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Lesson Plans (13) A detailed description of the instruction for teaching one or more concepts or skills. Podcasts (4) A program (audio or video) made available in digital format for playback or download over the Internet. Informational Materials (17) Textual information containing useful facts or information.
Interactives/Games (6) 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. Learning Assets (1)


ALEX Lesson Plans


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Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or Social Studies (7 - 12)
Title: Famous Failures
Description: The students are shown a video of "Famous Failures" which provides examples of famous people who failed many times prior to becoming successful. The students are encouraged to discuss the different people in the video and are asked to think about the famous person's contributions. Was Walt Disney's impact greater than Henry Ford's? The students then (teacher facilitated) list the ten famous people they would put on a “Top 10 list." This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


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Subject: Social Studies (2 - 10)
Title: UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, ROUTE TO FREEDOM
Description: This activity will require the teacher and student to travel throughout the school and its buildings as they travel the underground railroad. As they travel they will stop at safe houses, rest and eat before they proceed finally crossing the Ohio River to freedom.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - United States History
Title: John Brown and the Underground Railroad     
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students analyze John Brown's attitudes and actions against slavery. They then compare Brown's views with those of other people who were active in the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement. They write journal entries pretending they are Underground Railroad conductors who have adopted John Brown's values and tactics. They write additional paragraphs explaining whether they think they would have been more in agreement with Brown or with pacifist abolitionists.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Battle Over Reconstruction     
Description: This curriculum unit of three lessons examines the social, political and economic conditions of the southern states in the aftermath of the Civil War and shows how these factors helped to shape the Reconstruction debate as well as the subsequent history of American race relations.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Abraham Lincoln, the 1860 Election, and the Future of the American Union and Slavery     
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students explore the wide-ranging debate over American slavery by presenting the lives of its leading opponents and defenders and the views they held about America's peculiar institution. Students identify influential opponents and defenders of American slavery and compare their respective biographies, explain the reasons given for and against the morality and legitimacy of slavery under the U.S. Constitution, and articulate an economic argument in favor of slavery and an opposing argument on behalf of free labor.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: An Early Threat of Secession: The Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Nullification Crisis     
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students explore the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Nullification Crisis, which occurred a decade later. Students learn how the controversies over slavery's expansion and federal tariffs further entrenched the dividing line between northern and southern interests.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: On the Eve of War: North vs. South     
Description: This lesson will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the North and South on the eve of the war.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: History Now     
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site, from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, is a quarterly online journal for teachers and students. The site features lesson plans, reflections from leading historians, multimedia interactive resources such as audio clips and slideshows and an '' Ask the Archivist'' section where teachers and students can send questions and see the answers posted on the site. Users can find information on Abraham Lincoln, national holidays, elections, voting rights, immigration, the American West, slavery, abolitionism and the Civil Rights Movement.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854: Popular Sovereignty and the Political Polarization over Slavery     
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students explore the wide-ranging debate over American slavery by presenting the lives of its leading opponents and defenders and the views they held about America's peculiar institution. Students identify influential opponents and defenders of American slavery and compare their respective biographies, explain the reasons given for and against the morality and legitimacy of slavery under the U.S. Constitution, and articulate an economic argument in favor of slavery and an opposing argument on behalf of free labor.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - United States History
Title: The Great Plains: A Harsh Welcome to Settlers     
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students consider the experiences of settlers on the American Great Plains in the late 1800s. They explore the ways in which humans use technology to overcome obstacles in the physical environment.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



ALEX Learning Assets


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Title: Causes of the Civil War
Digital Tool: Xtranormal Video
Digital Tool Description: The Xtranormal video depicts a discussion about the causes of the U.S. Civil War between Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln. Both presidents are represented by cartoon avatars that resemble each president. **Because the video is from YouTube, instructions for how to address potential school site Internet blockages are listed in the "Advanced Preparation" section of this page.


