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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Albert Einstein
The Walking Classroom kids teach about the famous physicist Albert Einstein. They discuss his life history, his theory of relativity, and his many contributions to science. They also highlight his beliefs in social justice and the importance of accepting others’...
Format: audio/podcast
Back-barrier sounds of the Northern Coastal Province
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 1.10
This lesson is part of chapter one of the unit "Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks." Students analyze the five back-barrier sounds in the Northern Province. They look at how weather and wave patterns affect the water within these sounds.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Science)
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
Barrier islands
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 1.8
This lesson is part of chapter one of the unit "Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks." Students examine the difference between simple overwash barrier islands and complex barrier islands. They also learn more about the island-building process and the effect this process can have on daily life on barrier islands.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Science and Social Studies)
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
The beginnings of the new North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis
The beginnings of the new North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis
This is the construction site of the new North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, North Carolina. According to the website, the campus will include the Dole-NC State Institute for Advanced Fruit and Vegetable Science; the UNC Center for Excellence in...
Format: image/photograph
Benjamin Banneker
The Walking Classroom kids discuss the famous inventor, scientist, astronomer, and writer, Benjamin Banneker. They discuss the challenges that he faced as a black man in the 1700’s. They also talk about his contributions to science and literature and the...
Format: audio/podcast
The Biltmore Forest School
In North Carolina in the New South, page 4.8
The pioneering Biltmore Forest School emerged from George Vanderbilt's desire for scientific management of the forests around Biltmore Estate.
Format: article
Birds spotted on a Port Discover adventure
Birds spotted on a Port Discover adventure
A group of birds poses on a dock for a group of children on a Port Discover bird-watching adventure. Port Discover is a hands-on science and health center for northeastern North Carolina, geared towards students from kindergarten to fifth grade. Volunteers...
Format: image/photograph
The coastal dilemma
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 1.15
This lesson is part of chapter one of the unit "Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks. Students look at examples of shoreline erosion. They reflect on the impact this erosion can have on human life on the Outer Banks.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Science and Social Studies)
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
DNA section
DNA section
This illustration of the structure of a section of DNA shows its double-helix shape.
Format: image/photograph
DNA wrap: Packaging matters
In this lesson, students learn about epigenetics and its role in gene expression.
Format: lesson plan
By Dana Haine.
Estuarine shorelines behind complex barrier islands
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 1.14
This lesson is part of chapter one of the unit "Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks." Students examine the different types of shorelines on the soundside of complex barrier islands. They look at how ocean-side processes affect the soundside of complex barrier islands.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
Estuarine shorelines behind simple overwash barrier islands
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 1.13
This lesson is part of chapter one in the unit "Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks." Students take another look at simple overwash and complex barrier islands. They examine more closely how overwash and inlet processes are crucial to the long-term maintenance of barrier islands and how these processes can affect human life.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Science and Social Studies)
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
An exhibit at the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill, NC
An exhibit at the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill, NC
This is an exhibit at the Morehead Planetarium of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Format: image/photograph
Food for fighters
In The Great Depression and World War II, page 8.1
To feed the 3.5 million men in active service by the end of World War II, the military needed massive quantities of food in small, lightweight, durable packages. The government spent millions of dollars developing various types of rations for soldiers and sailors. This article includes a U.S. Government film about the science and technology behind military rations.
Format: exhibit
By David Walbert.
Galileo Galilei
The Walking Classroom kids talk about Galileo Galilei, a courageous man who broke with tradition and challenged accepted ideas. The podcast shares information about Galileo’s life, his inventions, and the ultimate decision he had to make regarding his belief...
Format: audio/podcast
Generating electricity: Evaluating the sustainability of today's and tomorrow's energy sources
Students will learn about the energy sources used by their local utility provider to generate electricity and will work in small groups to evaluate the sustainability of either a renewable or non-renewable energy source used to generate electricity.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 )
By Dana Haine.
A giant digestive tract at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
A giant digestive tract at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
This is a giant walk-through digestive tract at Discovery Place in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Format: image/photograph
The Great Depression and World War II
Primary sources and readings explore the history of North Carolina and the United States during the Great Depression and World War II (1929–1945).
Format: book (multiple pages)
How to make a linkage map based on phenotype of offspring
In Restoring the American chestnut, page 5
The approximate distance of two genes that are located near each other on the same chromosome can be determined by observing the phenotype of the offspring and calculating how the results differ from the expected Mendelian cross. This lesson walks students through those calculations and shows how to make a linkage map of three traits on the same chromosome. It uses actual traits found in American chestnut trees to teach this concept.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
By Shelley Casey.
Human responses to eroding shorelines
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 1.16
This lesson is part of chapter one of the unit "Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks." Students look at efforts that are taken to prevent shoreline erosion. These include building hardened structures along shorelines. Students examine the effects these efforts have on barrier islands.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Science and Social Studies)
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.