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Lesson Plans (15) A detailed description of the instruction for teaching one or more concepts or skills. Podcasts (14) A program (audio or video) made available in digital format for playback or download over the Internet. Interactives/Games (1) A learning object that requires a user's involvement.
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 (7)
Title: This Genre Means What? - An Explorative Lesson on Literary Genres
Description: Within this technology-integrated lesson, students will use PowerPoint to create a presentation on a given genre. As a culminating activity, students will present their presentation to the class and teach their genre. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


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Subject: English Language Arts (7)
Title: Dance Moms Reality or Fatality
Description: Students will view a reality television episode and read a news article related to reality television. Then students will complete a graphic organizer to create an argument for or against children participating in reality television. Students will apply supportive details for writing a persuasive paragraph. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


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Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Career Exploration for the Middle School Student
Description: This is a technology-based career guidance project during which students select a career to research on the Internet. Students will create slideshow presentations of information on selected careers and present the slideshows to the class.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Dynamic Duo Text Talks: Examining the Content of Internet Sites     
Description: An Observation and Inquiry Sheet guides students as they analyze and compare their reactions to the value, engagement, and credibility of three websites related to Anne Frank and the Holocaust.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: The Reading Performance: Understanding Fluency Through Oral Interpretation     
Description: Students discuss prosody, gain a new appreciation for literature intended for oral performance, and participate in activities that instill the value of technology in shaping their appreciation of literature.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
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: Weaving the Threads: Integrating Poetry Annotation and Web Technology     
Description: Students read a poem by a Native American, explore Native American culture and then create a Website that explains words and phrases from the poem.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Cosmic Oranges: Observation and Inquiry Through Descriptive Writing and Art     
Description: Students will eat up this lesson about oranges as they practice the skills that help them investigate and make detailed observations for descriptive purposes.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Who Were the Foremothers of Women's Equality?      
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, introduces students to the achievements of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, the foremothers of women's equality. By studying a variety of primary historical materials, students also learn about some of the lesser-known activists who fought alongside Stanton and Anthony in the formative Women's Rights Movement.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Myth and Truth: The First Thanksgiving      
Description: By exploring myths surrounding the Wampanoag, the pilgrims, and the '' First Thanksgiving,'' this lesson asks students to think critically about commonly believed myths regarding the Wampanoag Indians in colonial America.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Critical Media Literacy: TV Programs     
Description: By critically analyzing popular television programs, students develop an awareness of the messages that are portrayed through the media.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Critical Media Literacy: Commercial Advertising     
Description: By looking at advertising and mass media critically, students begin to understand how the media oppresses certain groups, convinces people to purchase certain products, and influences culture.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Scaling Back to Essentials: Scaffolding Summarization With Fishbone Mapping     
Description: Students work in pairs and groups as they complete fishbone maps that highlight main ideas and relevant details from a cause-effect text and then write summaries of content area texts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Listening to History     
Description: This unit of four lessons, from EDSITEment, is designed to help students tap the resource of family stories and local history by conducting oral history interviews with family members. Through a series of classroom activities, the lessons introduce students to the riches historians can discover in firsthand recollections, help them choose a topic and prepare for a productive family interview, provide tips for conducting and recording the interview, and offer suggestions for sharing their family stories in a historical narrative or report.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Investigating the Holocaust: A Collaborative Inquiry Project     
Description: Students explore a variety of resources as they learn about the Holocaust. Working collaboratively, they investigate the materials, prepare oral responses, and produce a topic-based newspaper to complete their research.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



ALEX Podcasts


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Tornadoes of 2011: Birmingham Edition
Overview:
The students and community of Birmingham, Alabama and in particular Wilkerson Middle School were affected by the vicious storms that raged through Alabama at the end of April.  The students of Wilkerson Middle School needed an outlet for their feelings of fear, anger, sadness, and confusion.  This podcast provided them with not only that outlet, but also an opportunity to express themselves in regards to their safety, and the survival of their community.  As the comments are sometimes off the cuff and completely child created, there is no transcript, only the mention of the student's names.


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Closing the Generation Gap through Interview
Overview:
This podcast describes a collaborative project in which students determined, with several options available, to conduct research about the past by interviewing people who lived during the Great Depression. The students had read Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, which depicted hard financial times. They explored traditional research methods (books and Internet) but decided on Interview with elderly residents from a nearby nursing home to achieve the most "local" information possible.  


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Hydra
Overview:
The Hydra was a dangerous mythical beast with many heads.  This podcast tells the story of Hercules' challenge to kill the Hydra as one of his twelve tasks.


