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.

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Resources tagged with research are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

Back to the future!
In this lesson plan, students research the history of an important invention and present what they've learned through an annotated timeline, historical fiction journal accounts, and VoiceThread technology.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 and 8 Information Skills and Social Studies)
By Diane Ruby.
Career research and acrostic poetry
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 1.6
In this lesson for grade 6, each student will research a chosen career and will use the information to create an acrostic poem.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Holly Grout, Deborah Smith, and Natalie Summers.Adapted by Jennifer Brookshire and Julie McCann.
Creating a Mini Page
This activity allows students to take their knowledge from previous lessons or research projects and turn it into a newspaper, modeled after the Mini-Page, to share with their classmates. The focus of this activity is not research and writing instruction; rather, it is meant to be used as a culminating activity.
Format: activity/lesson plan
By Summer Pennell.
Diseases of Africa
Students will demonstrate an ability to research diseases in Africa and the causes, symptoms, treatment, and long-range solutions involving infrastructure development. They will compare and contrast countries and diseases. Working in groups, students will do research and prepare a multimedia presentation on the disease.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Development and Social Studies)
By Jim Carson.
North Carolina regional travel brochure
The students will cooperatively design travel brochures that describe major physical and cultural characteristics of the regions in North Carolina.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Deborah Harrell.
Vote for me! A re-election editorial
In Rethinking Reports, page 1.4
A research assignment in which students write an editorial for or against the re-election of a selected president.
Format: activity/lesson plan
By Melissa Thibault and David Walbert.
Women in US history: Research lesson
Students will use the Mini Page and other sources to research important women in US history: Bessie Coleman and Sally Ride. They will make a poster comparing these two women. This is intended as an introductory lesson to research skills.
Format: lesson plan
By Summer Pennell.

Resources on the web

Behind the scenes with Cinderella
This lesson from ReadWriteThink begins by having students compare a version of the Cinderella folk tale from France with a version from the United States to help students make connections between the characters, setting, and plot. The lesson then focuses... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Behind the scenes: Forest & forest product research
This lesson from the Forest History Society examines research conducted to help us utilize forest resources while managing our forestlands in a sustainable manner. Students will learn about key forest research conducted since the early 1900s, as well as key... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 Social Studies)
Provided by: The Forest History Society
Bias sampling
In this lesson, students learn to demonstrate how the results of a poll or other scientific study can be biased by selecting special types of people to respond or by asking only certain questions. Prior to this lesson, students should have had the opportunity... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Information Skills)
Provided by: Science Netlinks
The Big 6 Kids
Media specialists and information literate teachers have been teaching students the Big6 Skills Model of Information Problem-Solving for years. By using this research approach, students can easily master the six-step process (just 3 steps for... (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: Big 6 Associates
Biographies: Creating timelines of a life
Studying biographies is of interest and value to young learners. This lesson from ReadWriteThink supports students' exploration of sources to create a timeline about the life of a person. The experience requires students work together and research and resolve... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Child labor: Giving voice to the industrial revolution through monologues
In this lesson from ReadWriteThink, students gather information using selected websites and explore issues related to child labor, particularly as it occurred in England and the United States during the Industrial Revolution. Students then use this information... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Communicating on local issues: Exploring audience in persuasive letter writing
This lesson from ReadWriteThink presents students with the task of researching and taking a position on a local issue. Focusing on process writing, students brainstorm, plan and evaluate persuasive writing products with their peers. (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Cosmic oranges: Observation and inquiry through descriptive writing and art
The lesson is designed to enhance cognitive skills used in nearly every discipline and can serve as a prelude to an inquiry project, scientific investigation, art project, or descriptive writing assignment. After students work in collaborative groups to... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Cyberspace explorer: Getting to know Christopher Columbus
In this lesson, students participate in a cyber scavenger hunt to find information about explorer Christopher Columbus. After the teacher engages students in a discussion about their knowledge of the explorer, the class suggests other questions they would... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Computer/Technology Skills, English Language Arts, and Social Studies)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Exploring world cultures through folk tales
In this lesson, students read folk tales from Japan, Wales, and Africa and illustrate the stories for purposes of retelling. Students also research the countries and share a brief synopsis with the class. This lesson provides helpful resources for the assignment... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Faulkner's As I Lay Dying: Images of Faulkner and the South
In this first lesson in EDSITEment's unit entitled "Faulkner's As I Lay Dying: Form of a funeral," students research the life of William Faulkner and investigate the relationship between the "South" of Faulkner's work and the... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 11 English Language Arts)
Provided by: EDSITEment
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
A Harlem Renaissance retrospective: Connecting art, music, dance, and poetry
The Harlem Renaissance was a vibrant time that was characterized by innovations in art, literature, music, poetry, and dance. In this ReadWriteThink lesson, students conduct Internet research, work with an interactive Venn diagram tool, and create a museum... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink