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

Bringing current science into the classroom
In Bringing current science into the classroom, page 1
How your students can experience current environmental research without leaving the classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Michele Kloda and Dana Haine.
Bringing current science into the classroom
Activities for middle and high school on groundwater, water quality, and environmental stewardship have students exploring current environmental research without leaving the classroom.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Hands-on biology
Hands-on science exploration clarifies difficult concepts and engages learners who have difficulty in more traditional classrooms. This article looks at an inquiry-based classroom that meets the needs of all of its students.
Format: article/best practice
By Waverly Harrell.
Intrigue of the Past
Lesson plans and essays for teachers and students explore North Carolina's past before European contact. Designed for grades four through eight, the web edition of this book covers fundamental concepts, processes, and issues of archaeology, and describes the peoples and cultures of the Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods.
Format: book (multiple pages)
The learning cycle
A three-part model of scientific inquiry that encourages students to develop their own understanding of a scientific concept, explore and deepen that understanding, and then apply the concept to new situations.
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Letting students ask the questions — and answer them
For this high school science teacher, learning science means doing science. A look at an inquiry-based earth and environmental science classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Amy Anderson.
Making connections for environmental education
How can you get students fired up about environmental education? Get them outside and get them involved in local issues through activism, service learning, and teaching others.
Format: article/best practice
By Carolyn Moser.
A perspective on inquiry
In this interview, Norman Budnitz, cofounder of the Center for Inquiry Based Learning, talks about inquiry and how to teach with it in a K–12 classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Waverly Harrell.
Science as a verb
Inquiry science requires active relationships between students, teachers, and science. Building these relationships is a three-step process that involves thinking about inquiry as a process of science, as a pedagogical strategy, and as a set of skills and behaviors to encourage in students.
Format: article/best practice
By Amy Anderson and David Walbert.
Science students get their hands dirty
Enter Carol Swink's classroom where students become scientists by conducting hands-on, inquiry-based investigations. By saving the textbook reading and lectures for last and doing experiments first, students master not only science content but math content too.
Format: article/best practice
By Waverly Harrell.
Scientific inquiry for elementary teachers
This online course asks teachers to think about the scientific process and how it applies to teaching science in the elementary classroom.
Format: article/online course
Why inquiry?
The rationale for using discovery learning methods in teaching science.