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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Science (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Galaxy's Next Top Alien
Description: The Galaxy's Next Top Alien (GNTA) lesson plan is aimed helping students apply concepts related to characteristics of the Milky Way.  More specifically, this lesson plan will require students to learn and use physical and chemical information of each planet.  In a making an alien species that can survive on the various planets, students will compare and contrast properties of the Milky Way.


Subject: Mathematics (9 - 12), or Science (6)
Title: 'There's Gold in Them There Hills'
Description: Students study the important characteristics of quadratic relationships by exploring the area of rectangles with a fixed perimeter. This lesson involves tables, graphing and patters. This Lesson is adapted from a Connected Math Unit: Frogs, Fleas, and Painted Cubes.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: Arts Education (6 - 8), or English Language Arts (6), or Science (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: If Earth No Longer Existed. . .
Description: Students will work in cooperative groups to research characteristics of each of the planets in our solar system. Students will design a travel brochure outlining the characteristics of each planet. Each group will make an oral presentation on their brochure.


Subject: Science (6 - 8)
Title: Mars Metal Rover
Description: Students will convince NASA which metal to use on the new "Mars Land Rover". This lesson will help students understand the properties of metals and their relationship to the properties of the surface of Mars. Knowledge of Internet searches, word processing software, and slideshow presentation software are necessary for this lesson.


Subject: Science (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Comets
Description: During this lesson, students have the opportunity to explore comets. By navigating the Internet, viewing a slideshow, and participating in a videoconference with NASA, students will discover what comets are all about.


Subject: Science (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Imagine Mars
Description: Students will learn about Mars and what adaptations would be needed for people to live on Mars. They will develop a plan for the colonization of Mars. A slideshow presentation and brochure will be created to entice people to join this new colony being developed.