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Greek & Roman Architecture
Overview:
This podcast of Greek and Roman architecture focuses on the key components of a home.  The student acquaints the viewer with specific vocabulary related to this time period. The description of the home gives a view into the lifestyle of these people and it also hints to the hierarchy of society.  In the final portion a contrast between homes of the wealthy and poor are made.


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Minor gods and goddesses
Overview:
This is one podcast of a series.  The purpose of this podcast was to inform students about minor gods and goddesses.  Iris is a messenger for Hera.  She is often depicted as having a staff and winged shoes. Eris is given credit for starting the Trojan War with major goddesses taking sides against each other.  The stories of Persephone, Circe, and The Fates are also mentioned.  Persephone's struggle to return to her mother Demeter explains the changing of the seasons.


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Roman Roads
Overview:
This podcast is a description of Roman roads.  The famous quotation, "All roads lead to Rome," was true in ancient times.  The Romans built their roads straight in order to see long distances.  The roads were well traveled and are still visible today.  Comparisons of mile markers and road signs to today's highways are made in this podcast.


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Artemis
Overview:
Artemis and her twin brother, Apollo, are the children of Leto and Zeus.  She is goddess of the hunt.  She is the patron goddess of young girls up until they are to be married.  She has sworn never to marry, thus her break with young ladies at this time. Artemis is able to take on many different appearances, but the most common is that of a teenage girl leading her band of warriors who are eternally youthful. 


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Theseus and the Minotaur
Overview:
Theseus is an ancient Greek hero.  He is pitted against the Minotaur by King Minos.  The daughter of the king aids Theseus in maneuvering his way through the Labyrinth.  Theseus survives the Labyrinth and wins the heart of the princess.  The Athenians were now saved from future sacrifices to the Minotaur. 


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Greek & Roman Government
Overview:
Many of our words in government as well as the style stem from ancient Greece & Rome.  Roman government modeled its style after the Greek democracy.  This podcast is an overview of Greek, Roman, and United State government.  Similarities are drawn between the progress made in ancient governments (who can vote) as well as that of the United States. History repeats itself with only wealthy males ruling in government in ancient times as well as beginning government in our own country.


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Artemis & Apollo
Overview:
This podcast outlines the origin of Artemis and Apollo.  Artemis is seen as a goddess of the hunt.  She is very bright and clever in her dealings with giants that attempt to overthrow those in Mount Olympus.  Apollo has other gifts.  He is given the task of making the sun rise each morning by riding his chariot through the sky.  Information about Hera, Zeus, and Leto is also included.


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Greek & Roman Toys & Games
Overview:
Greek & Roman toys for children are compared.  What is the purpose of the toys?  How do these toys compare with simple games that we play today?  Knucklebones seems to be the precursor to our current game of "Jacks".   Some of the games are for role playing to prepare them for the future position in society.


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Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades
Overview:
Kronos, Lord of the Titans, does not want to lose his power.  His plan to swallow his children whole is thwarted by Zeus.  The three super powers:  Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, divide up the earth into areas to rule.  Each of the "Big 3" has a famous story to tell:  Zeus/Io, Poseidon and the Athenians, and Hades/Persephone/Demeter. Many of the stories are used to explain occurrences of the day. 


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Roman Gladiators
Overview:
There are many types of gladiators and methods of fighting.  In this podcast there are three main types that are mentioned.  Gladiators begin as slaves or low class citizens, but have the opportunity to rise in society by being successful.  The most famous gladiator is Spartacus.  Various implements of gladiators are described.  The gladiator fights were never meant to be a fair match, but a sporting event for the citizens with the favored and most famous using the best gear for battle.


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Greek Constellations
Overview:
The origins of constellations are named after mythological characters.  This podcast explains the origins of Pegasus and Cassiopeia.


Web Resources


Interactives/Games


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Hungry for the Main Idea? The Hamburger Game
http://www.pspb.org/...
Students read sentences that form a short paragraph. Students select the main idea, which will become the meat in the hamburger.

Thinkfinity Learning Activities


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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Edward Stratemeyer, creator of book series such as Nancy Drew, was born on this day in 1862.     
Description: Students select several books from one of Stratemeyer's series to read, discuss shared elements in the books, and use the 3-Circle Venn Diagram to compare story elements.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter celebrate birthdays today.     
Description: Students are encouraged to think about why people challenge Harry Potter books, do a Web Quest that allows them to research the issue, and decide whether the books should be banned from the public library.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



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