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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5)
Title: Don't get lost in story writing: Follow the map!
Description: In this lesson, teachers will guide the students, as a group, through the process of writing a meaningful story using a story map. First the teacher will review the parts that make up a successful story. Then, the students will be guided through the planning process in which they will make selections for each part of the story. At the end of the exercise, the students will experience how each selection they made as a group, combines to make one cohesive story. Once the group activity is complete, students will have the opportunity to plan and write stories individually using the same story map.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Should man explore space?
Description: This lesson will bring students through a series of activities so that they will be able to make an informed decision as to whether man should explore space.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Men and Women of Space Exploration
Description: As part of the study of Space, the students will choose an astronaut to do research on and write a report. A list of possible astronauts will be provided including many females who a have traveled to space and work on the International Space Station. The students will use a variety of resources including books, reference materials, and the Internet to find the required information. This will be done mostly outside of class; however one or two days will be set aside to take the students to the computer lab and to the library to get information.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: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Edible Cell
Description: As part of the study on Life Processes, the students will watch a video clip at Cells Alive to see a model of the cell and its componenets. The students will use edible products to create an animal cell. Each product will represent a component of the cell. This will be done whole group.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: English Language Arts (4), or Science (3 - 4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: The Earth has Many Layers
Description: This is a hands-on lesson that will help students explore what geologists do to study the different layers of the Earth. Students will work in cooperative groups to complete this activity. Students will also keep a Science Journal telling about their findings. This lesson will follow the Learning Cycle.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: English Language Arts (4), or Mathematics (3 - 5), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Inner and Outer Planets
Description: As part of the space unit, students will learn about the physical and chemical components of the planets. The students will compare the planets in list form. It will also incorporate math by using measurement and numerical order.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: English Language Arts (4)
Title: Hail to the Chief!
Description: The students will use prior knowledge of Presidents to complete this project. They will devise a platform based on past presidents' qualities and their impact on the nation to run against classmates in an election. Students will use this as an extension of a year long study in Alabama History and US History.


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: English Language Arts (3 - 4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Montgomery Field Trip Tour Book
Description: During this lesson, students explore the functions of our government through the Internet, slideshow presentations, and by visiting Alabama's capital city of Montgomery. Students will use their field trip as a guide to create a tour book of the government in Montgomery.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Mystery Writing with Alfred Hitchcock
Description: During this lesson students will explore the life of Alfred Hitchcock by navigating the Internet. Students will learn about the mysteries involved in his films and become mystery writers themselves.


Subject: English Language Arts (4)
Title: "How To Build A Snowman" Expository Writing
Description: During this lesson, students begin to understand how important specific directions are to a project. Students will demonstrate detailed writing in order to instruct their classmates on how to build a snowman.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: A Tour of Birmingham: WebQuest
Description: This inquiry-based project will provide opportunities for students to learn about the history of Birmingham. Students will discover the variety tourist attractions in Birmingham, Alabama.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Unlocking the Author in You
Description: This lesson is designed to help students develop a love for writing. Students use the attached presentation to guide them in the writing process. They will navigate a variety of websites to help them learn about writing.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 8)
Title: Skillful Slideshows
Description: During this technology-based lesson, students learn how to create slideshow presentations that are creative and inviting to the audience. They use fonts, graphics, effects, etc, to capture audience attention.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Writing Activity: Harris Burdick Stories
Description: After reading The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, by Chris Van Allsburg, students create their own stories about the pictures. By navigating the Internet, students learn more about the writing process to help them create their stories.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 8)
Title: Top Ten Books
Description: During this lesson students review their favorite books from the present school year. They navigate the Internet to locate information about the author of their favorite book and write a summary. Students compile their information in a slideshow presentation and show it to younger students to motivate them to read.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Narrative Writing: "A Day in the Life of ..."
Description: In this lesson, students will use what they have learned about narrative writing in an authentic situation. This is part of a welcome packet for students who are new to the school. Students will work in groups to conduct research and compose narrative essays telling about a typical day in the life of a kindergartner, first grader, etc. The project will culminate in the creation of a brochure and slideshow presentation that can be used by teachers to introduce new students to their class.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Writing with Presentation Software
Description: During this lesson students use their imaginations to create short stories. Then they create alternative endings to their classmates' stories. Students present their stories using presentation software.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Expository Writing and The Civil War
Description: This lesson is designed to help students strengthen their research and writing skills, while learning more about the Civil War, as they produce an expository paragraph. Students will glean information from an article about the causes of the Civil War and then use the "Step Up To Writing" technique to write their paragraphs.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: What is It?
Description: Technology is incorporated into this "riddle" lesson as students select an image to capture using a digital camera. This is a fun lesson designed to introduce students to the use of digital cameras. After editing the picture, they practice their writing skills to construct a simple sentence to give a hint of what the image might be.


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: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Newberry Award
Description: This unit will introduce the history of the Newberry Award to students. The selection process will be discussed. Students will also visit websites and the library to select a Newberry book to read. Finally, students will give book talks to accompany slideshows they have created.


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Writing the Biographical Sketch
Description: Working in pairs, students interview each other in order to collect information about their partners. They will practice the writing process as they write biographical sketches which incorporate scanned pictures.


