K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

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

Building map-reading skills
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 5
Now that we know what students can't do, how do we help them develop the skills to read and interpret maps successfully? You may not be surprised to learn that most of the research and literature on this topic stops short of offering actual suggestions....
Format: activity/lesson plan (grade )
By David Walbert.
Bullfighting in Colombia
In this lesson for grade six, students study the history of bullfighting in Spain and Colombia as an example of how cultural traditions can be transferred from one place to another. Students analyze photographs of bullfighting in Colombia and discuss the cultural tradition of the sport and the controversy surrounding it.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Social Studies)
By Eric Eaton.
Ecuador: A land of climate diversity
In this lesson, students will create climate graphs and analyze photographs to investigate the various types of climate in Ecuador and the interactions between climate and human culture. The lesson plan is designed to be adapted to the study of various countries.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 and 7 Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies)
By Eric Eaton.
Ecuador: A study of population
In this lesson, students will create population pyramid graphs and analyze photographs to investigate population in Ecuador. Students will draw on this analysis to make predictions about how population issues will affect Ecuador's future. The lesson plan is designed to be adapted to the study of various countries.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies)
By Eric Eaton.
Fishing for beginning sounds
This lesson introduces the beginning sounds for picture words.
Format: lesson plan (grade K English Language Arts)
By Deborah Kirby.
Freedom with Harriet: Life on the Underground Railroad
This lesson for grades 6–8 will help students understand the experiences of slaves in the South who sought freedom via the Underground Railroad. Students will analyze a painting and create a living tableau that reflects the issues and emotions the painting evokes.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Dianne Harlow.
Haiku and photography: A natural connection
This lesson will allow students to combine photographing nature with creating a Haiku poem to express what they see in the photograph.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 Visual Arts Education and English Language Arts)
By Steven Sather.
I, the basket: Writing a first-person story as an inanimate object
In this interdisciplinary lesson for grade seven, students explore the first-person point of view through children's literature and images of Nepal. Students exhibit their understanding of first-person narrative by writing a children's story from the perspective of an inanimate object.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Social Studies)
By Edie McDowell.
Is no man an island?
This unit is designed to encourage thinking about our connectedness to and responsibilities toward others. Materials in this unit are used to demonstrate humankind's need to refute an impersonal natural order.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Jewell Kendrick.
"Kids as Decision Makers" -- Distinguishing between Needs and Wants
The students will have hands-on experiences with sorting pictures into groups according to the social studies objective: The learner will apply basic economic concepts to home and school. This lesson will focus on distinguishing between wants and needs.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Social Studies)
By Tonya Kales.
A magic carpet ride: Exploring carpet weaving in India
In this lesson, a photo analysis activity helps students learn about carpet weaving in India. Students discuss how this tradition compares to the weaving traditions of other cultures.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Visual Arts Education and Social Studies)
By Eric Eaton.
Majestic peaks: Mountains of North Carolina and Ecuador
In this lesson, students analyze two photographs: one of the mountains of Ecuador and one of the mountains of Western North Carolina. Students then analyze the two photographs together to gain an understanding of the two regions' similarities and differences.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Eric Eaton.
North Carolina living through photos, then and now
Students will examine historical photographs of North Carolinians at work or in social settings. They will develop and share skills of “reading” photographs. Then they will use these skills to identify “historical clues” in a photo and draw their own version of the same person or people in North Carolina today.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 Social Studies)
By Michael Sharp.
Observation and inference
In Intrigue of the Past, page 1.4
In their study of observation and inference, students will use activity sheets and coins to differentiate between observation and inference through a problem-solving approach, and demonstrate their knowledge by analyzing an archaeological artifact and creating their own observation-inference statements.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Visual Arts Education and Social Studies)
Of earth, water, and fire: World pottery traditions
In this lesson, a photo analysis activity helps students learn about pottery traditions from around the world. Students discuss how these traditions are similar to and different from one another.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 Visual Arts Education and Social Studies)
By Eric Eaton.
Picturing Vietnam
This lesson plan is intended to introduce students to Vietnam’s geography, climate, culture, history, natural history, arts, economics, and government. Students will view a collection of documentary photographs and use these for making logical observations, drawing conclusions, and as a basis for creative writing.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Social Studies)
By Edie McDowell.
The power of a portrait
The students will use the portrait Mending Socks by Archibald Motley to explore how objects can be used to tell about a person's attributes and life.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Guidance and Social Studies)
By Evika Sturdivant.
Seven directions: Making connections between literature and American Indian history
This middle school lesson uses picture books to integrate American Indian culture and belief systems with language and visual arts.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts, Guidance, and Social Studies)
By Edie McDowell.
A Siouan village
In Intrigue of the Past, page 4.6
In their study of an excavated village site, students will record observations about a site feature and infer how past peoples used individual features and the site as a whole. They will also summarize how archaeologists use observation and inference to determine past lifeways.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Social Studies)
Supermarket sweep: Day 1
Students will talk about choices that families make when purchasing groceries. Students will make a booklet of frequently purchased grocery items.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 English Language Arts, English Language Development, and Social Studies)
By Angela Hunt and Melody Holmes.