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Lesson Plans (69) A detailed description of the instruction for teaching one or more concepts or skills. Podcasts (7) A program (audio or video) made available in digital format for playback or download over the Internet. Learning Activities (1) Any activity that would enhance a lesson or unit in order to help the learner master an objective 
and/or acquire a skill.  Examples include, but are not limited to, online tutorials, experiments, 
demonstrations, and hands-on activities.
Learning Assets (5)


ALEX Lesson Plans


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Subject: Arts Education (4), or English Language Arts (3 - 4)
Title:  Sequence Flower Reports
Description: This is a hands-on book report project. It will be an extension activity that occurs after the reading of the stories The Secret Gardens and/or The Gardener. Paper flowers will be designed and put together by each student. Story events will be composed on the flowers parts.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Genre Who? Identifying Various Fiction Genres
Description: In this lesson students will be introduced to six different fiction genres. They will then practice their knowledge of these genres through a review game.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 6), or Social Studies (3 - 5)
Title: Living in the Wild
Description: In this lesson, students will compare and contrast how the Prehistoric Americans lived off the land at Russell Cave and how Sam Gribley from "My Side of the Mountain" lived off the land. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (3)
Title: A Father's Life at Russell Cave
Description: In this lesson, students will learn about a father's life at Russell Cave and learn about different writing genres. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Yo! The Slaves Have Gotta Go!
Description: In this lesson, students will explore the events leading up to the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Students will work collaboratively to research and report their findings.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Science (4 - 5)
Title: Venomous Snakes of Little River Canyon National Preserve
Description: There are three known venomous snakes found at Little River Canyon. They include the timber rattlesnake, copperhead, and cottonmouth.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Edible Cell
Description: As part of the study on Life Processes, the students will watch a video clip at Cells Alive to see a model of the cell and its componenets. The students will use edible products to create an animal cell. Each product will represent a component of the cell. This will be done whole group.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (3 - 4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: The Earth has Many Layers
Description: This is a hands-on lesson that will help students explore what geologists do to study the different layers of the Earth. Students will work in cooperative groups to complete this activity. Students will also keep a Science Journal telling about their findings. This lesson will follow the Learning Cycle.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Mathematics (3 - 4), or Science (4)
Title: Friction Faction
Description: The students will use different surfaces to test which will cause less friction on a ball. This will let the students determine how friction affects the distance an object in motion will go. This lesson will include cooperative grouping for the activity and whole group discussion of the results.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.


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Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: The Komodo Dragon by Thane Maynard
Description: The purpose of this lesson is to familiarize students with research topics through individual assignments that utilize a variety of resources.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Aunt Chip and the Triple Creek Dam Affair by Patricia Pollaco Summarizing, Sequencing and Publishing
Description: In this lesson, students will read and summarize the book by pages. After publishing, students will use their slides as sequencing exercises. This lesson plan can be adapted for any grade level or book.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Mystery Writing with Alfred Hitchcock
Description: During this lesson students will explore the life of Alfred Hitchcock by navigating the Internet. Students will learn about the mysteries involved in his films and become mystery writers themselves.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Whales, Whales, Whales!
Description: During this lesson, students work with other students from another school to collect information about different species of whales. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the differences via video conferences. Students work together to develop a plan to help conserve whales.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4)
Title: "How To Build A Snowman" Expository Writing
Description: During this lesson, students begin to understand how important specific directions are to a project. Students will demonstrate detailed writing in order to instruct their classmates on how to build a snowman.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Author Study
Description: During this lesson, students will learn more about their favorite authors by researching them on the Internet and presenting to the class, school, and community. Students will see that authors are real people thereby developing an appreciation for reading and writing.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 8)
Title: Skillful Slideshows
Description: During this technology-based lesson, students learn how to create slideshow presentations that are creative and inviting to the audience. They use fonts, graphics, effects, etc, to capture audience attention.


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Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Learning Journals
Description: During this lesson students learn about writing learning journals. Students are instructed on the key components of learning journals as well as how to use this type of journal to record what they are learning so that they can retain the information longer. After viewing a learning journal entry, then working in groups to create a learning journal entry, students read an article and write a learning journal entry of their own.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Name Etymology
Description: During this lesson, students will have the opportunity to research the etymology and history of their names. Students will begin to understand ways to make history, linguistic history, and cultural history a lot of fun.


