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Lesson Plans (4) 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. Informational Materials (15) Textual information containing useful facts or information.


ALEX Lesson Plans


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Subject: Social Studies (4)
Title: Living Museum
Description: The students will research famous Alabamians, write an informative paragraph about their historical figure, and prepare a presentation for a school-wide living museum. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: A Tour of Birmingham: WebQuest
Description: This inquiry-based project will provide opportunities for students to learn about the history of Birmingham. Students will discover the variety tourist attractions in Birmingham, Alabama.


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Subject: Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Communicating in a Technological World
Description: Through utilizing the Internet to discover technological advances in the 20th century and interviewing relatives and friends who experienced these changes in communication, students will discover firsthand how technology has changed communication.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: What Makes a Hero?     
Description: In this unit of eight lessons, from EDSITEment, students explore heroes and the traits that make them heroic. Students begin by thinking about their own heroes and list the character traits their heroes possess. Students then explore kid heroes, adults heroes, local heroes, and heroes from history, before completing one of several suggested culminating activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Thinkfinity Podcasts


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Subject: Social Studies
Title: World War I Overview     
Description: Overview of the First World War, taken from news reel footage. Includes the declaration of war and invasion of Belgium by Germany, U Boats and naval warfare, trench warfare, United States entrance and end of war.This video is part of the Price of Freedom learning resources package for use with the The Soldiers Experience lesson plan. It was produced to accompany the exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War , by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Thinkfinity Informational Materials


