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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5)
Title: A Revolutionary Dinner Party
Description: Students play the role of colonists from the Revolutionary War period. Each group has decided to host a dinner party for some "famous faces" of the American Revolution. There are FOUR parts to this project: research, seating chart, music and food, and dialogue.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Mathematics (3 - 5)
Title: What’s in a Box?
Description:   The class has been contracted to work for a box factory. They are to make cube shaped jewelry boxes. Students determine how many different nets are possible and then analyze the resulting cubes. This real-world situation helps to develop students' spatial visualization skills and geometric understanding. This lesson plan was created by exemplary Alabama Math Teachers through the AMSTI project.  


Subject: Arts Education (5), or English Language Arts (5), or Mathematics (3 - 4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Angles in the Mix
Description: In this lesson, students will observe art paintings for angles - straight, right, obtuse, and acute. Using digital cameras, students will find "art" in their environment, which displays those same types of angles. They will use their photos to create a Photo Story describing the angles in their environmental art and share it with the class. Lastly, students will choose one of their photos to paint and label the angles found in their art.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 (5), or Science (5)
Title: To Infinity and Beyond... Magazine of Planetary Studies
Description: This is a student led activity in which students have to accomplish the task of choosing the most entertaining way to relay written expository information. Art/self expression along with technology are utilized to develop a classroom magazine while learning about the planets and associated technology. Students work in cooperative learning groups to complete this activity.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 (6), or Mathematics (3 - 5)
Title: "All in the Family"
Description: A cooperative unit where students work together and use a variety of math skills to establish budgets and compare and compute the best buys. Students will continue practicing their writing skills by writing thank you notes to local merchants.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Science (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: From Weeds to Worms
Description: The purpose of this lesson is to guide students in researching and discovering the importance of the interdependence of living and nonliving things in an ecosystem. Students utilize technology independently and cooperatively to establish requirements for conducting experiments.


Subject: English Language Arts (5)
Title: Literary Genres:What are they and why are they important?
Description: During this lesson, students will be introduced to different literary genres. Once students become familiar with the different genres, they will decide which one they like to read best. They will also use their knowledge of genres to decide the best form to write in.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Isaac Newton
Description: During this lesson, students have the opportunity to explore the life of Isaac Newton. Students use reference books and the Internet to investigate Newton's life. Following group discussion and individual research, students create a slide of an aspect of Isaac Newton's life. The class will create a slideshow presentation and students will deliver it to other classes.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: From Tyranny to Freedom
Description: During this lesson students will have the opportunity to research famous battles of the American Revolution and document these battles in a timeline, which they will construct. Students will also create a slideshow presentation about the American Revolution to be shared with classmates.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Our New Nation
Description: After studying the American Revolutionary War, students learn about the founding of the United States of America. Pretending to be the founding fathers, students will divide into small groups to create and design their own nation and system of government for the colonies. They will create the laws, economic system, powers of government, pledge, national symbol, anthem, etc. Students will create a presentation about their "new nation." The groups will give an oral presentation justifying why their system of government should be selected for the colonies.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Creating a Website on Explorers
Description: After researching famous European explorers and choosing the most important ones, students create a web page highlighting European explorers and the discoveries and impact these explorers had on the world. The web page will contain a survey which will allow visitors to select their "Explorer Idol" after reading about each explorer.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Mathematics (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Propaganda & Persuasive Techniques: Do You Buy It?
Description: During this lesson, students have the opportunity to learn about basic persuasive techniques employed in advertising. They will collect and analyze data about advertising in general. They will share examples of persuasive techniques used in advertising. Then, they have the opportunity to create their own "products" and use one persuasive technique in original "commercials." Students perform their commercials in a live teleconference, while audience members try to guess which persuasive technique is used.


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Me in a Box
Description: During this lesson students develop a sense of self awareness and appreciation for their own individuality and uniqueness. Students use graphic organizers to identify personality traits and collect items and pictures that represent the traits. The class has fun trying to identify to whom each box belongs before they are presented.


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 (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Dinosaurs: Prefixes and Suffixes
Description: Scientists use prefixes and suffixes to name dinosaurs. In this lesson, students will use a variety of prefixes and suffixes to create their own dinosaur names. They will draw a picture of the new dinosaur, and then type, edit, and print a story using a word processor.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Science (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Digestive System Adventure
Description: During this lesson students adventure through the digestive system via the Internet. They then use their knowledge of the digestive system to create an original story about their favorite food's adventure down the digestive track.


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: English Language Arts (5 - 6), or Mathematics (5)
Title: Peanut/Peanut Butter
Description: During this lesson students navigate the Internet to learn about the accomplishments of George Washington Carver. Students explore the history of peanuts and sample different types of peanuts. They use their five senses to write a descriptive paper about making homemade peanut butter.


