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Lesson Plans (5) A detailed description of the instruction for teaching one or more concepts or skills. Podcasts (9) A program (audio or video) made available in digital format for playback or download over the Internet. Informational Materials (24) Textual information containing useful facts or information.
Interactives/Games (2) A learning object that requires a user's involvement. 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.


ALEX Lesson Plans


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Subject: Social Studies (K - 11)
Title: African American Honorees in Alabama History
Description: Students will create a PowerPoint slide show presentation and brochure on a famous African American icon from the Alabama Calendar. Students may select famous African Americans from Alabama such as Rosa Parks, Vonetta Flowers, Dr. Mae Jemison, Joe Louis, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Rosa Parks, Hank Aaron, Dr. Regina Benjamin, Dr. Ethel Hall, Judge Oscar Adams, Billie Jean Young, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This lesson was created to accompany the Alabama African American History Calendar Project.


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Subject: Social Studies (3 - 8), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: A Prehistoric Connection
Description: This lesson plan is an adaptation of Activity 92 from Project Learning Tree. Students will research the four prehistoric time periods and compare and contrast them with their lives. By doing this, they will recognize the difference between simple subsistence living and modern technology-based living. 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 (7), or Social Studies (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Personal Heritage Project
Description: This research project requires students to connect with the past by researching both primary and secondary sources for family history. Their findings are presented in a keepsake portfolio and in a multimedia presentation comparing the historical time period of an ancestor to their own.


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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.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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Subject: Arts,Foreign Languages,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: EDSITEment Websites     
Description: This page from EDSITEment provides links to top humanities sites on the Web. All sites linked to EDSITEment have been reviewed for content, design, and likely impact in the classroom. They cover a wide range of humanities subjects, from American history to literature, world history and culture, language, art, and archaeology, and have been judged by humanities specialists to be of high intellectual quality. EDSITEment is the product of a partnership forged among the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council of the Great City Schools, WorldCom Foundation and the National Trust for the Humanities and is a member of the MarcoPolo consortium.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Thinkfinity Podcasts


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Subject: Science,Social Studies
Title: History Explorer Podcast: Fifty Years of Lasers     
Description: In this episode of the History Explorer podcast, curator Hal Wallace talks about the development of the laser, an invention that has as many practical uses as portrayals in science fiction and fantasy. In addition to audio, this resource includes related images and a teachers guide.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: First Person Account: Fred Castleberry     
Description: Fred Castleberry, an US infantryman in Vietnam, tells how a Huey saved his life after he was wounded in battle.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 .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: First Person Account: Hal Moore     
Description: Hal Moore, the commander of a cavalry regiment, summarizes the role of the Huey in Vietnam.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



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Podcast: Ashok Gadgil's thirst to save lives (Part 1)     
Description: In this podcast from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students learn how Ashok Gadgil's invention can save thousands of lives by purifying water quickly and cheaply.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Podcast: Tom Newby makes the Muppets move     
Description: In this podcast from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Tom Newby explains how he brought Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and countless other Muppets to life with his innovations in animatronics.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Podcast: Nate Ball, inventors and co-host of "Design Squad''      
Description: In this podcast activity from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation at the Smithsonian s National Museum of American History, Nate Ball, winner of the 2007 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for invention and co-host of PBS s "Design Squad,'' talks about inspiring inventive creativity in young people.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Podcast: Stan Winston makes robots smart (Part 1)     
Description: In this podcast from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Stan Winston, a groundbreaking special effects artists, talks about his work on some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Podcast: James McLurkin explores robot communities     
Description: In this podcast from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, a young MIT researcher, James McLurkin, explains how his robots work like a group of ants.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Podcast: The killer app that killed the typewriter     
Description: In this podcast from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, we reminisce about 1980s computer technology and how the innovation of word processing tipped PCs to the mainstream.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Web Resources


Interactives/Games


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When In Time
http://whenintime.co...
WheninTime is a web application that enables users to create, view, explore and contribute to interactive digital timelines on the topic of their choice. (Website's description)

Learning Activities


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When In Time
http://whenintime.co...
WheninTime is a web application that enables users to create, view, explore and contribute to interactive digital timelines on the topic of their choice. (Website's description)

Thinkfinity Informational Materials


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Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Picturing Modern America     
Description: Site contains interactive exercises designed to: Deepen students' understanding of common topics in the study of modern America 1880-1920; Build students' skills in analyzing primary sources; Generate questions that students can pursue by searching in American Memory and other sources.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 5,6,7



