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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Science (3 - 5)
Title: Nature's Life Cycle
Description: In this lesson from "The Friends of Auntie Litter", (www.auntielitter.org), characteristics of living things will be explored.  Auntie Litter challenges the Litter Patrol to determine which of three green plants is alive.  This lesson is one from the “Take Pride Statewide” series.


Subject: Science (3 - 4)
Title: Recycle to Renew
Description: In this lesson from "The Friends of Auntie Litter", (www.auntielitter.org), renewable resources, such as trees, will be explored. This lesson is one from the “Take Pride Statewide” series.   *This lesson is provided by Julie Danley, Pam Walston, and Pat Mitchell.


Subject: Science (4)
Title: Make a Difference!
Description: In this lesson from "The Friends of Auntie Litter", (www.auntielitter.org), relationships between living things will be explored.  Auntie Litter and the Pollution Patrol explore humankind's relationship with plants and animals in all the cycles of life.  They then review the many ways in which a person can make a difference by protecting the environment everyday.  This lesson is one from the “Take Pride Statewide” series.


Subject: English Language Arts (K - 2), or Science (3 - 12)
Title: A Journey Through the Trees
Description: The teacher will discuss the importance of trees with the students. The teacher will provide photographs of various trees that grow in Russell Cave National Monument and the surrounding North Alabama area. The teacher will discuss significant features of each tree and pertinent ways to identify them. The collection may include: Dogwood, various Oak, Hickory, Pine, Maple, Cedar, Beech, Elm, and Birch trees. The teacher will take a nature walk with the students in order for each child to choose a tree and do a bark rub. The students will compare their art and write a journal entry in order to describe something they learned about their particular tree. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


Subject: Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Touch and Feel: Plant Adaptations
Description: This introductory lesson centers on getting hands-on before getting drug into the vocabulary and nomenclature. In cooperative learning groups students will describe leaves in simple terms.  Then, students will use various resources for specific identification of leaves.


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Science (4 - 5)
Title: Venomous Snakes of Little River Canyon National Preserve
Description: There are three known venomous snakes found at Little River Canyon. They include the timber rattlesnake, copperhead, and cottonmouth.


Subject: Mathematics (5), or Physical Education (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Field Challenge Strategy Game: Plant Adaptations
Description: Use a game to challenge students to understand the fight for sunlight, nutrients, and water. This simple strategy game encourages students to balance ability with need in taking over an open field. Succession is the end game.


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: Physical Education (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Race for Life: Plant Adaptations
Description: This is an outdoors, hands-on activity.  Create a short race course to engage students in physical activity while drawing comparisons to the plant kingdom. This activity serves as an introductory to the impact small changes can have on the ability of a plant to compete for sunlight, soil, and water. Each race serves as an analogy to a specific type of adaptation.


Subject: Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: I Will Survive
Description: As part of the study of animals and their adaptations, the students will explore different adaptations animals have and how they use them (either as prey or predator). The students will also identify camouflage (blending in with the surroundings), mimicry (looking like something else), and behaviors (hibernating). The students will use the internet to find animals that use the various types of adaptation. This will be done in cooperative groups, preferably in a computer lab.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.


Subject: Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: What Color are the Leaves?
Description: Where do the brilliant colors of fall come from? Most leaves appear green. In the fall, leaves turn orange, yellow, and red. Most leaves aren't changing colors. The pigments are always present in the leaves. The green pigment overpowers the other colors during spring and summer. Using chromatography, students will be able to see the colors always present in a leaf, even if the only color they can see is green. This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.


Subject: Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Making Tracks
Description: This lesson will allow students to explain or interpret possible scenarios from a single set of observations. Emphasis should be on supporting interpretations with concrete observations.


Subject: Science (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Leap Into The Life Cycle Of a Frog
Description: During this lesson students explore the life cycle of a frog. They will raise frogs in the classroom from tadpoles and document and describe each stage of the life cycle.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Whales, Whales, Whales!
Description: During this lesson, students work with other students from another school to collect information about different species of whales. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the differences via video conferences. Students work together to develop a plan to help conserve whales.


Subject: Science (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Animals with Backbones
Description: Students will learn about animals with backbones and then create a slideshow presentation that shows the characteristics of the different groups of vertebrates. They will also create a brochure explaining how a specific animal is adapted to survive in a particular environment.


Subject: Arts Education (3 - 5), or English Language Arts (3 - 4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Animal Environment and Adaptation
Description: In this lesson students will enjoy different activities focusing on how animals adapt to their environments. They will begin by researching two animals, their environment, and the ways the animals adapt to this environment. In small groups students will invent a new animal, including its environment and adaptations. Using presentation software, students will introduce their new animals to the class.


Subject: Science (4 - 7), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Is That a Whale?
Description: This lesson will increase student knowledge of whale anatomy and habitat while using the Internet for information gathering.


Subject: Science (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Crowding Animals- How Close is Too Close?
Description: In this lesson students will explore the concept of crowding as it relates to people and animals. The main purpose of this lesson is for students to recognize the possible negative consequences to people and animals as a result of crowding.


