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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Science (4 - 6), or Social Studies (4 - 5)
Title: Forest Habitat (Little River Canyon National Preserve)  
Description: Little River Canyon National Preserve's habitat is an Eastern Deciduous Forest. There are a variety of trees and animal life within this biome. It experiences seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Science (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Comparing Two Fossil Localities
Description: During this lesson students go on a field trip to locate fossils. Students investigate their findings and identify them using resources from the Internet. They then videoconference to compare/contrast their hypotheses with those of another school.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Ecology - Science - Meteorology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Antarctica: A Cold Desert Ecosystem      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students construct a rough map of Antarctic ecosystems and explore relationships among the creatures that populate them. This lesson can be adapted to focus on other regions, including the one in which you live.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science
Title: Science NetLinks Weekly Science Updates      Add Bookmark
Description: Science NetLinks Science Updates are short audio clips about a variety of subjects related to science. Each clip is accompanied by a transcript and classroom lesson ideas. 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: Science - Earth science - Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Microclimate in the Schoolyard      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students learn about the characteristics of prairie habitats. Students examine the microclimate--climatic conditions in a relatively small area--in their schoolyard and compare these conditions to those of prairie communities. They then determine how their own ecosystem compares with and differs from prairie ecosystems.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Meteorology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Creative Climates      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions student activity, students pretend they are head of a new National Geographic Climate Observation Post, where they must create a climate map to illustrate the world's various climate zones. Students explore the world's diverse climate zones and find out how climate affects human life.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Eco-Cycle      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpedition Hall interactive surveys how different plants and animals survive in an Alpine Desert, Lava Field, Grassland, Open Forest, and Rain Forest. Click on the bottom circle in Room III to view this interactive, which explores some of the ways life forms have adapted to fit into the local ecology.
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 - Science - Botany - Social Studies - Geography
Title: The Arctic and Antarctic Circles      Add Bookmark
Description: In this student activity from Xpeditions, students research the ends of the Earth--the Poles--to compare and contrast the regions. Background information is provided, giving insight into the nature of these two areas and outlining their differences and similarities.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - Human Behavior
Title: Geography Matters in History      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson has students consider the ways in which historical events and processes have been affected by geography. For example, the Lewis and Clark expedition was affected by many geographical phenomena, such as rugged mountains and strong river currents. Students read historical features on the Internet, explain how geography affected historical events or processes, and write stories describing how geographic variations might have led to different outcomes.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Meteorology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Climate Controls      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson has students consider how various parts of the world and the United States are affected by climate controls such as world air currents. They read about climate controls and create maps showing how these controls affect the climate in various places around the country.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - World History
Title: What Do People Know About the Arctic and Antarctic?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students research the landscapes, climates, and animal life of the polar regions. They then interview people to find out what they think and know about the regions. They conclude by writing paragraphs explaining why it's important to know about the polar regions and detailing the differences between the two regions.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Who Pays the Price When a Sea Disappears?      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson asks students to learn about the problems in the Aral Sea region and to figure out how the sea's water loss is affecting specific groups of people, such as babies and fishermen. They work in groups to prepare statements that these people might make, and they present their statements to a mock United Nations panel.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Agriculture - Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Spice Geography      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson encourages students to think about where the ingredients in their food come from and how they are produced. Students investigate the origins of a variety of spices from around the world and map these locations. They then research and create presentations describing the climate, terrain, and agricultural practices in the places they have mapped.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: How Do We Find Our Way?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students consider whether they have a good sense of direction and whether they are able to navigate using mental maps versus needing equipment. They read about the Lewis and Clark expedition to find out what skills, abilities, and navigation equipment those early explorers needed, and they compare that voyage with a fictitious modern day journey on foot across the Rocky Mountains.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Regional Guidebook      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students are asked to consider the unique physical and human characteristics of their home region and to create guidebooks that describe these features to visitors to the region. In the process, they gain an awareness of the human and environmental factors that make places unique.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Botany - Science - Earth science - Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Using Venn Diagrams to Compare Two Ecosystems      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson helps students identify and describe differences between two related ecosystems. Many students believe that the Earth's only rain forests are found in the tropics. On the contrary, temperate rain forests can be found along the coast of North America's Pacific Northwest. These stands are as endangered as and much smaller than their tropical cousins. By acquiring geographic information from a number of sources, and by using that information to complete a Venn diagram, students come to understand the distribution of temperate and tropical rain forests and the unique characteristics of both.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Reviving Bodie      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students research the ghost town of Bodie and imagine that the state of California has decided to make Bodie a town again and to let people settle there. Groups of students write guides for the town's new potential citizens, explaining the things they need to know about the town's climate, landscape, location, natural resources, and history.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Tumbleweeds      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science Update, from Science NetLinks, you'll hear about how desert plants can be used to soak up uranium that is contaminating military sites. Science Updates are audio interviews with scientists and are accompanied by a set of questions as well as links to related Science NetLinks lessons and other related resources.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Oceanography - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Ocean Exploration Museum      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students become familiar with ocean research, including hydrothermal vents and historical shipwrecks. They learn about the work of deep-sea explorer Robert Ballard and hypothesize about what they might find in the ocean. Finally, students create a museum exhibit about ocean exploration and suggest questions for future research.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Geology - Science - Physical Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Rain: Friend or Foe?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students use their knowledge of rainfall, vegetation, and the slope angles of hillsides to make decisions, predict outcomes, and analyze the effects of certain events or practices (e.g., overgrazing, forest fires, and clear-cutting woodlands). This lesson helps students appreciate the complex relationships between various physical processes and the physical features they modify.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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