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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (K), or Science (K)
Title: "Panda"-mania!
Description: In this lesson students will discover the many different ways animals change as they get older. Students will explore specifically the life of a baby panda; his looks, behaviors, and his characteristics.  This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: Arts Education (2), or English Language Arts (1 - 2), or English Language Arts (K), or Science (K - 2)
Title: Camouflage (Predator vs Prey) at Little River Canyon National Preserve
Description: The hunter is the predator while the hunted is the prey. Both animals try to make themselves appear as part of their natural surroundings. Predators do not wish to be seen while hunting and prey want to hide when hunted. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


Subject: Science (K - 5)
Title: Little River Canyon's Carnivorous Green Pitcher Plants
Description: A digital slide program introduces the Green Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia oreophila) to the students.  Students use a model of the Green Pitcher Plant and plastic insects to role play. They will tell the story of habitat adaptation and interaction around the pitcher plant bog. Pitcher Plants and the animals in the neighborhood have lives interconnected to the environment. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


Subject: Science (K - 2), or Social Studies (K - 2), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Continent Jump
Description: Students will learn about animals that live on all seven continents. Students and teachers will use websites to learn additional information about the animals from various continents.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.


Subject: Science (K), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: From Egg to Chick
Description: This lesson is intended to help students realize that they can learn much about eggs/chicks or any animal through careful observation. They will become familiar with the importance and proper care of eggs/chicks, whether on a farm or in a classroom hatching project.


Subject: Arts Education (K), or English Language Arts (K), or English Language Arts (K), or Mathematics (2), or Science (K)
Title: The Very Hungry Class
Description: Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is a great trade book to teach many concepts across the curriculum. This lesson has activities to excite your students in all subject areas. Students will be familiar with the metamorphsis process and will enrich skills in other curriculium areas.


Subject: Science (K - 1)
Title: Living Things
Description: During this lesson students will learn about living things. Through this hands-on lesson, students will have the opportunity to create a slideshow presentation and plant poster and explore Internet sites to learn about living things.


Subject: Science (K - 1), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Zoo Animals
Description: This theme unit on animals includes activities that can be used in centers or in a whole-group setting. A variety of subject areas are addressed with emphasisis on the use of technology.


Subject: English Language Arts (K), or English Language Arts (K), or Science (K), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Hush Down Under
Description: During this lesson students will listen to a read-aloud of Possum Magic, by Mem Fox. Students will then help the teacher search the Internet for Australian connections (animals and habitats). The students will write in their journals about Australian animals, then the class will create a class book to remember the information they learn during the lesson.


Subject: Science (K), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Science Egg Experiment
Description: Students will participate in a hands-on activity that will determine which egg is easier to break, a hard boiled egg or a raw egg. Students will be introduced to the concept of hypothesizing and will be active participants in a simple science experiment. Using visual learning software, students will summarize the activities.


Subject: Science (K), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Oh, Baby!
Description: In this lesson, students will learn to identify baby farm animals. The students will view different pictures of baby farm animals and learn many characteristics of baby farm animals.


Subject: Science (K - 2), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Farm Animals Thematic Unit
Description: Students will participate in a thematic study about the farm. They will work cooperatively to create a book about farm animals using technology resources. This project will take approximately 5 days and can be used in conjunction with or at the end of a farm unit.


Subject: English Language Arts (K), or English Language Arts (K), or Science (K)
Title: Pumpkins
Description: During this lesson students will be involved in hands-on discovery activities using pumpkins and pumpkin seeds. They will compare the size and weight of their pumpkins. They will also have an opportunity to taste pumpkin seeds. Students will also learn how to create a simple illustration using a graphics software program on the computer or the Internet.


Subject: Science (K - 4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Wanted Dead or Alive!
Description: In this lesson students will identify the characteristics of living and nonliving things.


Subject: Science (K - 1), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Three Awesome Bears
Description: The lesson will be implemented during a study of bears. Books, class discussions, and the Internet will be used to learn about bears and their characteristics. Black, brown, and polar bears will be categorized according to their food and their habitat. As a culminating activity the students will use "Kidspiration" software to match bears with their habitat and food.