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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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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Whole Cloth     
Description: Explore science, technology, and invention through American textile history in these interdisciplinary curriculum units from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Learn about the development of the cotton gin, the growth of Northern textile production, the invention of dyes and dying, the development of nylon in World War II.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: COBOL     
Description: This online exhibition tells of the development of COBOL, a computer programming lanugage, and how it changed the commercial, banking, and defense industries. Fifty years ago, each computer maker used its own programming languages to tell a computer what to do. In 1959, a group of programmers devised COBOL, a COmmon, Business-Oriented Language. Programs written in COBOL could run on more than one manufacturer's computer. In a 1960 test, the same COBOL programs ran successfully on two computers built by different manufacturers.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Satellite Lunch Box     
Description: The Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite in late 1957 sparked interest in the United States in science education even among elementary school children.
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: Transportation in America Classroom Activity Guide     
Description: This activity guide accompanies the exhibition America on the Move . It delivers a variety of historical primary source materials from the exhibition directly to your classroom. Through these documents and activities, students can build a deeper understanding of how transportation shaped American commerce, communities, landscapes, and population migrations. It is one of the many resources connected to the online exhibition entitled America on the Move , which focuses on transportation in US history.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Family Photo Album     
Description: Mary Taylor used her 35mm Bell and Howell camera to document her family's life in the black community of Los Angeles, California, during the mid-20th century. She turned a discarded wallpaper sample book into a treasured family heirloom. Taylor's family photographs including 19th-century tintypes, turn-of-the-century hand-colored portraits, and albums from the 1950s to the 1970s provide insight into the African American experience in the United States over the past century. National Museum of American History
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: 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: Xerox 914 Plain Paper Copier     
Description: Introduced in 1959, the Xerox 914 plain paper copier revolutionized the document-copying industry. The culmination of inventor Chester Carlson's work on the xerographic process, the 914 was fast and economical. One of the most successful Xerox products ever, a 914 model could make 100,000 copies per month...
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: The Visible Man     
Description: People have long sought better ways to illustrate and understand the structure and functions of the human body. Paper dolls and wax, papier-mache, and plaster anatomical models have all been used as tools to teach human anatomy. In the wake of the launch of the Sputnik satellite, designer Marcel Jovine of Closter, New Jersey, decided that American children needed to learn when they put toys together. He proposed "The Visible Man," a plastic anatomical model with removable parts. The toy was manufactured by Renwal Products Incorporated of Mineola, New York. Introduced in the fall of 1958, it initially sold for $4.98. The model has a clear plastic body or shell and comes with a "complete" skeleton, "all vital organs," and a round plastic display stand. The kit also includes instructions on how to assemble and disassemble the model and a pamphlet, "An Introduction To Anatomy: An Illustrated Guide to the Visible Man." This kit was never assembled.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Visible Woman     
Description: This is an anatomical model of a woman, complete with removable parts. The kit includes a clear plastic body or shell, a "complete" skeleton, "all vital organs," and a round plastic display stand. The kit was designed as an educational tool to teach basic anatomy. The intructions explain how to assemble and disassemble the model. The "Visible Woman" was inspired by the success of another anatomical model for children, "The Visible Man." The kit includes a pamphlet, "Introduction to Anatomy," and the manufacturer's guarantee. This kit was never assembled. One of the more interesting features or non-features of this kit is the lack of genitalia. Manufacturers of anatomical models offered male and female models with and without sexual organs. Americans in the 19th century used phrases such as "after nature" and "organs of generation" to gently refer to reproductive organs. This practice continued well into the 20th century, when paper models and later plastic model kits produced for the general public lacked sexual organs. A note to parents in the lower left corner of the top of the box warned that the contents included the "Optional Feature: The Miracle of Creation." Separated from the other parts of the model in a brown box, the adapter kit for a 7-months pregnant female includes special instructions for assembling the eight additional parts, which include an expanded breast plate for the prgnant uterus, the small intestines, and the fetus.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Children in Urban America     
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site, from Marquette University, provides hundreds of documents and images about children in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. Drawn from newspapers, government and other official records, oral histories, memoirs and many other sources, the documents show how children experienced city life during the last century and a half. Users can find resources related to work, play, leisure, schooling, health and welfare.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Julia Child's Pyrex Measuring Cup     
