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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African animals in habitats
This is an inquiry-based animal study for early childhood students centered around a visit to the African Continent of the North Carolina Zoo.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Science)
By Sue McCullah.
All About ME: Likenesses & Differences
This lesson will help to enhance the self-esteem of students by focusing on each child's individual differences.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Guidance, Healthful Living, and Social Studies)
By Crystal Sigmon.
Animals move!
This plan introduces students to the different ways animals move.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Healthful Living and Mathematics)
By Michelle Tesiero.
Animals movin' on up
Children will explore animal body parts in animal pictures using the inquiry method. They will discuss their functions in movement and eating. They will also discuss the idea that classifications of animals have similar body parts.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Mathematics and Science)
By Anne Allen.
Around the world, a multicultural unit
The students will listen to stories from different cultures. They will participate in directed discussion, followed by a related art activity.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 English Language Arts, Guidance, Healthful Living, and Social Studies)
By Judy Cliver.
Attributes by kids
This activity requires the student to demonstrate an understanding of classification, patterning, and seriation. The students will complete the project based on personal characteristics.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Guidance, Healthful Living, and Social Studies)
By Bunnie R. Brewer.
Bear graph
The students will compare and contrast bears brought from home and share their ideas through a graph.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Mathematics)
By Karen Pledger.
The big, bad, red wolf: Fact and fantasy
This lesson will explore the myths and legends surrounding wolves. We will also investigate factual information about the endangered red wolf.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts and Science)
By Steven Sather.
Comparing and contrasting careers
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 1.9
This lesson for grade six will help students understand comparing and contrasting. Students will conduct career surveys with adults and will use the results to create Venn diagrams.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Jennifer Brookshire and Julie McCann.
Comparing governments: International
This lesson focuses on comparing and contrasting national governments in North America and/or Central America. It is the second of two lessons about government. The other is Comparing Governments: Local, State, and National. This plan could be easily adapted for eighth-grade or high-school ESL students.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 and 7 English Language Development and Social Studies)
By Tami Weaver and Wendy Pineda.
Comparing/contrasting characters: A Taste of Blackberries
This lesson is designed to use with Chapter 1 of the novel A Taste of Blackberries. Students will use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the two main characters and then relate the material to their own lives.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
By Denise Caudle.
Families - Then and now
Students apply their knowledge of communities as they compare and contrast the home life described in Sarah Plain and Tall to the home life described in Because of Winn-Dixie.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 Information Skills and Social Studies)
By Debbie Fox and Sherri Hendrix.
Feathers, fins, fur, scales, and skin
Using observation, students will identify animal groups by their appearance. The students will move through animal centers looking for similarities and differences of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Science)
The Frog Prince: Compare and contrast
This lesson can be used with numerous pieces of literature, films, or sound material to develop viewing and listening skills and the students' ability to compare and contrast. One of the richest sources is in the area of fairy tales and folktales. This an especially good source if you can find a modernized version in recorded form to contrast with the more traditional written form. I have used the "Frog Prince" because of this factor and because it was part of the 4th grade language arts reading unit.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
By Barbara Waters.
From seed to plant
This lesson will give students an opportunity to learn about seed parts, how a plant grows, and to compare plants.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Science)
By Gretchen Barkowitz.
An integrated lesson comparing the butterfly and frog life cycles
Students will build on their prior knowledge about the butterfly life cycle to compare and contrast the life cycles of butterflies and frogs. Students will locate butterflies on the school grounds and create pictographs and models of fractions to explain their findings mathematically. Students will also use a variety of resources to read about and study the food, space and air needed by butterflies and frogs to grow. They will create visual and written products to demonstrate their findings.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 Mathematics and Science)
By Martha Dobson and Margaret Monds.
Little and big houses
Using the book Little House on the Prairie and international keypals, students will learn about similarities and differences among children at different times and in different places.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Social Studies)
By Karen Ester.
Making “Oobleck”
The students will discuss what they think will happen when mixing specific ingredients to create an unknown substance labeled “Oobleck.” Next, the students will work together in small groups of four or five to create this substance. Finally, the students will individually illustrate and write one to three sentences describing the results.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–2 English Language Arts and Science)
By Paige Hoffman.
Me and my scarecrow
This math lesson will allow students to create their own individual and unique scarecrows based on attributes about themselves. Students will compare their scarecrows to those of their classmates and observe similarities and differences.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Mathematics and Social Studies)
By Stephanie Duncan.
Multicultural cross-grade level unit plan
This unit of study integrates reading, writing, math, and social studies. It is designed to help first and third grade students relate to other cultures of the world. They will understand and compare the similarities and differences of children, families, and communities in different times and places. They will analyze religious and other cultural traditions. They will apply basic geographic concepts.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–3 English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Social Studies)
By Shirley Young.