ALEX Podcasts


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William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War
Overview:
ArchiTreats: Food for Thought continues another year of informative talks on Alabama history at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Join us as Eric Walther presents William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War. Eric Walther’s talk, based on his recent biography of William Lowndes Yancey, could easily be titled “the making of a fire eater,” or “the Yancey that nobody knows.” Professor Walther will detail the many profound and troubling incidents in the early years of Yancey’s life in order to explain how this man transformed from a die-hard Unionist into Alabama’s premier secessionist. Family turbulence and violence combined with the hypocrisy and duplicity of his Northern step-father, resulting in Yancey’s early rejection and distrust of Northern society and his belief in the innate superiority of the slaveholding regime of the antebellum South. As disunion grew close in the 1850s, in a speech to students at the University of Alabama, Yancey all but pronounced himself the embodiment of the South and its leading defender. Eric Walther teaches U.S. History at the University of Houston. His specialty is the Antebellum South and the coming of the Civil War. He received a B.A. in History and American Studies from California State University, Fullerton and M. A. and Ph.D. degrees from Louisiana State University. Walther is the author of three books, numerous articles, and book reviews. Shattering of the Union: America in the 1850s, won a Choice Magazine book award in 2004. William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War was published by the University of North Carolina Press in the spring of 2006 and has received the James Rawley Award from the Southern Historical Association and the Jefferson Davis Award from the Mus eum of the Confederacy. This program is part of the statewide Becoming Alabama initiative to commemorate three landmark events in the development of Alabama: the Creek War of 1813‐1814, the CivilWar and Emancipation, and th e Civil Rights Movement. ArchiTreats: Food for Thought lecture series is made possible by the Friends of the Alabama Archives. The public is invited to bring a sack lunch and enjoy a bit of Alabama history. Coffee and tea will be provided by the Friends of the Alabama Archives. For more information, call (334) 353‐4726.


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Alabama's Civil War: Researching and Writing "Selma: A Novel of the Civil War"
Overview:
In Val L. McGee's new book, Selma: A Novel of the Civil War, hope is born of tragedy. Join us as McGee presents, "Alabama's Civil War: Researching and Writing Selma: A Novel of the Civil War." This ‘Bonus' ArchiTreats: Food for Thought presentation was held at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. The drama in Selma: A Novel of the Civil War is taken primarily from the pages of Alabama newspapers published in the early 1860s, available only through the reference room of the Alabama Archives. Selma also reflects research in more than 250 slave cases decided by the Alabama Supreme Court from 1819 to 1865 as published in the state Supreme Court's Alabama Reports. In this presentation McGee will share the historical research which informs almost every page of this novel and he will discuss the process of writing a historical novel. Reviewer Dr. Norwood Kerr noted that, "Selma is especially vivid in describing the pre-war ‘Queen City of the Black Belt.'... Moderate unionists, fire-eating secessionists, and free and enslaved blacks - Judge McGee gives voice to all with both precision and compassion." Val McGee is a past president of the Alabama Historical Association and the Friends of the Alabama Archives He is the author of Claybank Memories: A History of Dale County, Alabama; The Origins of Fort Rucker; and A Cross Above: A History of the First United Methodist Church of Ozark, Alabama. He served as an infantry officer at Camp Rucker and in Europe during World War II. An attorney by profession, he was an Alabama trial judge from 1981 to 1993. Selma is his first novel. This ‘Bonus' ArchiTreats is presented by the Alabama Department of Archives and History.  


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The Cotton State
Overview:
ArchiTreats: Food for Thought celebrates the Year of Alabama History through a series of sequential lectures in Alabama history by leading experts in the field. While many think of antebellum Alabama as a state of magnolias and cotton plantations, that picture tells only part of the story. This program will show how three groups – white yeomen farmers, planter elites, and enslaved African Americans – together created the “cotton state” in Alabama. It will begin with a description of the differences between life in the yeoman sections of the state – the hill counties and the Wiregrass – and life in the plantation areas – the Black Belt and the Tennessee Valley. Each of these groups contributed to and shaped Alabama society and antebellum politics. The program will examine some of the “hot” political topics of the time – the state bank, congressional districting, taxation, state aid for railroads, and secession from the Union. Montgomery - native J. Mills Thornton is a professor of history at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Professor Thornton received his bachelor’s degree with high honors from Princeton University in 1966, and his doctorate from Yale University in 1974, joining the faculty of the University of Michigan in that year. His book, Politics and Power in a Slave Society: Alabama, 1800-1860, published in 1978, received the Dunning Prize of the American Historical Association. His second book, Dividing Lines: Municipal Politics and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Montgomery, Birmingham and Selma, published in 2002, received the Liberty Legacy Prize of the Organization of American Historians. During 2007-08, he served as the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at the University of Cambridge in England. This ArchiTreats presentation is made possible by the Friends of the Alabama Archives and a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Thinkfinity Podcasts


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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Cotton Gin Video     
Description: In this video, students will see both long-staple and short-staple cotton fibers processed in a roller gin and saw gin model similar to that patented by Eli Whitney, to better understand the impact of the cotton gin on cotton production in the U.S. Short staple cotton, with short fibers that stick to the seeds inside, was the type of cotton grown in most of the American south. This video does not include sound, but can be used with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation resource packet, http://invention.smithsonian.org/centerpieces/whole_cloth/index.html" Whole Cloth .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Web Resources


Lesson Plans


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Travel the Underground Railroad: Escape to Freedom
http://teacher.schol...
This site is packed full of teacher materials and student activities to help students travel the Underground Railroad and step back in time.