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Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Japanese American Internment Camps: Make your Own Fish Kite     
Description: In this activity, students will learn how to make their own fish kites, called "koinobori'' . "Koinobori'' are an important expression of Japanese culture that became an important part of life for children in Japanese American internment camps during World War II. It is included in an "OurStory'' module entitled "Life in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp'' . "OurStory'' is a series of modules designed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of objects from the Museum's vast collections, quality children's literature, and engaging hands-on activities. Ideal for afterschool use, "OurStory'' resources allow students to think critically, to be creative, and to achieve academic standards both in and out of the classroom.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Japanese American Internment Camps: Leaving Things Behind     
Description: What would you take if you were suddenly forced to move? In this activity, students will make this decision after reading and responding to a quote by a woman who was forced to move to a Japanese American internment camp during World War II. It is included in an "OurStory'' module entitled "Life in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp'' . "OurStory'' is a series of modules designed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of objects from the Museum's vast collections, quality children's literature, and engaging hands-on activities. Ideal for afterschool use, "OurStory'' resources allow students to think critically, to be creative, and to achieve academic standards both in and out of the classroom.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Japanese American Internment Camps: Read "Baseball Saved Us''      
Description: In this activity, students will read information about the book "Baseball Saved Us'' , its author and its illustrator. The activity includes images of objects from the online exhibition "A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution'' . It is included in an "OurStory'' module entitled "Life in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp'' . "OurStory'' is a series of modules designed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of objects from the Museum's vast collections, quality children's literature, and engaging hands-on activities. Ideal for afterschool use, "OurStory'' resources allow students to think critically, to be creative, and to achieve academic standards both in and out of the classroom.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Ulysses Grant's Letter from Fort Donelson     
Description: On February 16, 1862, General Buckner surrendered Fort Donelson. The unconditional surrender created jubilation throughout the North and shock in Dixie. It was the North's first major victory of the Civil War, opening the way into the very heart of the Confederacy.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Ulysses Grant's Field Glasses     
Description: In September 1861 Ulysses S. Grant was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers by President Abraham Lincoln. Grant directed Sherman to drive through the South while he himself, with the Army of the Potomac, pinned down Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. On April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Lee surrendered. Grant wrote out magnanimous terms of surrender that would prevent treason trials.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Ulysses Grant's Camp Chair     
Description: This camp chair was used by Ulysses Grant during the Civil War.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: USS Monitor     
Description: Built by contract with John Ericsson at Green Point, Long Island, and launched January 30, 1862, the USS Monitor saw its first naval action at Hampton Roads, Virginia, on March 9, 1862. Despite the CSS Virginia being almost twice its size, with ten guns, the Monitor with its two eleven-inch turret guns held its own. The engagement ended in a draw. The Monitor sank in a gale off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on December 31, 1862.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: John Mosby's Cavalry Jacket and Hat     
Description: Confederate cavalry leader John Mosby is among the most romantic characters in the Civil War. From 1863 to the end of the conflict, Mosby's raiders were a constant headache for the North. The raiders usually acted in small detachments of several dozen, sacking supply depots, attacking railroads, and harassing federal troops.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Battle of Gettysburg Lithograph     
Description: The Battle of Gettysburg was a critical turning point in the American Civil War. During the first three days of July 1863, over 172,000 men and 634 cannons were positioned in an area encompassing 25 square miles.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Religion,Science,Social Studies,Geography
Title: Encyclopedia of Alabama     
Description: A free, authoritative source information about the history, politics, geography, and culture of the state of Alabama; updated regularly to ensure that the content is accurate and accessible. The editors are continually adding new entries, photographs, and maps, so check back frequently to see what's new.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Spark!Lab Homepage     
Description: This webiste, from the Lemelson Center's Spark!Lab, uses fun activities to help kids and families learn about the history and process of invention. Students can play games, conduct science experiments, explore inventors' notebooks, and even invent! Spark!Lab, the newest hands on space for families and others visiting the National Museum of American History, shows the real story behind an inventor's work. p align="left"
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Treasures of American History: National Challenges     
Description: The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History provides a broad and complex view of the American experience. The valuable pieces of history displayed in this section of the online exhibition entitled "Treasures of American History'' document some of the struggles, conflicts, and controversies that have shaped the nation. Students will learn that by understanding the challenges of the past, they can draw lessons and inspiration for confronting new challenges in the present and future. The topics discussed in this section are: the American Revolution; slavery; westward expansion; the Civil War, women's suffrage, the Great Depression and World War II, the Civil Rights movement and AIDS. A Spanish version of the exhibition is available on the exhibition's homepage.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Thompson Model 1928 Submachine Gun     
Description: During World War I, machine guns were heavy, crew-served weapons. Their operation required several soldiers. Even so-called light machine guns could not easily be handled by single soldiers. To meet the need for an individual rapid-fire weapon, several inventors devised submachine guns. Light enough for one-man use, the new weapons were nicknamed "trench brooms" because they swept the trenches clear of enemy troops. The Thompson submachine gun was the handwork of John Taliaferro Thompson (West Point Class of 1882). It saw only limited wartime use, but the "Tommy gun" in the hands of police and gangsters achieved notoriety as "the gun that made the twenties roar."
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Blog Post: WWI Women in Uniform     
Description: In this post, students will learn about the thousands of American women who volunteered in World War I through their uniforms. Most of the women's uniforms in the Museum's collections from WWI belong to civilian relief and welfare organizations, like the Salvation Army, not to the armed forces, and represent the participation of tens of thousands of American women in the Great War. This post, written by Bart Hacker, Senior Curator of Armed Forces History, is published on the Museum's "O Say Can You See?" blog.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Blog Post: Electric Cars: 100 Years Ago and Today     
Description: In this post, students will discover the history of electric car technology over the course of the last century. In the early 20th century, motorists had a choice of electric, steam, or gasoline cars, and it wasn't clear that any one type would dominate the market. Electricity was beginning to power home appliances, lights, and streetcars, so it seemed natural to put electric motors and batteries in carriages. Electric vehicles were clean, quiet, and comfortable, but most car buyers in the 1910s and 1920s chose gasoline cars, which had much longer range between fill-ups. Written by Roger White, Associate Curator for Road Transportation with the Division of Work and Industry, this post is published on the Museum's "O Say Can You See?" blog.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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