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Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 4), or Social Studies (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Famous African-Americans
Description: During this unit students will study the lives of famous African-Americans who have had an impact upon history or present day society. This interdisciplinary hands-on unit will incorporate the subjects of social studies, reading, language arts, and technology. After studying African-Americans and viewing a presentation, students will select (or be assigned) a person to research, write a biographical sketch about, and then create a newsletter depicting facts from that person's life. The entire unit will cover a two- to three-week period.


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Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Helen Who?
Description: In this lesson, students will be introduced to the contributions of Helen Keller. The students will learn about Helen Keller through research on the Internet, a book, and a role-playing exercise.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Multimedia Book Report
Description: This lesson gives students a clear understanding of how to create a slide show presentation using PowerPoint. The students will use this information to create a slide show book report.


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Subject: English Language Arts (2 - 4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Introduction to the Dewey Decimal System
Description: This lesson introduces the Dewey Decimal System of numbering used for arranging nonfiction books on the shelves of an elementary school library.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: The History of Space Exploration
Description: In this lesson students develop a time line of important events in relation to space exploration.


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Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 4)
Title: "Hot Dog" Book Reports
Description: Students will use a Makes Sense Strategies Think-sheet to learn to identify the characters, setting, main idea and details of a book read.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Famous Alabamians: Helping Me Learn How I, Too, Can Make a Difference!
Description: In this unit, students will work to create their choice of a presentation on an Alabama citizen who has made a difference in the state, as well as the nation.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Animals as Pets: Everything You Need to Know
Description: Choosing pets and caring for them appropriately is important for children. Many times children choose a pet without knowing the responsibility that is involved in pet care. In this lesson the students will work in pairs to research and present detailed information about a selected animal, including specifics about the animal and how to care for it as a pet.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Using Technology in Teaching Reading
Description: Elementary students, while working on their basal reader story for the week, will use various forms of technology to increase comprehension and other reading skills. (Other strategies may be substituted if some of the technology mentioned is not available.)


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Alabama Biographies of the 20th Century
Description: In this lesson, students will recognize and examine the lives of Alabamians who have impacted the lives of others and the history of the state with their notable contributions during the first half and last half of the twentieth century. This interdisciplinary lesson relates social studies, language arts and reading. Through this inquiry study, students will choose one of the famous Alabamians, research the person's contributions, write a short biographical summary, and as an extension, create a 3-D scan picture relating to the life and times of the individual.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Blending Fiction and Nonfiction to Improve Comprehension and Writing Skills     
Description: Students use a text set to increase understanding of content area material and demonstrate what they have learned by writing an original piece that blends together narrative and expository elements.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Evaluating Using the Meeting of the Minds Technique     
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model developed by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson introduces students to the strategy of evaluating, using the Meeting of the Minds technique.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Summarizing Using the QuIP Strategy     
Description: Students learn to use the QuIP (questions into paragraphs) comprehension strategy to organize information and then synthesize it in writing.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Self-Questioning Using Question-Answer Relationships     
Description: Guided comprehension moves your students beyond decoding to become independent readers. Generating questions to guide reading helps readers make connections with the text and supports independent comprehension of new texts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Monitoring Using the INSERT Technique     
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model developed by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson introduces students to the comprehension strategy of monitoring.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5,6



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Subject: Social Studies - Current Events/Issues - Social Studies - Economics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Where Do Your Belongings Come From?     
Description: This Xpeditions lesson asks students to figure out where their belongings came from and to consider the reasons why many items are imported from other countries. They list the locations of origin for the items they use on a typical morning. They conclude by researching the export industries of an East Asian country and writing paragraphs describing this country's exports to the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - World History
Title: Expedition to the Poles     
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students pretend they've just returned from a year in the Arctic or Antarctic. They look at Web sites about these regions and expeditions to them and create posters illustrating their experiences. They conclude by writing paragraphs explaining what it would be like to visit the polar region that they did not focus on in this lesson.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Current Events/Issues - Social Studies - Geography
Title: People and Endangered Species     
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students examine some endangered species and the ways that human activities contribute to species endangerment. Students are asked to devise their own species protection plans.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Research Building Blocks: Notes, Quotes, and Fact Fragments     
Description: Students are guided through the process of taking notes while reading factual information, then turning those notes into new sentences and paragraphs written in their own words.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Research Building Blocks: Examining Electronic Sources     
Description: In this lesson, students evaluate and rate the relevance of electronic resources as they research information about their state.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Research Building Blocks: Organize This!      
Description: In this minilesson, students organize information they compile while doing research for a written report on a selected topic.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Research Building Blocks: Skim, Scan, and Scroll     
Description: In this lesson from a research skills unit, students read informational text, looking for supporting details. They practice skimming and scanning print resources, and scrolling through electronic resources.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Research Building Blocks: Hints about Print     
Description: In this lesson from a research skills unit, students examine abstracts on selected books to determine their relevance and helpfulness.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Creating a New Book Cover     
Description: Students explore book covers of a variety of books then create a new cover for a book they have read.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Clubs: Reading for Fun     
Description: This lesson describes how small groups of students can plan meetings to discuss what they've read in a '' just for fun'' book club they've organized and that they control.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Native Americans Today     
Description: This lesson challenges students' views of Native Americans as a vanished people by asking them to compare their prior knowledge with information they gather while reading about contemporary Native Americans.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Slave Narratives: Constructing U.S. History Through Analyzing Primary Sources     
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students research narratives from the Federal Writers Project and describe the lives of former African slaves in the U.S., both before and after Emancipation. From varied stories, students sample the breadth of individual experiences, make generalizations about the effects of slavery and Reconstruction on African Americans, and evaluate primary source documents.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: What Was Columbus Thinking?     
Description: In this unit of eight lessons, from EDSITEment, students read excerpts from Christopher Columbus's letters and journals, as well as recent considerations of his achievements. Students reflect on the motivations behind Columbus's explorations, his reactions to what he found, and the consequences, intended and unintended, of his endeavor.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Exploring How Section Headings Support Understanding of Expository Texts     
Description: Nonfiction may be dull for some students, but this lesson helps them focus on the main ideas. Through awareness of section headings, students learn to sort and categorize main concepts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Literature Circles: Getting Started     
Description: Students practice different ways of collaborating to read a work of literature. They work in different roles as they compose and answer questions, discover new vocabulary, and examine literary elements.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Get the Reel Scoop: Comparing Books to Movies     
Description: Students compare a book to its film adaptation, and then perform readers theater of a scene from the book that they feel was not well represented in the movie version.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Multipurpose Poetry: Introducing Science Concepts and Increasing Fluency     
Description: Creepy crawlers, hoppers, and fliers are the focus of this lesson in which students chorally read poems about insects and use the Internet to locate facts about their assigned insects.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Traveling Terrain: Comprehending Nonfiction Text on the Web     
Description: Students locate specific information, identify text features of nonfiction text, and write to generalize information on related topics.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Literature as a Catalyst for Social Action: Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges     
Description: Students are invited to confront and discuss issues of injustice and intolerance reading a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Cyberspace Explorer: Getting to Know Christopher Columbus     
Description: Students explore multiple online sources to gather information about the life of Christopher Columbus, complete a cyber scavenger hunt, and use their notes to prepare a timeline and summary report.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Alaska Native Stories: Using Narrative to Introduce Expository Text     
Description: Tradition and technology come together in this lesson in which students learn about Alaskan animals through Native American tales and their own online research.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Myth and Truth: Independence Day     
Description: By exploring myths and truths surrounding Independence Day, students think critically about commonly believed stories regarding the beginning of the Revolutionary War and the Independence Day holiday.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Prediction as a Prereading Strategy     
Description: Students learn about and apply the prediction strategy while reading a trade book. They use response journals to record questions and responses based on prereading predictions.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Previewing Using an Anticipation Guide     
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model developed by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson introduces students to the comprehension strategy of previewing.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Visualizing Using the Sketch-to-Stretch Strategy     
Description: Guided comprehension moves your middle-grade students beyond decoding to become successful, independent readers. The sketch-to-stretch strategy encourages students to use '' brain TV'' to help them understand a text through visualization.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5,6



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Making Connections Using a Double-Entry Journal     
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson helps students learn three types of connections (text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world) using a double-entry journal.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5,6



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Genre Study: A Collaborative Approach     
Description: Students explore multiple genres through genre studies. They record evidence of genre characteristics on bookmarks as they read, and finish by giving a book review for their classmates.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Acquiring New Vocabulary Through Book Discussion Groups     
Description: This lesson employs direct instruction and small-group discussion to help students learn new vocabulary skills while reading Patricia Polacco's Pink and Say.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Developing Inferential Comprehension Through DL-TA and Discussion Webs     
Description: Students will love unwrapping this lesson about before, during, and after reading activities based on Margaree King Mitchell's book, Grandaddy's Gift.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Comparing and Contrasting: Picturing an Organizational Pattern     
Description: Using picture books as mentor texts, students learn effective strategies for organizing information that compares and contrasts. Students can then apply appropriate organizational strategies to their own papers.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Hooking a Reader with a Book Cover     
Description: Students select a book to read based only on its cover art. After reading the book, they use an interactive tool to create a new cover for it.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts - Literature - Science - Biology - Science - Geology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Mark Twain's Cave      
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students learn about the cave described in Mark Twain's famous novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. They read a passage from the book and learn about how the cave has been used throughout history. Students explore the Internet to learn about the geology of the real cave and about animals and plants that live in caves.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Someone a Letter     
Description: This EDSITEment lesson introduces students to the correspondence of the famous, the infamous, and the ordinary, some of whom lived through extraordinary times. Teachers can use these fascinating letters as a starting point for discussion of and practice in the conventions and purposes of letter writing.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Science
Title: Exploring the Solar System     
Description: The purpose of this lesson, from Science NetLinks, is to introduce students to Earth's moon and the eight other planets in our solar system. Students learn about the geology, composition and orbits of other planets by planning a trip to another planet.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



ALEX Learning Assets


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Title: To Edmodo Communities... And Beyond!
Digital Tool: Edmodo
Digital Tool Description: Edmodo is a great resource to connect your students to one another, as well as yourself to other educational professionals, through an online instructional environment. Edmodo is a versatile tool with options for blogs, informative posts, assignment message boards, quizzes, surveys/polls, and even customizable reminders or alerts for all of the above.


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Title: Illustrating Favorite Events with Doodle Splash
Digital Tool: Doodle Splash
Digital Tool Description: Doodle Splash teaches students to visualize what they are reading and to create graphic symbols to help them develop as readers. Doodle Splash interactive allows students to make connections between their visual designs and the text. (Description provided by Doodle Splash)


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Title: Using a Venn Diagram to Compare and Contrast Nonfiction
Digital Tool: Interactive Venn Diagram
Digital Tool Description: This tool allows the student to label and create a 2-circle Venn diagram about any topic.  In this activity, it is used as part of a language arts lesson on comparing and contrasting two topics of an informational text.


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Title: Functional Text: It's All Around Me
Digital Tool: Answer Garden World Cloud Tool
Digital Tool Description: This digital resource allows the each student in the class to list examples of functional text in order to create a class word cloud.


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Title: Birmingham was Bombed
Digital Tool: Wonderopolis- Write a TV Script
Digital Tool Description: Wonderopolis is a tool for engaging students using wonder about the world around them. Daily "wonders" create exploratory learning. The "How Do You Write a TV Script" wonder will be used to help students as they prepare to write their own mock newscast based on the event of the Birmingham Sixteenth Street Church bombing in 1963, as read about in the novel by Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons go to Birmingham, 1963. After reading the novel and exploring information about life in the 1960s, students will imagine what a news report from that day would have looked like. They will view this resource to understand the important components of a script before getting into small groups to write their own newscasts. The teacher will combine the scripts and students will create a short film either independently or with teacher assistance and present their newscast during Black History Month. 


Web Resources


Lesson Plans


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TV 411 Summarizing
http://www.tv411.org...
This interactive lesson takes students through activities and makes an excellent introduction to the skill of summarizing because it focuses more on reading than on writing. Teachers can also easily extend the lesson to writing activities in summarizing.

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Persuasive Writing Unit Plan
http://www.pkwy.k12....
This is a five-week unit plan designed to teach students about persuasive writing and guide them to a finished product. Rubrics and checklists are included.

Learning Activities


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Favorite Books File
http://www.readwrite...
This student reproducible, from a ReadWriteThink lesson, guides students as they write reviews of their favorite books.

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