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The Ex-Slave Narratives Lesson Plans
http://newdeal.feri....
These lessons include slave narratives, analyzing historical documents, and compare/contrast slave experiences using technology and collaborative learning groups.

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Judgment Day: For and Against Freedom
http://www.pbs.org/w...
This lesson uses a program segment and primary sources to deepen understanding of the militant phase of anti-slavery activism inspired by the pamphlets, newspapers, speeches, and organized campaigns of early 19th-century abolitionists. Students can perform guided research into the lives and ideologies of famous abolitionists, notably women abolitionists, and create fictional dialogues between them.

Informational Materials


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Travel the Underground Railroad: Escape to Freedom
http://teacher.schol...
This site is packed full of teacher materials and student activities to help students travel the Underground Railroad and step back in time.

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The Lincoln Line
http://www.historypl...
A timeline of the life of Abraham Lincoln. This has some illustrations that can be used for visuals and links to events that happened during Lincoln's life and the Civil War.

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Encyclopedia of Alabama
http://www.encyclope...
The Encyclopedia of Alabama is a free, online reference resource on Alabama’s history, culture, geography, and natural environment. This site offers articles on Alabama's famous people, historic events, sports, art, literature, industry, government, plant and animal life, agriculture, recreation, and so much more.

Learning Activities


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Travel the Underground Railroad: Escape to Freedom
http://teacher.schol...
This site is packed full of teacher materials and student activities to help students travel the Underground Railroad and step back in time.

Save to ALEX | Share Share | Show Details
Judgment Day: For and Against Freedom
http://www.pbs.org/w...
This lesson uses a program segment and primary sources to deepen understanding of the militant phase of anti-slavery activism inspired by the pamphlets, newspapers, speeches, and organized campaigns of early 19th-century abolitionists. Students can perform guided research into the lives and ideologies of famous abolitionists, notably women abolitionists, and create fictional dialogues between them.

Thinkfinity Informational Materials


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Subject: Social Studies
Title: United States Cent, 1974 (aluminum)     
Description: This one-cent piece from 1974 is perfectly normal-except for one thing. It was struck in aluminum rather than bronze. Lincoln's bust graces the obverse, just as it has done for over ninety-five years. And the Lincoln Memorial appears on the reverse, just as it has since the closing years of the Eisenhower Administration. The choice of aluminum over bronze is what makes this coin legendary. How did it happen, and why?
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies,Religion
Title: TeacherServe     
Description: This site, from the National Humanities Center, offers teacher guides that provide balanced perspectives on a range of humanities topics. It is an interactive site offering high school English and history teachers practical help in planning courses and presenting rigorous subject matter to students. It is designed to deepen course content by providing convenient access to scholarship tailored to classroom use.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Slave Shackles     
Description: In the 15th century, decades before they sailed into the Caribbean, Spanish merchants, captains, and adventurers had already conquered and enslaved the people of the Canary Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. On the western coast of continental Africa, the Portuguese had been cultivating a slavery-based economic policy. This legacy of conquest and slavery shaped the colonization of Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean. Some of the first American encounters between Europeans, Indians, and Africans took place in Puerto Rico, and its early history of genocidal violence and physical exploitation was repeated throughout the Americas.
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: Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms     
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site, from the Newberry Library, provides historically significant map documents for K-12 teachers and their students. Illustrating the geographical dimensions of American history, the maps are accompanied by lesson plans written for four grade levels and designed to support a variety of social studies, history and geography curricula.
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: Extraordinary Evidence     
Description: In this lesson plan from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will review an online exhibition, conduct historical research using artifacts and primary source documents, and develop group presentations that discuss ways that Abraham Lincoln's life was extraordinary. This lesson plan is one of the resources connected with the online exhibition entitled "Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life'' .
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: The Antebellum Army     
Description: West Pointers helped lay the groundwork for America's economic development, intellectual growth and territorial expansion in the years before the Civil War. Using objects, images and short biographical sketches, this section of the online exhibition entitled "West Point in the Making of America'' , from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, teaches students how West Point Graduates played a major role in westward expansion and the development of the nation's transportation network and advances in technology between 1802 and 1860.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies,Geography
Title: U.S.-Mexican War     
Description: This PBS site tells the dramatic story of a war in which Mexico lost almost half of its national territory to the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: NYPL Digital Schomburg Images of 19th Century African-Americans     
Description: Sponsored by the New York Public Library, this site contains an extensive primary source archive of photographs, woodcuts, and other images of 19th century African-Americans from the Schomburg Collection.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Sam Houston's Hunting Knife     
Description: Sam Houston emerged as a prominent player in the affairs of Texas. Houston was elected commander in chief of the armies of Texas and took control of the Texas forces after the fall of the Alamo. On April 21, 1836, his force defeated Santa Anna and secured Texas independence. Houston was elected the first president of the Republic of Texas. After statehood in 1845, Houston was elected senator from Texas to the Congress of the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies,Geography
Title: Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition     
Description: Annotated journals of Lewis and Clark during their expedition. Images, maps, and audio readings of scholarship on Lewis and Clark.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: History Now     
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site, from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, is a quarterly online journal for teachers and students. The site features lesson plans, reflections from leading historians, multimedia interactive resources such as audio clips and slideshows and an '' Ask the Archivist'' section where teachers and students can send questions and see the answers posted on the site. Users can find information on Abraham Lincoln, national holidays, elections, voting rights, immigration, the American West, slavery, abolitionism and the Civil Rights Movement.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Samuel Slater's Spinning Wheel     
Description: This 48-spindle spinning machine, the oldest piece of cotton machinery in America, was built by Samuel Slater, and first operated by him on December 20, 1790, at Pawtucket, Rhode Island. One hundred years later, 1890, it was lent to the city of Pawtucket for exhibition at the Cotton Centenary, a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of cotton spinning by power machinery on the Western Hemisphere, and yarn was spun on it by an old man who had tended the spinning frame in the 'Old Slater Mill' when he was a boy. In 1876, it was exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, and in 1885, was lent by the National Museum for exhibition at the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans. Presented by the Rhode Island Society For The Encouragement of Domestic Industry.
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: Belt Revolver     
Description: The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 allowed the two states to decide the issue of slavery by a popular ballot. The fight in Kansas was so intense that the state earned the nickname Bleeding Kansas. John Brown bought 2,000 of these revolvers and sent them to Kansas for the Free-Soilers.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Thinkfinity Interactive Games


