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.

Narrow your search

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

The Alphabet Tree
After reading The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni to students, the students will retell the events on a flow map. Then using Kid Pix software, each child will choose an event, illustrate it, and write a caption for it. The students will then put their events in order in a Kid Pix Slide Show they can present to the class.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts)
By Jody Shaughnessy.
Action chains
Students learn to elaborate on an event in a narrative by expanding their sentences into action chains. Expanding single actions into an action chain provides the reader with a more detailed picture of an event in a narrative.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
By DPI Writing Strategies.
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.
The bear who wouldn't sleep
Intermediate-level ESL students will apply facts from a content-based reading passage to create a short story about a bear who doesn't hibernate with his family.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 English Language Arts)
By Donna Kauffman.
Bubba: A Cinderella story
This lesson focuses on the whimsical interpretation of the Cinderella story. Students explore the story Bubba, the Cowboy Prince, through rich text and interpretations of the story.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Jennifer Fessler and Karen Wright.
Bulletin board of story elements
This lesson will introduce young children to the elements of stories starting with characters. Children will be involved with interactive writing as they respond to shared reading lessons. Students will illustrate a caption of a character to be displayed on a bulletin board.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 English Language Arts)
Discovering how to take care of our natural resources
This lesson focuses on our natural resources and the effects our actions have on them. Students explore this concept through discussion, matching, literature, and writing.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 English Language Arts, English Language Development, and Social Studies)
By Jennifer Hicks and Alison Short.
"Do Spiders Live on the World Wide Web?"
Through use of a fun and informative online story, students will explore the parts of the computer, as well as discover that words have multiple meanings.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Computer/Technology Skills, English Language Arts, and Information Skills)
Do you really believe in magic?
Students are introduced to the genre (or mode) of Magical Realism in World Literature by reading Gabriel Garcia-Marquez's short story, "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings." This lesson plan is modified for an English Language Learner (ELL) at the Intermediate Low (IL) proficiency level.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Ann Gerber and Tericia Summers.
Dynamic dialect: Horace Kephart and Our Southern Highlanders
Students will read an excerpt from Horace Kephart's Our Southern Highlanders and explore how language and dialect have changed over the years.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 English Language Arts)
By Billie Clemens.
Fairy tales
This lesson will begin a unit on fairy tales for young learners. It will begin with assessing what first graders know about fairy tales. Children will learn about the original version of The Three Little Pigs.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Audra Penrod and Vivian Lages.
Family story with research
Using the book, When The Legends Die and a Native American story-telling unit, students gather a family story of their own.
Format: lesson plan (grade 11–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Eric Broer.
Getting in order: "Jack and the Beanstalk"
The students will read "Jack and the Beanstalk" as a group and create flip books to illustrate and sequence the main events.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 English Language Arts)
By Leslie Robinson.
Habitat happenings
During this lesson students will demonstrate their understanding of what a habitat is through a creative writing assignment. The students will choose an animal to be and will describe themselves and their living environment.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts)
By Kelly Stewart.
Hidden stories: A three-part lesson in African American history, research, and children’s literature
In this high school lesson plan, students will create a timeline of African American history, review a work of children's literature, and then create their own works of children's literature drawing on a primary source document pertaining to the life of an ordinary African American.
Format: lesson plan (grade 11–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Edie McDowell.
How do pumpkins grow?: Book project
This is an integrated science and language arts lesson plan. Students will create individual books that illustrate how pumpkins grow.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Visual Arts Education, English Language Arts, and Science)
By Marty Britt.
How ironic!
This lesson will introduce students to the concept of irony. Verbal, situational, and dramatic irony will be defined, but the focus of the lesson is situational irony. This lesson can be used prior to teaching longer, more complex short stories that contain situational irony. This lesson is modified for an English Language Learner (ELL) who reads at the Intermediate Low (IL) level.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Ann Gerber and Tericia Summers.
Inside and outside: Paradox of the box
This lesson serves to introduce students to symbolism (the box), to the literary element paradox, and to the abstract notion of ambiguity (freedom vs. confinement). It is designed for 2nd and 3rd graders, but may be adapted for use with upper elementary or early middle school grades.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–6 English Language Arts)
By Edie McDowell.
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.
Is Mr. Wolf really a bad guy?
This lesson is intended to show children the importance of evaluating information as they read. The author's point of view is limited in that it only truly shows one side of the story. There is always another perspective. How the author views a subject colors everything that he or she writes about.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)