Lesson Plans

Adapting Lessons to Support Students with Severe Disabilities

Children with severe speech and physical disabilities are being included in the regular education setting at a higher rate due to the increasing number of integrative education opportunities and placement of students in the least restrictive environments in the education setting. There are students in our regular public school classrooms whose severe speech and physical disabilities require their use of alternatives to speech and other types of assistive technology tools to make them successful in the regular education setting. These speech devices, referred to as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) provide a special challenge to the student and the school teaching staff. These devices and assistive technology needs requires teachers to think differently about how a student will discuss, report and/or ask questions about science discussions as well as how they will draw, design and write to complete lessons and science journals. These students are expected to participate in the standard course of study however; they may often require many adaptations and/or modifications to the curriculum in order to be able to fully participate like their typically developing peers. Regular education teachers are often not equipped with the background knowledge to know how to make these adaptations/modifications successful for the student. This Kenan project will focus on developing a multitude of ideas for teachers, therapist and other school staff to access on how to adapt and/or modify the K-2 science curriculum. A road map for ideas will be linked with the standard course of study so that teachers can access the ideas quickly and easily when needed.

Curriculum Author:

Laura Lewis


Content Area
  • Language Arts

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I’m On a Diet & Proud of It: Nutrition through Math & Science

Students will be involved in hands-on, inquiry activities that integrate various subject areas in order to learn and apply concepts of food chemistry and nutrition.

Curriculum Author:

Karina Colón


Content Area
  • Math
  • Science

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I’m On a Diet & Proud of It: Nutrition through Math & Science

Students will be involved in hands-on, inquiry activities that integrate various subject areas in order to learn and apply concepts of food chemistry and nutrition.

Curriculum Author:

Karina Colón


Content Area
  • Math
  • Science

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Biotechnology in North Carolina Today

Our economy in North Carolina began as a largely agrarian one. Many of our traditions today hearken back to that agricultural past, including the traditional school calendar. As time has passed, North Carolina gained many jobs from textile manufacturing. Farms consolidated and there were less small family farm operations and more, large scale industrial farms. Over the past few decades, textile and furniture manufacturing jobs have been lost by North Carolina – many of these jobs have gone overseas. The new jobs that have been coming in to replace these are biotechnology jobs. These jobs pay well, but require more training and expertise than traditional manufacturing jobs.

Curriculum Author:

Cinnamon Frame


Content Area
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology

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Problem Based Learning in the Physics Classroom

Have you ever wondered how engineers design roller coasters? Have you ever pondered how the height of the first hill influences the riders’ experiences? This project aims to give students insight into such questions while introducing them to the fundamental concepts of energy and energy conservation. A month-long process, students acquire a conceptual understanding of energy conservation and use that understanding to design their own roller coaster. While written for high-physics students, one could easily adapt this project for physical science students.

Curriculum Author:

Jeff Milbourne


Content Area
  • Science

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Critical Thinking in Science

This unit teaches students to utilize and develop critical thinking skills throughout each eighth grade science content strand. The inquiry based lessons lead students to create testable questions; design and perform experiments; collect, organize, and analyze data; and use these results to decide on the next step in the scientific process. Current topics, local issues, and real life situations are used to help students find meaning in the materials while learning the necessary critical thinking skills.

Curriculum Author:

Daniell DiFrancesca


Content Area
  • Science

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Understanding Data Mining: Extracting, Organizing, and Analyzing Large Sets of Data

Large sets of data, accessible through new technology, are paramount to forecasting trends in business and economics. In Algebra I, students typically study data sets with one predictor variable and one response variable. But in the real world, most response variables have numerous predictors which may significantly impact the data. It is important to be able to identify their effects and use them appropriately to make sound, valid predictions.

Curriculum Author:

Dail Midgette


Content Area
  • Math

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Investigating Alternative Energy For Vehicles

The “Investigating Alternative Fuels for Vehicles” curriculum focus will allow students to learn about alternative fuels used to power vehicles. Students will expand their knowledge through discussion, inquiry-based activities, and research on the innovative technology related to alternative fuel vehicles. This project will expose students to the role that alternative energy have in reducing global warming and conservation of natural resources.

Curriculum Author:

Travis Chapman


Content Area
  • Environmental Science

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BioMusic

Essential Questions

  • Where is sound in our environment?
  • How can we represent sounds that are in our environment?
  • How do animals create sound to communicate?
  • How can we view and distinguish sounds?
  • How is sound like waves? How do animals echolocate?
Curriculum Author:

Debra Hall & Crystal Patillo


Content Area
  • Music
  • Science

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Why Does Chemistry Matter In My Life?

Why does chemistry matter in my life? These lessons address this question and are designed to be used throughout the high school course and support the North Carolina standard course of study objectives in chemistry. Each lesson presents a problem to the student that they will endeavor to answer using a variety of activities. These activities may be modified to suit the needs of your students. The problems are intended to generate student interest so they will be more likely to engage in the lesson.

Curriculum Author:

Lisa Hibler


Content Area
  • Chemistry

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Mid-Devonian Fossils — A Trip to Elma, New York

This unit was developed to introduce students to fossil collecting in the field. For years I had shown my students fossils with a brief description about their origin and formation. Upon further questioning on one occasion I realized that they had no way of conceptionalizing the area in Western New York I was attempting to describe to them. Obviously Eastern, North Carolina and Western New York are pretty different in terms of topography and geology. Additionally, few or none of my students had ever had the opportunity to collect fossils from the field, a pleasure I have enjoyed for most of my life. So, I decided that the Kenan Fellowship would be a great opportunity to share.

Curriculum Author:

Bruce Boller


Content Area
  • Biology
  • Science

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Restoring the American Chestnut

The American Chestnut was once one of the most important trees in the Eastern US. It was important to wildlife as a food source and to people for a variety of uses. In the early 1900’s an imported Japanese Chestnut tree carried a fungus to which American trees had no immunity. It devastated the native Chestnuts. How can science offer a solution to this problem? Students will study how biotechnology is being used to develop a blight resistant tree. They will engage in hands-on activities that have students apply their knowledge of DNA and genetics to simulate the steps needed to find the genes for resistance and insert them into an American Chestnut tree. Lessons are designed to be used for any level of Biology student and do not require high tech equipment.

Curriculum Author:

Shelley Casey


Content Area
  • Biology
  • Environmental Science

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CSI Dublin: The Hunt for the Irish Potato Killer

In these lesson plans, students will act as CSI agents investigating the mysterious pathogen that caused the massive potato crop failure and resultant Great Famine of 1845 in Ireland. Through a variety of seven focused activities, students will map its diffusion, experience the history of the Great Famine, isolate and test samples using PCR and gel electrophoresis, create Wanted Posters of plant pathogens and take action in communicating their concerns of chemical controls of these pathogens and the danger of repeating history.

Curriculum Author:

Rebecca Hite


Content Area
  • Biology
  • Science

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Motion and Design

This site contains all the information you need to get your class involved in the creative process of designing, building, and testing their own powered vehicle. These activities will expand their understanding of the principles of motion and design and their appreciation for the general scientific process.

Curriculum Author:

Carol Swink


Content Area
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Technology

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The Earth, Sun and Moon: Investigations for the Third Grade

The following is a set of suggested activities for a third grade curriculum unit on the Earth/Sun/Moon system. The goal is to provide students with an understanding of the motions of the three objects in the system and the way in which they determine the periodic changes we observe.

Curriculum Author:

J. Heffernan


Content Area
  • Math
  • Science

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