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.

Demographics and deception
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 14
Maps get really interesting when we start adding human data to them -- population, economic production, social behavior, and so on. Mapping is a powerful way to summarize and communicate those kinds of data. Unfortunately, mapping is also an excellent way...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Integrating maps
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 6
Textbooks frequently use maps as learning aids, but research has found that the way maps are most often used does not support students' learning. It turns out that both the order and the context in which materials are presented are crucial....
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Learning to look at art
Strategies for helping students develop visual literacy in looking at paintings and other forms of visual art.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault.
Map skills
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 1
It used to be a lot of work to make a map. Before computers, maps had to be meticulously drawn by hand, their grids and outlines relying on complicated pencil-and-paper calculations. Now, you can download map data from the U.S. Geologic Survey or the Census...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Projections
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 7
Now let's take a closer look at the process of drawing a map. If you're drawing a map of a classroom, you can assume the floor is flat like a piece of paper. (If not, the district is going to need to up its facilities budget.) That makes mapping it straightforward;...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Projections and propaganda
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 9
Interestingly, until the mid-twentieth century, publishers of maps and textbooks resisted using new projections (many of which were, by then, quite old). Why? Maybe because they wanted to stick with what was familiar to people -- or maybe because Mercator...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Reading images: an introduction to visual literacy
Images are all around us, and the ability to interpret them meaningfully is a vital skill for students to learn.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault and David Walbert.
Reading maps
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 4
Now that we understand a little of what it takes to create visual representations of data, let's look at the other end of the process. What are the skills necessary to "read" or interpret visual representations of data? Understanding representations...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Reading photographs
A picture is worth a thousand words — but which words? Questions can help students decode, interpret, and understand photographs thoughtfully and meaningfully.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault and David Walbert.
Reading picture books
Two strategies for helping children understand a story through illustrations.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault.
Reading picture books: resources for teachers
Illustrations, picturebook finding aids, and great picture book websites.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault.
Resources for looking at art
A guide to some of the best websites, activities, and print resources for building visual literacy through the study of art.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault.
Resources for teaching with photographs
Websites, activities, books, and image collections for classroom use.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault.
Teaching Latin America through film
This article offers teachers strategies for enriching student understanding of Latin America through films available free through the Consortium on Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. It suggests ways teachers can incorporate viewing directly into instruction through careful preparation and follow-up.
Format: article/best practice
By Regina Higgins.