paired fiction and nonfiction texts on a similar topic) to increase student interest in and understanding of content area material and to develop critical writing skills. The more familiar format... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Comparing electronic and print texts about the Civil War soldier
What is the best way for students to find the information they need when completing research? Is there a difference between looking for information in print and online texts? This lesson has students explore the answers to these questions by responding to... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Comparing fiction and nonfiction with "Little Red Riding Hood" text sets
This lesson plan features an example of a cumulative literary experience or “literature unit” structured around a text set made up of conceptually-related fiction and nonfiction for reading aloud and for independent reading. Students... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade K–2 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Creating question and answer books through guided research
This ReadWriteThink lesson focuses on a “learn by doing” series of reading and writing activities designed to teach research strategies. The activity uses KWL charts and interactive writing as key components of organizing information. One topic... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade K–2 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Diagram it! Identifying, comparing, and writing about nonfiction texts
This ReadWriteThink lesson introduces second-grade students to different types of nonfiction writing. Students explore a variety of nonfiction books and compare them to fiction. Students also learn about different categories of nonfiction writing and practice... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade K–2 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Did you say spiders?
This lesson supports students' natural curiosity about spiders and builds upon their prior knowledge. Students work cooperatively using response journals and online resources to inquire into the world of spiders, gather information about various types of... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Dynamic duo text talks: Examining the content of internet sites
This introductory lesson from ReadWriteThink exposes students to a variety of online texts about Anne Frank and the Holocaust prior to more extensive study of these topics. Students are encouraged to cooperatively examine Internet sites as a primary source... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Fact or fiction: Learning about worms using diary of a worm
This ReadWriteThink lesson focuses on the book Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Cronin. During a series of read-aloud sessions students focus attention on different features of the text. In this way, students develop strategies for differentiating... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade K–2 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Finding the science behind science fiction through paired readings
Students explore the science fiction genre in this lesson that challenges them to evaluate the accuracy of the scientific elements included in the plot. After activating prior knowledge about the science fiction genre, students compare this genre with others... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Great American inventors: Using nonfiction to learn about technology inventions
Students read, gather, and present information about famous American inventors including Alexander Graham Bell, George Washington Carver, and Stephanie Kwolek in this lesson. After the teacher introduces three famous inventors, students work in groups to... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Historical fiction: Using literature to learn about the Civil War
In this lesson, the teacher reads aloud a section of Connie Porter's Meet Addy, a book from The American Girls Collection® that tells the story of a young girl who escapes from slavery during... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
How-to writing: Motivating students to write for a real purpose
In this activity, third grade students participate in a “how-to” writing assignment and focus on the importance of audience. The teacher introduces the genre of writing by engaging students in an activity where they scan instruction manuals... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
I wonder: Writing scientific explanations with students
Students learn about scientific inquiry in this lesson that focuses on reading and writing. After students have collected items that relate to trees participated in several activities based on trees, they ask questions or “wonderings” about... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Investigating animals: Using nonfiction for inquiry-based research
In this ReadWriteThink lesson, students research animals with nonfiction and informational material. Through their research they will learn how to document their discoveries. They will work together to question, research, investigate, and share their findings.... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade K–2 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Investigating the Holocaust: A collaborative inquiry project
In this ReadWriteThink lesson, students explore a variety of resources“texts, images, movies, artwork”to learn more about the Holocaust. Beginning with journal writings and a picture book to introduce the issues, the lesson plan focuses on student-centered... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink