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Lesson Plans (39) A detailed description of the instruction for teaching one or more concepts or skills. Podcasts (1) A program (audio or video) made available in digital format for playback or download over the Internet. Learning Activities (2) 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.


ALEX Lesson Plans


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Subject: English Language Arts (8)
Title: A Voice for the Silent
Description: This lesson is designed to help students make a connection between the events of World War II to the events happening in the world today. Students will compare examples of genocide from World War II and today. This lesson is taught  in conjunction with The Diary of Anne Frank in the eighth grade.


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Subject: English Language Arts (8)
Title: Teaching Tolerance and DiversityThe Diary of Anne Frank
Description: The aims of this unit are to develop an altruistic attitude which enriches the life of the student through enhanced insight into different social patterns and ways of life. I want my students to be reflective thinkers who are principled, open-minded, caring, and balanced communicators. Students will be given the opportunity to use a multimedia tool of their choice to illustrate the knowledge gained through the reading of Anne Frank. Topics for the project will include, but are not limited to; modern day genocide, discrimination of any group of people, diversity in the community and the attitudes presented by the community, and how different cultures impact varying social patterns.


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Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 10)
Title: Hands, Hands, Hands - Writing a Narrative Essay from the Perspective of a Particular Hand
Description: The teacher will show pictures of six hands to students.  (See attachment)  After a brainstorming session, students will choose one hand that illustrates a particular story from their life.  Then, students will write a two page narrative essay about this story.  These stories will be posted on a class blog to allow for feedback and discussion from classmates.


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Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: How to Make Something Simple...Hard
Description: Students will have completed a unit of forces and motion prior to the current unit of study on simple machines (lever, inclined plane, screw, wedge, pulley, wheel and axle). Students will review the functions and examples of simple machines and view example Rube Goldberg machines. Students will create a compound machine out of all six simple machines to complete a simple task of their choosing. The machine should meet the limitations given in the rubric and be able to be demonstrated at school. Students will complete a PowerPoint slide show about the history of Rube Goldberg machines and write an expository essay about their finished machine.


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Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Everyday Heroes
Description: Following a unit on Greek mythology and mythological heroes, students design and maintain a website that features everyday heroes. Students submit candidates based on their everyday encounters with people in the community.


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Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Whose Voice Guides Your Choice?
Description: In this one-two week unit, students explore the role media has in influencing public opinion. Students analyze advertising in print, video, and online formats. An optional visit to the Museum of Television and Radio via distance learning videoconferencing helps students examine the extent to which they are influenced by propaganda.


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Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 9), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Oral Presentation of Favorite Celebrity
Description: Using the Internet to research facts about a favorite celebrity, students gain the organizational and oral presentation skills needed to successfully deliver an effective speech and slideshow presentation.


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Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: I Am a Fish
Description: This cross-curricular lesson combines research on an ecological issue with creative writing. After conducting research on an important environmental issue, students will present their findings from a different point of view.


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Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Autobiographical Magazines
Description: This assignment is designed for students to tell about themselves through writing and creative media. The students compile original articles and illustrations into an autobiographical magazine.


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Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: The Rookie Project
Description: This is a three-part writing project which includes a research paper, a creative short story, and a movie review inspired by the movie, The Rookie. The lesson is easily adapted to other appropriate films of similar themes.


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Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (7 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Riddles in the Dark
Description: Riddles can be challenging to solve and even more challenging to write. After reading the riddles used by Gollum to try to ensnare Bilbo in chapter five of Tolkien's The Hobbit and those used by Bilbo to outwit Gollum, students use their wit and cunning to author a riddle pop-up book.