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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Preparing for the Oath: The 1800s     
Description: Explore the history of America in the 1800s through short videos, mini-activities, and practice questions in this segment of Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship. The eight questions included in this segment cover topics such as the Civil War, slavery, the Louisiana Purchase, and Susan B. Anthony.This site was designed with the needs of recent immigrants in mind. It is written at a low-intermediate ESL level.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Preparing for the Oath: A Growing Nation     
Description: Explore the history of the peopling of America through short videos, mini-activities, and practice questions in this segment of Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship. The eight questions included in this segment cover topics such as American Indians, British colonists, slavery, westward expansion, and immigration.This site was designed with the needs of recent immigrants in mind. It is written at a low-intermediate ESL level.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Civil War     
Description: From 1861-1865, Americans battled over preserving their Union and ending slavery. The Civil War is the focus of this section of The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, an online exhibition. This pivotal and complicated period of American history is divided into sections that allow students to focus either on a specific aspect of the war, or the conflict as a whole. The sections included are: John Brown, Fort Sumter, the Battle of Bull Run, major turning points, the war at sea, Wilderness to Appomattox, political leaders, military leaders, soldiers in blue and gray; battles and casualties and Reconstruction and the legacies of the war. A non-flash version of this site is available: http://americanhistory.si.edu/militaryhistory/printable/section.asp?id=5" The Civil War .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: John Brown's Legacy     
Description: In this lesson, students will examine primary sources to understand John Brown's actions in Harpers Ferry and will develop a creative project on his legacy. This resource 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: 9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: History Now     
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site, from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, is a quarterly online journal for teachers and students. The site features lesson plans, reflections from leading historians, multimedia interactive resources such as audio clips and slideshows and an '' Ask the Archivist'' section where teachers and students can send questions and see the answers posted on the site. Users can find information on Abraham Lincoln, national holidays, elections, voting rights, immigration, the American West, slavery, abolitionism and the Civil Rights Movement.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Price of Freedom: Learning Resources     
Description: Included in this collection of learning resources connected with the online exhibition entitled "The Price of Freedom: Americans at War'' , are "Who Am I? A History Mystery'' , an interactive game in which students select a mystery character from the Civil War and examine objects that hold the key to their identity, and a teacher's manual that contains fifteen classroom activities for students in grades 5-12. 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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