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Leaders of Our School
Description: During the first weeks of school, students will be introduced to the administration and faculty within the school. Students will conduct an interview to determine the role of each individual in creating and maintaining a thriving learning environment. Using a digital camera and presentation software, students will record each interview, along with a digital photograph, of the school leader. Students will present the slideshow presentation during Open House. From this lesson, students will better comprehend the importance of the leadership and teamwork within our school.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 4), or Social Studies (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Famous African-Americans
Description: During this unit students will study the lives of famous African-Americans who have had an impact upon history or present day society. This interdisciplinary hands-on unit will incorporate the subjects of social studies, reading, language arts, and technology. After studying African-Americans and viewing a presentation, students will select (or be assigned) a person to research, write a biographical sketch about, and then create a newsletter depicting facts from that person's life. The entire unit will cover a two- to three-week period.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: The Underground Railroad
Description: The Underground Railroad of the 1800's inspired talented writers of all ages. This lesson will integrate some of these famous writings to encourage students to develop their questioning techniques for analysis of literature while furthering their knowledge of this era in American history. As an extension of this study, students will create a class quilt to illustrate the depth of their research.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Rabbit Tales
Description: During this lesson students will be exposed to different types of writing. Students will have the opportunity to create their own story based on the characteristics of the literature they have read. Students will also learn the history of trickster tales and their significance.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (3 - 4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Creek War Journals
Description: After a study of the Creek War, students will explore perspectives of families on both sides of the war. Students will compose journal entries from a selected social class of the era to develop and exhibit an understanding and appreciation for lives led by those who lived during the early 1800's.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Sandwich Story Starters
Description: These simple activities actively reinforce the importance of writing a story that is complete: one that has a good, solid beginning; a middle of substance, detail, and high interest; and a satisfying ending.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Systems Every "body" Needs to Know
Description: This lesson is designed to allow students to explore the human body through a WebQuest with Internet and multimedia resources provided for research. Students will create a cell diagram, write a letter, and create a slideshow presentation to demonstrate knowledge of the subject and appropriate use of technology.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Mathematics (3 - 4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: HeartLine Express
Description: During this lesson, students will plan and execute a week-long school-wide valentine sales business. From the Grand Plan to job applications, interviews, valentine production, advertising, sales and profits students are immersed in the job experience and using a variety of math skills.


Subject: Counseling and Guidance (K - 12), or English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Look To the Future
Description: This lesson is designed to encourage self-analysis of interests and skills as related to occupations, and to encourage future thought about a career identity or role. This lesson will allow students to organize career information to create a slideshow presentation that includes a scanned image of a drawing as they might see themselves in a future occupation. Students will also have the opportunity to create a newsletter help-wanted ads section using desktop publishing software to encourage exploration of various occupations.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Presidential Biographical Sketch
Description: Each student will choose a former President of the United States to research and present to the class. Students will develop timelines based on biographical information found through search engines on the Internet as well as in books, reference books, and periodicals. They will also write and give campaign speeches for their Presidential selections.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Creating State Brochures
Description: Students will work in pairs to research online and/or in print a chosen state and create a travel brochure incorporating the information gathered.


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Animal Classification
Description: In this lesson, students will discuss the classification of animals. They will work in groups to research and present classification information about a selected group of animals.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Producing Multimedia Products in Grades 3-5
Description: In this lesson, students, working individually or in groups, will combine two or more media elements to produce projects or presentations. Various elements the teacher and students will consider using are; text, digital cameras, scanners, sound, and video.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: My Most Memorable Experience
Description: In this lesson, each student will write a narrative story about his/her most memorable experience. Students will develop the narrative writing mode and create a brochure using desktop publishing software.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: How to Write a Descriptive Essay
Description: The students will learn to write a descriptive essay about a three-day space camp experience at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Students will then produce a multimedia slideshow about the experience.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5)
Title: Hershey Kiss Descriptive Essay
Description: This is a fun lesson to demonstrate the power of words to describe a simple chocolate treat prior to writing a five-paragraph descriptive essay.


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Better Living Through Science
Description: This lesson involves research on scientists whose accomplishments have impacted areas of nutrition, sanitation, or health care. Students will research an area of their choice, record information on a graphic organizer, and use the information to write a five-paragraph narrative essay to present to the class.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Landforms Acrostic Poetry
Description: Students will write acrostic poems using scientific information about various landforms. These poems will reinforce concepts learned in science.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: The Big Dropper – The Life Cycle of a Raindrop
Description: Students will research the Internet, Alabama Virtual Library, online and printed encyclopedias, and other reference material to gather information on the water cycle. Students will then use the gathered data to create a slideshow presentation and a newsletter demonstrating their understanding of the water cycle.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Mathematics (3 - 4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Abundant Area
Description: This is an inquiry and technology-based lesson that allows students to discover the relationship between perimeter and area. Students apply problem-solving strategies to solve the real-life problem posed in this lesson. This lesson may easily be divided into sections and completed over several days if needed.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Alabama the Beautiful
Description: This hands–on unit combines social studies, map skills, writing, and technology. Researching famous Alabamians and exploring the state's landmarks help students develop an appreciation for their state.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Clay Animation
Description: This is a hands-on, technology-based project to incorporate creative writing and technology in the classroom. Clay Animation is one way of presenting a story in a nonverbal way.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Koko’s Kitten by Dr. Francine Patterson
Description: After reading Koko’s Kitten, students will use the koko.org website to learn more about Koko the gorilla, send an email message to Koko, see Koko use sign language and learn from Koko how to sign three words.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Did You Hear the News?
Description: After studying about the differences between the North and South prior to the Civil War and how Alabama decided to secede from the Union, students will write a newspaper article on this important decision. They will go back in time and imagine they lived in Alabama as a journalist in the year of 1861. The articles will be published in newspaper format using Microsoft Publisher and distributed.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5)
Title: Gummy Worm Writing
Description: This activity is designed to introduce descriptive writing. It can be used in grades 3-5.