Description: The well-known cookbook author and television cooking show star Julia Child had a number of the most commonly used American kitchen measuring devices in her kitchen. Now in the collections of the National Museum of American History, Julia's Pyrex glass one- and two- cup measures, are marked in both English measurements (1 cup; 8 oz.) and in metric (250 ml). National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Smithsonian National Museum of American History     
Description: The Web site for the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History features virtual exhibits, background on the museum, and an overview of the museum's collections. Also included are resources for teachers, the Smithsonian Store, and details regarding internships, workshops, and other opportunities to get involved.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Arts,Foreign Languages,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: EDSITEment Websites     
Description: This page from EDSITEment provides links to top humanities sites on the Web. All sites linked to EDSITEment have been reviewed for content, design, and likely impact in the classroom. They cover a wide range of humanities subjects, from American history to literature, world history and culture, language, art, and archaeology, and have been judged by humanities specialists to be of high intellectual quality. EDSITEment is the product of a partnership forged among the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council of the Great City Schools, WorldCom Foundation and the National Trust for the Humanities and is a member of the MarcoPolo consortium.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Apple "Classic'' Macintosh Personal Computer     
Description: The Apple Macintosh introduced a graphic user interface (GUI) to the Apple line of computers. The idea had originated at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center in the 1970s, but Xerox was slow to commercialize it. Apple proved far more successful when it introduced the Macintosh in January 1984. After selling hundreds of thousands of units, Apple discontinued the "Mac Classic'' line of computers in April 1986. National Museum of American History
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: On Time: How America Has Learned to Live By the Clock     
Description: On Time explores the changing ways we have measured, used, and thought about time over the past three hundred years. With this online resource, from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn how improvements in time keeping technology have led to the increased importance of efficiency, punctuality and regimentation in American life. The resource is divided into 5 chronological sections that demonstrate America's ever-changing relationship with time.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Mobilizing Minds: Teaching Science and Math in the Age of Sputnik     
Description: On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth. In order win the Space Race, the United States urgently needed both a select group of mathematicians, scientists, and engineers; and a general population of mathematically and scientifically informed citizens. In this online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn how fear of Soviet domination galvanized reform in science and math education during the 1950's and 60's. National Museum of American History
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,Arts
Title: The Invention of the Electric Guitar     
Description: The electric guitar may be the most important and popular instrument of the last half-century in American music. Its introduction brought a major change to American musical technology and has shaped the sound and direction of modern musical styles. In this online resource from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn how the need for louder guitars led to the invention and proliferation of the electric guitar and how the emergence and popularity of rock and roll led to the guitar's commercial success and more innovative designs. Students can view the collection of guitars from the exhibition, click on each guitar to learn more and listen to audio commentary by guitarist G.E. Smith. They can also listen to recordings of different types of guitars in a section entitled "How Guitars Work'' .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Arts,Cross-Disciplinary,Geography,Social Studies
Title: Spreading the Message     
Description: A short article on National Geographic Emerging Explorer Ken Banks' FrontlineSMS software
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: C1,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Invention at Play: Inventors' Stories - James McLurkin     
Description: In this online article from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, a young MIT researcher, James McLurkin, explains how his robots work like a group of ants.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Science,Social Studies
Title: nuclear energy     
Description: Encyclopedic entry. Nuclear energy is the energy in the nucleus, or core, of an atom. Nuclear energy can be used to create electricity, but it must first be released from the atom.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: C1,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Game Boy     
Description: The Nintendo Game Boy was released in 1989. It was a handheld video game console that combined aspects of Nintendo's successful Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) television video game console with their earlier handheld electronic games marketed under the name "Game Watch.'' The Game Boy has continued to be the most popular handheld video game console ever released in the U.S. Today, the display is in color and is sold under the name Game Boy Advance. National Museum of American History
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: Innovative Lives Interview: Wilson Greatbatch     
Description: In this online article from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Wilson Greatbatch talks about becoming an inventor and his work to develop the implantable cardiac pacemaker.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Thinkfinity Interactive Games


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Subject: Arts, Social Studies, Science
Title: Sputnik: Art/Space     
Description: The space age began on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik-the first artificial satellite. Around the world, millions of people tuned their radios to hear it beeping or waited outside to watch it pass overhead.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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