Subject: Science (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: At Home in a Biome
Description: This lesson allows students to study and learn the names and characteristics of Earth's six major biomes. The biomes are introduced with a slideshow presentation. A paper-folding poster activity gives students the opportunity to reinforce what they have learned. The culminating activity, a diorama, provides an avenue for creativity as students create a three-dimensional model of a biome.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Animals: Unique Creatures With Great Features
Description: During this unit of study, students will become knowledgeable of animals' characteristics, basic needs and habitats. The purpose of this unit is to educate students through investigation and research about various animals and the characteristics which link them to specific animal groups. Students will present information through models, oral reports and presentations.


Subject: Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Where is the Dirt? A Lesson in Hydroponics
Description: This lesson will be developed around hydroponic gardening, the growing of plants without soil. Using the Internet, students will research hydroponics and share their knowledge with the class. A classroom hydroponic garden will be constructed for observation.


Subject: Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Animal Adaptations
Description: Students use technology tools to research and produce a multimedia product on animals and their habitats. This a collaborative project involving the library media specialist, classroom teacher, and special education teacher.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Creature Comforts
Description: What do living things need to survive? In this unit, students explore different habitats and the adaptations made by living things to survive. Students will create a website matching an animal’s adaptations to its environment. Then, they will contribute a slide to a multimedia presentation of imaginary creatures and their adaptations to a habitat.


Subject: Mathematics (3 - 6), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Now You See Me...Now You Don't!
Description: An animal’s physical characteristics, such as its body color, may give it a better chance of survival. For example, the body colors of many animals blend with their background. In this investigation, students will see that body color may help some animals survive by making them nearly invisible to predators. This lesson is designed to introduce students to the concept of camouflage as an animal adaptation.


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: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: The Power of the Presentation
Description: Students will research an endangered African animal using resources from the Alabama Virtual Library and other Internet sites, and then design and present a persuasive and informative digital slideshow presentation on the animal and how to prevent extinction.


Subject: Science (4)
Title: Importance of Fur for Animals
Description: This is a lesson to teach students how to read a thermometer and gain an understanding of why fur is important for some animals' survival.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Animals as Pets: Everything You Need to Know
Description: Choosing pets and caring for them appropriately is important for children. Many times children choose a pet without knowing the responsibility that is involved in pet care. In this lesson the students will work in pairs to research and present detailed information about a selected animal, including specifics about the animal and how to care for it as a pet.


Subject: Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Amazing Adaptations - Probing Pinnipeds
Description: This is a technology rich, hands-on science experiment exploring the world of pinniped adaptations using a digital probe as a data collection device.


Subject: Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Endangered Species: What are they and how can we help them?
Description: The topic of endangered species is one that needs to be addressed with every student. As more and more plants and animals become extinct, students, as inhabitants of this ecosystem, need to be aware that human actions affect the planet. The purpose of this lesson is to educate students on endangered species and to provide them with basic knowledge of the causes of these tragic extinctions.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Science
Title: Bird Beaks      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students explore the relationship between a bird's beak and its ability to find food and survive in a given environment. Students learn about bird beaks through observation, both virtual and of local birds, and through a variety of games and activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science
Title: Pond Life      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, the first in a two-part series on microorganisms, students investigate familiar and unfamiliar ecosystems using Internet resources, explore how various organisms satisfy their needs within their environments, and study the kinds of relationships that exist between organisms within an environment.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Current Events/Issues - Social Studies - Geography
Title: People and Endangered Species      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students examine some endangered species and the ways that human activities contribute to species endangerment. Students are asked to devise their own species protection plans.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Preserving Biodiversity      Add Bookmark
Description: In this student activity from, Xpeditions, students take on the role of zoo director with a mission to teach people about the importance of biodiversity. Students examine maps and then create their own map that illustrates areas of the world where endangered species are found.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science, Social Studies
Title: Animal Adaptations      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Science NetLinks, students participate in classroom discussions about animals. They also visit a Web site to learn more about animals and how well (or poorly) they've adapted to satisfying their needs in their natural habitats. These activities will help move them toward the goal, in later grades, of understanding ecosystems.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Aquarium Habitats      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students consider how aquariums can provide realistic habitats for marine animals. They use the Internet to visit three aquarium habitats and determine whether these aquariums succeed in providing high-quality environments for the animals that live in them. Students conclude by designing their own aquarium habitats based on what they have learned.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science
Title: Classification 2: A Touch of Class      Add Bookmark
Description: This Science NetLinks lesson, the second of a two-part series on classification, extends the investigation of living organisms carried out in the first lesson by exposing students to the idea that a variety of plants and animals can be classified into one or more groups based on the various characteristics of a specific group. This lesson gives students the opportunity to look at and discuss different classification schemes.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science, Social Studies
Title: Global Breakfast      Add Bookmark
Description: The purpose of this Science NetLinks lesson is to look for evidence of global interdependence in the foods that we eat. Students recognize the fact that many of the foods that they eat, and the ingredients that go into making them, are produced in other countries. They speculate about why certain foods are produced in different regions of the world, and what might happen if the production and/or distribution of these goods was to stop.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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