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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The Great Gilly Hopkins: Characterization and prediction
In the final chapters of the novel, Gilly's grandmother learns she has a granddaughter and decides to take Gilly out of foster care. Many of my classroom readers are often dismayed by this unexpected conflict and its outcome. In this lesson, the classroom becomes a courtroom where students predict the outcome of this conflict.

This activity can be used at the end of the novel, but I like to use it after reading chapters 10 and 11 so students can compare the courtroom decision to the end of the novel.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–6 English Language Arts)
By Emily Vann.
To Kill A Mockingbird role-play: A Maycomb pig pickin'
Somewhere near the middle of reading the novel, students start to become confused about characters. This fun role-play activity works especially well just after Chapter 21 and allows students to get to know characters beyond Jem and Scout. It also can be a springboard into further discussions of point of view, theme, and stereotypes.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By David Ansbacher.
Oedipus the King reader's theatre
Students will rewrite the Greek tragedy in a modern context in order to review and analyze the plot. This assignment is designed as a final project in a Greek Theatre unit. It is expected that the literature has already been read and analyzed as a class. I have found that this project is an innovative way to review for a unit test on the play and Greek Theatre.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
Adding emotions to your story
One way to make stories even better is to show emotions and not just tell them. In this lesson, students will use actions, gestures, and facial expressions to act out emotions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
By DPI Writing Strategies.
AIDS in Africa Symposium
Students will take on roles of those with a unique perspective on the AIDS crisis in Africa. Taking part in a symposium, each character, famous and ordinary, makes a statement and participates in a question-answer period.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Greg Mitchell.
Artifact classification
In Intrigue of the Past, page 2.4
Students will use pictures of artifacts or objects from a teaching kit to classify artifacts and answer questions about the lifeways of a group of historic Native Americans.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 Social Studies)
Buy, sell, and tell
This is a whole language lesson for Speech Language Pathologists that incorporates food vocabulary, basic concepts of matching, color, and number, as well as the pragmatic skill of turn taking for language-delayed kindergarten students.
Format: lesson plan (grade K English Language Arts)
By Karen Ring.
The case of the disappearing pitcher plants
This lesson addresses the cause and effect relationship between human interaction and a North Carolina endangered plant species. A role-playing scenario allows students to view the situation from a variety of positions and to collectively arrive at a solution to the problem.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Science)
By Eddie Hamblin.
Cause and effect
Students will identify and interpret cause and effect as expressed in poetry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Rochelle Mullis.
Character education: What would you do?
This lesson is designed to teach character development, problem solving, and teamwork. It can also be used with exceptional students in a high school setting.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Guidance)
Experiences of the Civil Rights Movement: A roundtable project
This activity allows students to participate in a roundtable discussion by taking on the persona of someone who lived and experienced the Civil Rights Movement. By participating in a role playing simulation, students are more able to achieve higher-level thinking skills and, as a result, hopefully be able to think more critically about the Civil Rights Era.
Format: lesson plan (grade 11–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Kathleen Caldwell.
The five parts of the Fifth
This lesson will focus on the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution and its intent to provide due process to citizens. Students will engage in writing, discussion, cooperative learning, art, and theatrical activities in gaining an understanding of the Amendment and its concepts.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 Social Studies)
By Keith Leary.
Goodbye, Bill Of Rights!
Students will enact a scene demonstrating life without one of the first ten amendments. Students will be put into groups of three or four and assigned a specific amendment to research.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 Social Studies)
By Greg Simmons.
Interpreting a short story
Students will study the literary genre of the short story and examine how, through writing, an author can comment directly/indirectly on our society as a whole. Hopefully, the students will develop an awareness of the problems/concerns facing our society and an appreciation of how a skilled writer can mirror society's ills and sometimes offer solutions for the problems that plague us.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts)
By Regina Johnson.
Issues, we've all got them: Language arts/visual arts integration
Students will learn how to deal positively with social issues important in their lives through personal investigation of social issues addressed in literature and art.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Visual Arts Education, English Language Arts, and English Language Development)
By Runell Carpenter.
It's all about choice
Students will examine the different choices they make as supporting or undermining their intent to remain abstinent, including the affect of substance use on those choices.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Healthful Living)
By Kathy Crumpler.
Japanese tea ceremony: A critique for screens and scrolls
The last part of a larger unit on discussing and evaluating Japanese screen and scroll paintings as well as creating one. The purpose of this unit plan is to introduce descriptive aspects of art criticism while teaching them the art and culture of Japan. Students critique illustrations of classmates' descriptions of Japanese screens or scrolls.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Visual Arts Education)
By Michelle Harrell.
Job interviews: Focus on details
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 1.5
In this lesson for grade seven, students will develop questions and answers for hypothetical job interviews, and will perform job interview skits for the class.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Anissia Jenkins.Adapted by Kenyatta Bennett and Sonya Rexrode.
Let's take a trip: Careers in tourism
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 4.10
In this lesson for grade six, students will create advertisements for travel destinations in Europe and South America and will research careers in travel and tourism.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Guidance and Social Studies)
By Shea Calloway.
Modern China: The dam debate
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 4.7
In this lesson for grade seven, students learn about the Three Gorges Dam in China and the controversy surrounding its construction. Students will take on the roles of people whose lives may be affected by the dam, and will participate in a debate about it.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts and Second Languages)
By Susan N. Carter-Hope and James Philippart.Adapted by Kenyatta Bennett, Meredith Ebert, and Sonya Rexrode.