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Who Will Be President?
Description: This lesson will allow students to experience the election process of an American President through a mock election. Students will learn the steps that must be followed in order to have an election. This is a great way to get students motivated to be involved in the election process.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Expository Essay: State Trip
Description: After researching a place/event of interest in Alabama, students write a five-paragraph essay. Students include maps and written directions to the location, describe activities and/or events associated with this location, include in this profile.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Think, Write, Read: Expository Writing
Description: While this lesson's main focus will be centered on expository writing, it will also integrate reading, computer and organizational skills. After reading the novel, Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, students will write an expository paper explaining why Marty, one of the characters in the book, dislikes Judd Travers, who is another character. Finally, students will present their papers to the class.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Revolutionary War Patriots and Loyalists
Description: Students are assigned a prominent man or woman of the American Revolutionary War. The students will write a two-page report, create a poster person, and then present their research to the class in first person.


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 (5), or Mathematics (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Comparing Modes of Transportation
Description: In this lesson students will visit different websites in order to decide the best mode of transportation from their home town to New York City. Students will graph the results and write a persuasive paper.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: What was Right about the Wright Brothers?
Description: In this unit students will explore the lives of the Wright brothers. The end result will be a student-made documentary highlighting the factors that allowed the Wright brothers to succeed at manned flight when others before them had failed.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Washington, DC Report
Description: Students will utilize the Internet to complete the DC Report during their study of Colonial American history and Washington, DC. They will demonstrate their understanding of the material through a written report using the three modes of writing. (This report may be given in its entirety or it may be broken up into sections.)


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Looking at Conestoga Wagons
Description: This lesson combines information literacy and technology skills with subject area skills. It is designed to be a collaborative effort between the classroom teacher and the school librarian. The topic of conestoga wagons is reseached from the perspective of a scientist, mathematician, English teacher, artist, geographer, engineer, or historian.


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 Mathematics (3)
Title: We're in a Pickle
Description: A hands-on lesson in which children work together to discover adjectives, write a descriptive paragraph, and apply math principles to produce a bar graph interpreting results from the lesson.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Let's Eat: An Expository Slideshow Presentation
Description: Students will write a three-paragraph essay explaining the steps necessary to follow a recipe, and then present and serve the recipe to their classmates.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Regions of the United States
Description: This lesson provides a variety of activities for the student to become aware of the regions in our country. They will learn the geography and natural resources and how these influence the way of life of the people living in a region.


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 - 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 (5), or Science (5)
Title: Imaginary Journey Through a System of the Body
Description: The students will choose one of the systems of the human body, such as circulatory, respiratory, digestive, or nervous system, and imagine that they are inside it. They will write a description of what a journey through this system of the body would be like.


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.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Science (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Water Cycle Animation (A lesson involving handheld computer/Palm Pilots)
Description: This technology-rich lesson involves students using handheld computers, such as Palm Pilots. Students will use the program "Sketchy" to create animation of the water cycle. Students will also use "Word to Go" to write a paragraph on the water cycle.


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: Unwinding A Circular Plot: Prediction Strategies in Reading and Writing      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use graphic organizers to explore plot in circular stories while focusing on prediction and sequencing. After exploring the features of circular plot stories, students write their own stories.
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: Knowing How Words Work Using Semantic Feature Analysis      Add Bookmark
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model developed by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson introduces students to the comprehension strategy of knowing how words work.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6



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: Social Studies - Current Events/Issues - Social Studies - Economics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Where Do Your Belongings Come From?      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson asks students to figure out where their belongings came from and to consider the reasons why many items are imported from other countries. They list the locations of origin for the items they use on a typical morning. They conclude by researching the export industries of an East Asian country and writing paragraphs describing this country's exports to the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - World History
Title: Expedition to the Poles      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students pretend they've just returned from a year in the Arctic or Antarctic. They look at Web sites about these regions and expeditions to them and create posters illustrating their experiences. They conclude by writing paragraphs explaining what it would be like to visit the polar region that they did not focus on in this lesson.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: A Schema-Building Study With Patricia Polacco      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use the Semantic Impressions and Possible Sentences strategies to write about Patricia Polacco's books Chicken Sunday and Rechenka's Egg, complete a character study, and write using a WebQuest.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Picture Books to Teach Setting Development in Writing Workshop      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use a graphic organizer to analyze setting development in picture books. They then apply what they have learned to their own writing.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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: Research Building Blocks: Notes, Quotes, and Fact Fragments      Add Bookmark
Description: Students are guided through the process of taking notes while reading factual information, then turning those notes into new sentences and paragraphs written in their own words.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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: 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
Title: Today is the International Day of Peace.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students brainstorm a list of current conflicts and why people fight. Groups discuss and present possible solutions and create posters that promote their particular solution.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
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



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