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: English Language Arts (3 - 4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Picturing Parts of Speech
Description: For this lesson students use digital cameras to take pictures which illustrate various parts of speech, then insert the pictures into a digital slideshow presentation and write sentences about the pictures.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Writing with Technology
Description: The students will use technology (portable keyboards) to write a narrative.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Word Storms to Explore Vocabulary and Encourage Critical Thinking      Add Bookmark
Description: Students learn that dogs are more than just pets in this lesson, which teaches them to use research and vocabulary-acquisition strategies to learn and write about working dogs.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Choosing Clear and Varied Dialogue Tags: A Minilesson      Add Bookmark
Description: In this minilesson, students explore the use of dialogue tags such as he said or she answered in picture books and novels, discussing their purpose, form, and style.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Teaching the Compare and Contrast Essay through Modeling      Add Bookmark
Description: The compare and contrast essay is taught through modeling from the brainstorming phase through the first draft.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Blending Fiction and Nonfiction to Improve Comprehension and Writing Skills      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use a text set to increase understanding of content area material and demonstrate what they have learned by writing an original piece that blends together narrative and expository elements.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Behind the Scenes With Cinderella      Add Bookmark
Description: Cinderella without castles, coaches, or ball gowns? Students use versions of Cinderella to explore how the setting of a story time, place, and culture affects the characters and plot.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Wartime Poetry: Working With Similes      Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze a photograph, brainstorm words to describe the characters' senses and feelings, work in pairs to describe a character's experience, and create a poem using their ideas and similes.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Visualizing Using the Sketch-to-Stretch Strategy      Add Bookmark
Description: Guided comprehension moves your middle-grade students beyond decoding to become successful, independent readers. The sketch-to-stretch strategy encourages students to use '' brain TV'' to help them understand a text through visualization.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5,6



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Self-Questioning Using Question-Answer Relationships      Add Bookmark
Description: Guided comprehension moves your students beyond decoding to become independent readers. Generating questions to guide reading helps readers make connections with the text and supports independent comprehension of new texts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Making Connections Using a Double-Entry Journal      Add Bookmark
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson helps students learn three types of connections (text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world) using a double-entry journal.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5,6



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Narrative Structure      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson uses comic strip frames to define plot and reinforce the structure that underlies a narrative. Students finish by writing their own original narratives.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Writing and Role-Play to Engage the Reluctant Writer      Add Bookmark
Description: What does the world look like through a javelina's eyes? Students become javelinas in this lesson when they analyze a character and write from his or her perspective.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Buddy Biographies: Intermediate and Primary Students Working Together      Add Bookmark
Description: Students create a personalized biography for their reading buddy, and each child is the author, illustrator, and editor.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: The Elements of Fiction      Add Bookmark
Description: Students identify the elements of fiction in a book they have read and share summaries of them by writing and illustrating their own mini-book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Writing Resumes for Characters in Historical Fiction      Add Bookmark
Description: Students write resumes for historical fiction characters. They first explore help wanted ads to see what employers want, and then draft resumes for the characters they've chosen.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Powerful Writing: Description in Creating Monster Trading Cards      Add Bookmark
Description: Students create their own monster trading cards using '' powerful,'' vivid language to describe their creatures.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: On the Road with Marco Polo: Homecoming      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students learn about events in Venice after Marco Polo's return. They discover how Marco Polo came to publish the story of his adventures.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: On the Road with Marco Polo: A Boy in 13th Century Venice      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students learn about life in medieval Venice and explore possible motivations behind Marco Polo's interest in travel and trade. They use maps to learn more about the geography of Venice and of medieval Europe.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Slave Narratives: Constructing U.S. History Through Analyzing Primary Sources      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students research narratives from the Federal Writers Project and describe the lives of former African slaves in the U.S., both before and after Emancipation. From varied stories, students sample the breadth of individual experiences, make generalizations about the effects of slavery and Reconstruction on African Americans, and evaluate primary source documents.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Someone a Letter      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment lesson introduces students to the correspondence of the famous, the infamous, and the ordinary, some of whom lived through extraordinary times. Teachers can use these fascinating letters as a starting point for discussion of and practice in the conventions and purposes of letter writing.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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