Subject: English Language Arts (K), or English Language Arts (K), or Science (K), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Once Upon A Bear
Description: This lesson uses children's literature as a basis for a cross-curricular mini-unit on bears.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Elementary Ecosystems      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students are introduced to the basics of species interdependency within an ecosystem. They perform a simple simulation to see how one species can affect many others. For older students, the term ecosystem can be defined and used in the lesson.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Science - Oceanography - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Beluga Whales in the Ice      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Xpeditions, asks students to think about how beluga whales survive in icy Arctic and subarctic waters and why they sometimes need to migrate. Students view and sketch photographs of ice at different stages of thickness, look at pictures of belugas, and discuss how belugas' bodies are adapted to life in the ice. They conclude by writing and illustrating paragraphs about how belugas survive in the ice and where the whales go when the ice becomes too thick.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science
Title: What Were Dinosaurs Like?      Add Bookmark
Description: This Science NetLinks lesson is the second of a two-part series on dinosaurs. Activities and discussions in this lesson revolve around comparing and contrasting dinosaurs to animals with which students are familiar. Students consider likenesses and differences through researching various questions and documenting their findings.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Leatherback Sea Turtles and Their Special Compasses      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson from Xpeditions, students learn some basic information about leatherback sea turtles and hypothesize about why individual leatherbacks were able to find their way from Costa Rica to the Galapagos Islands without any obvious navigational aids. They learn to use compasses and hear about research indicating that leatherbacks might have their own internal compasses. Finally, students draw pictures of people and leatherbacks navigating the ocean and write paragraphs to explain their drawings.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Let's Build a Snowman      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, students use both fiction and nonfiction texts, the Internet, and a K-W-L chart to learn about how animals survive the winter.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Health, Science
Title: Taking Care of a Baby      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students are introduced to the basics of how a baby grows inside its mother until its birth. They then consider and discuss the birthing process. Then students are led into the third part of the lesson, which focuses on the early years of infancy. They are prompted to think about the kinds of basic needs infants have and the critical role adults play in ensuring a baby's healthy physical, emotional, and cognitive development.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science
Title: Investigating Local Ecosystems      Add Bookmark
Description: The purpose of this Science NetLinks lesson is to use Internet resources to investigate the habitats of local plants and animals and to explore some of the ways animals depend on plants and each other. In the lesson, students observe living organisms in a local ecosystem and create detailed drawings and descriptions of them.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science
Title: Science NetLinks      Add Bookmark
Description: The American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science NetLinks strives to be a comprehensive ''homepage'' for K-12 science educators. At the heart of Science NetLinks are standards-based lesson plans that incorporate reviewed Internet resources, and can be selected according to specific benchmarks and grade ranges. Each lesson is tied to at least one learning goal and uses research-based instructional strategies that support student learning. The lessons are written for the teacher, but include student-ready materials such as student sheets (student reproducibles) or E-Sheets (online worksheets that enable students to engage directly in Internet activities). Science NetLinks is a member of the MarcoPolo consortium.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: The Frog Beyond the Fairy Tale Character: Searching Informational Texts      Add Bookmark
Description: Frogs often appear as the main character in fiction stories, but what do students really know about frogs? Students find out in this lesson in which they research real-life frogs.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Forest Features      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students learn about different types of forests--temperate deciduous forests, temperate evergreen forests, and tropical rain forests. Students concentrate on the tropical rain forest and learn about explorer Michael Fay's Congo Trek through the African rain forest.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science
Title: Changing Cicada      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students study how offspring are very much, but not exactly, like their parents in the context of the periodical cicadas.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Science - Entomology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Insects We Love and Hate      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson is about insects rather than parasites, but it teaches students about some insect parasites (e.g. mosquitoes and lice) as well as about insects in general. They see pictures of insects that bite and sting, and others of insects that don t bother people. They then classify insects into likeable and not-so-likeable categories and draw pictures of insects that people like and don t like.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: The Incredible Prairie Picture Show      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students explore the incredible biodiversity of the prairies. They identify characteristics and species of the prairie ecosystem and create classroom murals and reports about what they have learned.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Writing Reports in Kindergarten? Yes!      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson encourages young students to see themselves as writers with a message to convey. Three types of reports are provided to show what kindergartners and emergent writers can do.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K