Subject: Science (6)
Title: Planetary Cereal Project
Description: This is a project which would be appropriate to use at the end of a lesson about the solar system. Students will decorate an empty cereal box with information and games showing their comprehension of factual information about an assigned planet.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Science
Title: Mercury: E-sheet      Add Bookmark
Description: This E-sheet, from a Science NetLinks lesson, guides students through an online investigation of Mercury. Students are then asked to create a travel brochure for the planet.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Looking Into Space: E-sheet      Add Bookmark
Description: This E-sheet, from a Science NetLinks lesson, has students make a telescope model and explore how real telescopes help us learn about the universe.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Astronomy - Social Studies - Geography
Title: The Riddle of the Russian Lights      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions student activity, students use maps to help an astronaut figure out why a string of lights zigzags across southern Russia. They examine maps depicting population density, average annual temperature, transportation density, and railroad networks to come up with the answer.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science - Astronomy - Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography
Title: A Reason for the Season      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions student activity, students explore the changing of the seasons. They learn why the season change and then test their knowledge using a cosmic map.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science
Title: Exploring the Solar System      Add Bookmark
Description: The purpose of this lesson, from Science NetLinks, is to introduce students to Earth's moon and the eight other planets in our solar system. Students learn about the geology, composition and orbits of other planets by planning a trip to another planet.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: The Sun      Add Bookmark
Description: The purpose of this lesson, from Science NetLinks, is to introduce students to our local star, the Sun, especially its structure and its features such as sun spots, magnetic fields, and solar flares. By focusing on physical characteristics of the sun, this lesson gives students a general understanding of what a star is, which can be the basis of understanding the general make-up of other stars in far off galaxies.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Cheese Tomography      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science Update, from Science NetLinks, you'll hear about non-destructive evaluation techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). One researcher is applying MRI technology to the making of Swiss cheese. 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 - Astronomy - Science - Space Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: The Red Album      Add Bookmark
Description: In this student activity, from Xpeditions, students are assigned the task of helping NASA plan its next missions to Mars--a great frontier in modern exploration. A variety of activity options are presented for young students, older students, parents, and teachers.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science
Title: Making Light of Science      Add Bookmark
Description: The purpose of this Science NetLinks lesson, the first in a three-part series on light, is to introduce students to the electromagnetic spectrum, focusing on visible light. Students are introduced to the idea that all light travels as waves, and that wavelength defines the various regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Solar Blind      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science Update, from Science NetLinks, you'll hear about a device for measuring light that can withstand the intensity of the Sun's rays. 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
Title: Exploring Magnetic Fields      Add Bookmark
Description: This Science NetLinks lesson demonstrates the magnetic field that is formed by a small magnet. Prior to this lesson, students should have had opportunities to observe and explore the lines of force, the attraction, and the repelling forces that all magnets exhibit.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Space Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Mapping Mars      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Xpeditions, introduces students to some common map projections and representations (e.g. globes or close-ups) and asks them to consider the ways that each representation can be used to show specific features of Mars. Students draw three different representations of Mars and illustrate each one with details of research they have conducted on the planet.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Looking into Space      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students learn how telescopes work, build a model of their own, and consider how real telescopes can be used to ask--and help answer--questions about the universe. This activity is based on instructions and information from the Exploratorium Web site.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Mercury      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson from Science NetLinks, students have the chance to view the solar system and identify the sun and planets that compose it. They are introduced to the planet Mercury and develop an understanding of the planet's composition, geology, and other important characteristics.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Solar Power from Moon      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science Update, from Science NetLinks, you'll hear about an ambitious plan to get around a problem with the reliability of solar energy. 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
Title: Gas Giant Origins      Add Bookmark
Description: This Science Update, from Science NetLinks, you'll hear about research that indicates that formation of large, gaseous planets like Jupiter and Saturn may have formed more quickly than previously thought. 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: Health, Science
Title: Faces in Space      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science Update, from Science NetLinks, you'll hear about a proposed system to spot signs of burnout on marathon space flights. NASA is concerned that stress on long missions could affect the astronauts' performance. 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: Language Arts
Title: The Space Shuttle '' Challenger'' exploded in 1986.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students interview a parent or another adult about the '' Challenger'' and hypothesize about differences. Students can also write about the '' Columbia'' disaster in 2003.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science
Title: Places in the Sun      Add Bookmark
Description: This tool, created by Science NetLinks, offers an animation that allows the user to see a side-by-side comparison of the sun on Earth and Mercury. When the animation opens, the two planets are at aphelion, or farthest from the sun in their orbits, but students can click to switch the view. On the left side of the screen is an image of the sun as seen from Earth, while on the right side is an image of the sun as seen from Mercury. While this page links to the overview for the tool for grades 6-8, you can access reviews for additional grades and benchmarks using the navigation tools at the top of the overview.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics,Science
Title: Travel in the Solar System      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Illuminations, affords students the opportunity to think about two aspects of the time required to complete space travel within the solar system. First, students consider the amount of time that space travelers must spend on the journey. Second, students think about what kinds of events might occur on Earth while the space travelers are on their journey. Thinking about both situations improves students' concept of time and distance as well as their understanding of the solar system.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics,Science
Title: Orbiting Satellites      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students explore the concept of orbits, specifically the connection of Earth-orbiting satellites to the study of the environment. Both geometric and algebraic concepts are presented to students in this application of science and mathematics to a real-world situation.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Snow Goggles      Add Bookmark
Description: The aim of this lesson, from Science NetLinks, is to illustrate how the scientific method can be used to solve different kinds of problems. As part of this lesson, students build snow goggles similar to those used by the Inuit peoples. Students also create their own version of the goggles to improve upon existing designs and compare the process used to invent snow goggles with that employed by designers of the MESSENGER spacecraft.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: The first picture of Earth was taken by the U.S. satellite '' Explorer VI'' in 1959.      Add Bookmark
Description: After students view the first picture from the Explorer VI Satellite, they discuss the differences between this first image and the images of the earth that we typically see today.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science
Title: Day on Mercury      Add Bookmark
Description: This tool, created by Science NetLinks, allows the user to experience a typical day on Mercury, which is actually 176 Earth days. In the top part of the animation, users can see the sun traveling across the landscape as viewed from Mercury. Stats boxes are displayed in the lower left of the screen to follow the progress of the animation, as well as track temperatures and locations as the day goes on. While this page links to the overview of the tool for grades 6-8, you can access reviews for additional grades and benchmarks using the navigation tools at the top of the overview.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Fact Challenge      Add Bookmark
Description: This tool, created by Science NetLinks, features an animation that challenges students with questions about Mercury. The starry sky first seen in this animation is actually made up of star clusters that contain the fact challenges. By moving the mouse across the image, students activate blinking boxes that can be clicked to reveal questions about stars. While this page links to the overview of the tool for grades 6-8, you can access reviews for additional grades and benchmarks using the navigation tools at the top of the overview.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Planet Size Comparison      Add Bookmark
Description: This tool, created by Science NetLinks, features an animation in which students can find out how Mercury '' sizes up'' to Earth or any other planet. At the top of the screen, students can choose what planets they want to compare. At the bottom of the screen, students can see the dimensions for each planet as well as how they compare in size. While this page links to the overview for the tool for grades 6-8, you can access reviews for additional grades and benchmarks using the navigation tools at the top of the overview.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Orbit & Rotation      Add Bookmark
Description: This tool, created by Science NetLinks, presents an interactive animation showing the orbit and rotation of Mercury around the sun. By clicking on the button in the animation, the user can see Mercury make its counter-clockwise orbit around the sun. Mercury automatically stops at three different points during the animation. When the planet stops, text appears on the screen that indicates how many days the planet has taken to get to that point--both in terms of Earth days and Mercury days. While this page links to the overview for the tool for grades 6-8, you can access reviews for additional grades and benchmarks using the navigation tools at the top of the overview.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: GeoHunter      Add Bookmark
Description: This tool, created by Science NetLinks, is designed to provide students with data about the geological structure of the planet Mercury. Students move the mouse over a grid and use data to analyze surface images and find specific features of the planet. Students need to locate 15 geological features before the data disappears. While this page links to the overview of the tool for grades 6-8, you can access reviews for additional grades and benchmarks using the navigation tools at the top of the overview.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics, Science
Title: How Old Are the Stars?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students determine the age of a star cluster by observing, measuring, and plotting astronomical data. They examine the Jewelbox cluster, located within the southern constellation Crux, and determine its age using a relationship between temperature, color, and luminosity. Before beginning this lesson, students should understand the life cycle and composition of stars. Students should also understand the relationship between temperature and color.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Science
Title: Make a Mission      Add Bookmark
Description: This tool, created by Science NetLinks, helps users understand some of the factors involved when NASA designs a real mission to space. In this interactive game, users build a spacecraft in order to explore the planet Mercury--just as the NASA team did when they planned and built the real MESSENGER spacecraft. While this page links to the overview for the Make a Mission tool for grades 6-8, you can access reviews for additional grades and benchmarks using the navigation tools at the top of the overview.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science
Title: Air Guitar      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science Update, from Science NetLinks, you'll hear about the virtual guitar, the brainchild of computer scientist Aki Kanerva and his colleagues at the Helsinki University of Technology in Finland. To use it, you just slip on a pair of gloves and step in front of a camera. 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: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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



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