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Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Using Graphic Organizers to Develop a Character Analysis
Description: This hands-on, technology-based lesson enables students of all ability levels to organize the traits of main characters and to develop a character analysis. Students choose two main characters from myths, legends, or fables to create both a slideshow presentation and a newsletter demonstrating their conclusions.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Once Upon a Fairy Tale: Teaching Revision as a Concept     
Description: Students use fractured fairy tales to practice revision and editing as separate activities when they write their own versions of fairy tales.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: ABC Bookmaking Builds Vocabulary in the Content Areas     
Description: V is for vocabulary. A content area unit provides the theme for a specialized ABC book, as students select, research, define, and illustrate a word for each alphabet letter.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Word Webs to Teach Synonyms for Commonly Used Words     
Description: Students use word webs to choose synonyms for generic adjectives and to learn to adjust their word usage for different contexts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Comic Strips and Cartoon Squares     
Description: Students must think critically to create comic strips highlighting six important scenes from a book they have read.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: E-pals Around the World     
Description: With e-pals, students develop real-life writing and social experiences, learn the format of a friendly letter and parts of an e-mail message, and discover other cultures, languages, and geographic areas.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Shared Spelling Strategies     
Description: Students increase their spelling accuracy and retention, while preserving fluency, by using sound, sight recall, and analyzing strategies instead of memorizing words, as they deal with spelling during drafting.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Social Studies - Geography
Title: Where in the World Would You Like to Live?     
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students compare thematic maps of the continents and the world as a whole to determine where they would like to live. They view several online thematic maps and conclude by writing paragraphs describing the three places in the world they think they d most like to live.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Why Preserve Biodiversity?     
Description: In this lesson, students discuss the importance of maintaining ecosystems and find out about the various arguments that people make in favor of preserving the Earth's biodiversity. They write essays in which they explain what they feel are the most compelling reasons for preserving biodiversity and also describe the arguments they think would be most likely to convince the general public that biodiversity should be preserved.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Social Studies - Geography
Title: Adopt a Lot     
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students learn the basics of conducting a field study. They learn how to develop innovative plans to improve the quality of a community and make recommendations for improvements to their local area.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Reviving Bodie     
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students research the ghost town of Bodie and imagine that the state of California has decided to make Bodie a town again and to let people settle there. Groups of students write guides for the town's new potential citizens, explaining the things they need to know about the town's climate, landscape, location, natural resources, and history.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - Human Behavior
Title: Geography Matters in History     
Description: This Xpeditions lesson has students consider the ways in which historical events and processes have been affected by geography. For example, the Lewis and Clark expedition was affected by many geographical phenomena, such as rugged mountains and strong river currents. Students read historical features on the Internet, explain how geography affected historical events or processes, and write stories describing how geographic variations might have led to different outcomes.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Inventors and Innovators     
Description: The purpose of this Science NetLinks lesson is to use the Internet to explore the scientific enterprise and the contributions to science of various people. Students use the Inventor of the Week Archives on the Invention Dimension Web site to create a class project on American invention.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Poems That Tell a Story: Narrative and Persona in the Poetry of Robert Frost     
Description: In this four-lesson unit, from EDSITEment, students read, discuss, and analyze selected poems by Robert Frost. The activities that make up this unit encourage students to draw inferences about a poem's speaker based on evidence contained within the poem and to gather evidence supporting those inferences.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow     
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the artistry that helped make Washington Irving our nation's first literary master. They ponder the mystery of what happened to Ichabod Crane, a mystery that now haunts every Halloween.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Industrial Age in America: Sweatshops, Steel Mills, and Factories     
Description: In this lesson from EDSITEment, students research working conditions in the Age of Industrialization and examine worker responses to these conditions. They then read arguments for and against modern sweatshops and write a position paper on sweatshops today.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Metaphorical Gold: Mining the Gold Rush for Stories     
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students research the Gold Rush era to provide authentic background for their own fictional prose. By mining online databases for primary texts and period photographs, students can explore the Klondike Stampede and glean from their visit sufficient period details to help them create their own narratives based on the Gold Rush. While the emphasis of this lesson is on history and research rather than literature, selections from Jack London's The Call of the Wild are used to provide focus and structure for students research in online databases of primary sources, and to serve as models of vivid narrative prose for students own stories.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Memories Matter: The Giver and Descriptive Writing Memoirs     
Description: Using The Giver, students discuss the importance recorded history. This provides context for descriptive writing of students own history in a lesson that integrates personal writing, research, and literary response.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Fairy Tale Autobiographies     
Description: Students read and analyze fairy tales from several cultures, identifying common elements. Choosing common situations, students write original fairy tales, using picture books as models and a peer review process.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Expository Escapade Detectives Handbook     
Description: Students create a Detective's Handbook based on a detective mystery they have read. The handbooks include expository and descriptive writing, as well as a letter.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: She Did What? Revising for Connotation     
Description: Did she walk, skip, amble, dance? In this minilesson, students explore connotation by acting out and revising the simple sentence '' She walked into the room.''
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Inside or Outside? A Minilesson on Quotation Marks and More     
Description: Students often question whether a punctuation mark goes inside or outside the quotation marks, especially when writing dialogue. This lesson helps students identify the conventions and apply them to their text.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues     
Description: How can we convince others to agree with us on important issues? In this lesson, students explore relevant environmental issues and gather information to write persuasive essays.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Childhood Remembrances: Life and Art Intersect in Nikki Giovanni's Nikki-Rosa      
Description: Students explore what Carol Jago calls the place where life and art intersect by reading Nikki Giovanni's poem, Nikki-Rosa, and then writing about childhood memories of their own.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Beyond the Story: A Dickens of a Party     
Description: Students attend a 19th Century Victorian party to celebrate Scrooge's new outlook on life. They research characters from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and assume those personas for the party.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Writing a Flashback and Flash-Forward Story Using Movies and Texts as Models     
Description: Using the film The Sandlot, students are introduced to the literary devices of flashbacks and flash-forwards. They then write their own stories using those devices.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Character and Author Business Cards     
Description: Students respond to a book they have read by thinking symbolically to create a business card for one of the characters.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Web Resources


Lesson Plans


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Teacher’s Guide to Using the MY HERO Create Program
http://www.myhero.co...
Students of all ages can publish online tributes to their heroes on the MY HERO Create Web design program. This lesson plan gives an overview of the Create Program and shows how to develop individual hero stories into MY HERO webpages.

Learning Activities


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Teacher’s Guide to Using the MY HERO Create Program
http://www.myhero.co...
Students of all ages can publish online tributes to their heroes on the MY HERO Create Web design program. This lesson plan gives an overview of the Create Program and shows how to develop individual hero stories into MY HERO webpages.

Thinkfinity Learning Activities


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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: America on the Move - Creating Stories Activity Kit     
Description: In this activity kit from Smithsonian s National Museum of American History, students will use primary and secondary sources, and conduct oral history interviews to construct a family immigration or migration story. The kit contains step-by-step instructions, sample interview questions, and research guidance. The kit can be used in conjunction with a 28 minute streaming video called America on the Move, Part 2: Creating Stories.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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