Subject: Science
Title: Hatching Chickens      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Science NetLinks, is intended to help students understand the importance of carefully observing and caring for eggs and chickens in the classroom. Students come to realize that they can learn a lot about chickens--and animals in general--through close observation.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science
Title: What Plants Need to Grow CROPS      Add Bookmark
Description: This Science NetLinks lesson is the second of a two-part series on where food comes from. In this lesson, students explore how to grow plants and learn what kinds of things promote growth (warmth, sunlight, water, soil). Their activities involve learning about how seeds and plants grow and participating in a simple, in-class gardening project. Contains investigation / experiment
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Reading and Writing About Whales Using Fiction and Nonfiction Texts      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will have a whale of a good time in this lesson in which they use fiction and nonfiction texts to write a letter to an online scientist.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Who Am I?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students learn about many different animals that live in deserts. They learn what the animals look like and about characteristics that enable them to live in the harsh environment of desert habitats.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science, Mathematics
Title: It Counts      Add Bookmark
Description: This Science NetLinks lesson is designed to help students understand and reinforce how numbers are assigned to objects, as well as encourage them to think about more, less, or equal values. In the lesson, students are asked to describe, compare, and classify plants. Students should be able to use numbers concretely and descriptively to count as they make specific observations about plants.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Look at Those Leaves!      Add Bookmark
Description: This Science NetLinks lesson has students observe, measure, and sort tree leaves. They examine leaves individually, in groups, and in relationship to the entire tree.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science
Title: Insect Models      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students explore insects by making models of insects of their choice. When the models are completed, students can compare their models to the insects themselves and to pictures of the insects.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Caribou Migration      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson introduces students to caribou and their migratory behavior. Students learn some basic facts about caribou and map the migration route of the Porcupine caribou herd of Alaska and northwestern Canada. They conclude by drawing pictures of scenes along this migration route and writing captions to describe their drawings.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Wildebeest Migration      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students make maps of the wildebeest migration route in eastern Africa. They look at wildebeest photographs and write stories about wildebeests and their migration.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Arctic Terns from North to South      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students map the arctic tern's migration route and consider why it migrates so far. They conclude by writing paragraphs describing the arctic tern's migration route and explaining how they think it knows when it's time to migrate.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science
Title: Changing Cicada: E-sheet      Add Bookmark
Description: This E-sheet, from a Science NetLinks lesson, provides students with an interactive slide show detailing the growth stages of cicadas.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Arts - Visual Arts - Science - Earth science - Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Can We Keep the Lake Clean?      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson introduces students to the water cycle by having them help draw a picture of a lake ecosystem, adding human impacts that affect water quality. Students conclude by creating their own illustrations of human-induced changes to a lake ecosystem.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Arts - Photography - Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Science - Earth science - Science - Oceanography - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Into the Ocean      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students learn about the special adaptations of familiar animals. Students study different ocean depths and the ways in which animals have adapted to live at them. In the process, they look at the photographs of David Doubilet and think about how photography can help save the oceans.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science
Title: Magnify It!      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students view objects of various sizes from several viewing distances to discover that their visual field is limited. Students record what they see and compare their observations with classmates in an open, nonjudgmental forum. They have the opportunity to speculate about and experiment freely with magnifying glasses and also conduct more structured experiments.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Pacific Salmon      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students learn about pacific salmon, including the salmon migration route and the fact that salmon are able to return to the streams where they were born after spending years swimming in the ocean. They see photographs of salmon at different stages of their lives and illustrate maps with salmon pictures. Students conclude by performing skits showing the salmon life cycle and migration.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Natural History - Science - Paleontology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Dinosaur Bodies      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Xpeditions, asks students to think about the ways in which living animals use their bodies and the ways in which dinosaurs might have used their bodies, based on fossil evidence and our best educated guesses. They draw pictures of dinosaurs engaging in realistic activities and write explanations as to how the dinosaurs are using their bodies in these activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Elephant Seals on the Beach      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students consider the fact that northern elephant seals, like many animals, select very different locations for different activities. Adult seals spend most of their time swimming around the northeastern Pacific and feeding in deep waters, but they come to shore twice a year to breed, give birth, and molt. Since it's much easier to observe and record elephant seals on the beach than in the ocean, students concentrate on some of these beach activities by viewing photographs and videos of elephant seals. They draw pictures pretending they have visited one of the rookery beaches.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science
Title: Where Does Food Come From? CROP      Add Bookmark
Description: This Science NetLinks lesson is the first of a two-part series on where food comes from. In this lesson, students learn that most of the food they buy in stores originally comes from farms. Students sing a song about growing crops on a farm and learn from the lyrics the kinds of things that farmers do and need to grow plants.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Investigating Animals: Using Nonfiction for Inquiry-based Research      Add Bookmark
Description: Inspired by their curiosity about animals, students work together to research an animal of their choice and present the information they gather to an authentic audience.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Science - Oceanography - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Fish Aren't Afraid of the Dark!      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students are introduced to the concept of bioluminescence and consider how animals benefit from having their own light sources. They look at pictures of bioluminescent marine animals and conclude by making collages or writing stories pretending they have just seen bioluminescent animals from a deep sea vehicle.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Natural History - Science - Paleontology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: A Dinosaur's Neighborhood      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions student activity, students learn about the preferred habitat of Tyrannosaurus rex. They are then asked to choose the most appropriate habitat from three presented.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Whooping Cranes and Their Human Friends      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson shows students how people are helping endangered whooping cranes by teaching cranes raised in captivity how to live in the wild and how to migrate. Students view videos or photographs of whooping cranes being raised by mechanical crane-like puppets and being led in their first migration journeys by piloted ultralight aircraft disguised as birds. They conclude by creating timelines showing the process by which whooping cranes are raised in captivity and taught migration routes.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science, Social Studies
Title: Groups We Belong To      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Science NetLinks, students begin to think about and identify different kinds of groups. They see that people are born into certain groups and that they join others. They also explore the circumstances that surround group affiliation and participation.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: K,1,2



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