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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Social Studies (4 - 5)
Title: Native Cultures Vs. Explorers in World Court
Description: This lesson represents the end result of a project-based, hands-on unit in which children represent a culture they've researched in a World Court Hearing against the explorers they encountered.


Subject: Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Native Cultures in the Americas
Description: This lesson is part of a project-based, hands-on unit in which children discover the native cultures that existed in the Americas prior to the arrival of explorers. The students will "become" part of their assigned culture through research with a provided research guide to keep them on track. The students will be expected to present their culture to the class after completing research and will be graded by a rubric. The lesson includes the use of the trade book: The Discovery of the Americas by Betsy and Giulio Maestro. The unit has the overriding goal of representing the culture in a World Court Hearing against the explorers they encountered.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5)
Title: Using Primary Sources to Uncover the True Thanksgiving Story
Description: This is an interdisciplinary inquiry-based lesson that focuses on critical thinking.  Students are introduced to the true story of the first Thanksgiving with the reading of a NCSS Notable Trade Book Thanksgiving:  The True Story.  Working in cooperative learning groups, students use primary sources to evaluate the accuracy of the Thanksgiving story currently told in many history textbooks.  This lesson teaches students the importance of using primary sources to construct accurate understandings of historical events.  Extensions in this lesson also integrate science and technology.


Subject: Arts Education (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Explorers Come to America (Activboard and related software suggested)
Description: This lesson gives a brief overview of the fact that America had to be discovered. It also provides an introduction to each of the explorers who are given credit for exploring the American continent between 1492 and 1542.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Creating a Website on Explorers
Description: After researching famous European explorers and choosing the most important ones, students create a web page highlighting European explorers and the discoveries and impact these explorers had on the world. The web page will contain a survey which will allow visitors to select their "Explorer Idol" after reading about each explorer.


Subject: Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Early American Explorers
Description: During this project-based lesson, students will become detectives looking for information about early American explorers. Students will have the opportunity to navigate the Internet to locate important facts about these explorers. Students will get then present their findings in the form of a slideshow presentation, timeline, and bookmark.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Washington, DC Report
Description: Students will utilize the Internet to complete the DC Report during their study of Colonial American history and Washington, DC. They will demonstrate their understanding of the material through a written report using the three modes of writing. (This report may be given in its entirety or it may be broken up into sections.)


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Exploring Explorers
Description: Students will create a video in talk-show format about explorers from the 15th-17th centuries. They will utilize books, the Alabama Virtual Library, and the Internet for reference. Groups of students will answer who, what, when, where, and why questions and then use that information to write a script for the video.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies
Title: Other Worlds: The Voyage of Columbus      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the two worlds that made contact when Columbus stepped ashore in the New World in 1492. The goals of this lesson are to gain an understanding of the forces within European society that found expression in the voyage of Christopher Columbus, to examine the cultures of those whom Columbus and his successors encountered in the New World, to analyze the degree to which cultural expectations shaped the encounter experience for Columbus, and to reconstruct the encounter experience for those who saw Columbus sail into their world.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Jamestown Changes      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson from EDSITEment, students study census data showing the names and occupations of early settlers of the English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, to discern how life changed in the Jamestown settlement in the first few years after it was founded. The goals of this lesson plan are to gain experience gathering information from primary sources, to examine changes over time in conditions at Jamestown as revealed in primary documents from early years in the colony, and to organize a statement of findings.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: What They Left Behind: Early Multi-National Influences in the United States      Add Bookmark
Description: The four lessons in this unit, from EDSITEment, are designed to help students make connections between European voyages of discovery, colonial spheres of influence, and various aspects of American culture. They map 18th-century Europe's influence on what is now the U.S., list remnants of European influence that still remain today, and connect marks of European influence with specific explorers.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: What Was Columbus Thinking?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of eight lessons, from EDSITEment, students read excerpts from Christopher Columbus's letters and journals, as well as recent considerations of his achievements. Students reflect on the motivations behind Columbus's explorations, his reactions to what he found, and the consequences, intended and unintended, of his endeavor.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Cyberspace Explorer: Getting to Know Christopher Columbus      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore multiple online sources to gather information about the life of Christopher Columbus, complete a cyber scavenger hunt, and use their notes to prepare a timeline and summary report.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: America celebrates Thanksgiving Day today.      Add Bookmark
Description: After reading the book '' Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving'' , students read the letter Hale sent to Lincoln and brainstorm a list of ways to make their community better.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: What Makes a Hero?      Add Bookmark
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



Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
Thinkfinity
Thinkfinity
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