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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 (5)
Title: Literature Genres: How does your book fit in?
Description: In this lesson, students will be taught the different types of genres. Students will be grouped together and assigned a genre. They must create a poster for that genre describing its characteristics and listing examples. Then, the students will conduct a scavenger hunt around the library looking for an example of each genre. Independently, the students will sort quotes by genres.  


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: Arts Education (3 - 5), or English Language Arts (5), or Science (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Scrapping the Biomes
Description: This is a student led exploration of the biomes through art and self-expression, in which students create a scrapbook of assigned biomes. This activity utilizes technology, research, and cooperative learning groups for completion. The biomes included in this activity are the tropical rainforest, deciduous forest, grassland, taiga, desert, tundra, freshwater (including rivers and wetlands), and saltwater (including coral reefs and deep sea). 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: As Large As Life. . . A Poster of a Human Body System
Description: This is a student led exploration of the systems of the human body through art and self expression. Groups will cooperatively develop a poster, the size of a fifth grade student, and will accurately depict the assigned system of the human body. The included systems are the circulatory system, respiratory system, and excretory system.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), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Those Cells Look Good Enough to Eat.
Description: This is a student led activity utilizing visualization and association to memorize the parts of animal and plant cells. Students will work cooperatively to develop drawings to connect the parts of cells to one of their favorite things…food. In addition, art, written expression, oral communication, and technology will be used for completion of 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 (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 (5 - 6), or Technology Education (3 - 8)
Title: Telling It the Digital Way: Stories of Sports Spectacular Stand-outs
Description: During this lesson students design, develop, produce, and present a five-minute biographical video highlighting the life of a famous sports spectacular stand-out such as baseball's great Babe Ruth.


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: English Language Arts (5 - 8), or Technology Education (3 - 8)
Title: Author Trading Cards
Description: In this lesson students conduct print and Internet research to gather information about a contempory author. Students create an author trading card featuring this information and then collect and/or trade these cards as they select reading material.


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 (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: 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 (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: USA--State Facts
Description: During this technology-based lesson, fifth grade students explore different states by locating information on the Internet. Students use the information they find and create a presentation to help their classmates learn about the states.


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 (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 (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 (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 (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: How a Bill Becomes a Law
Description: This lesson will focus on how bills become laws. This interdisciplinary lesson combines social studies, language arts and reading skills and concepts. Students will research the topic through the Internet and other digital resources and then present information gathered orally and visually.


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 (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Exploring Explorers
Description: Students will create a video in talk-show format about explorers from the 15th-17th centuries. They will utilize books, the Alabama Virtual Library, and the Internet for reference. Groups of students will answer who, what, when, where, and why questions and then use that information to write a script for the video.


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: 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: Social Studies,Language Arts
Title: Women in the White House      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the role and impact of recent First Ladies through research and family interviews, and then work in groups to present a documentary portrait to the class.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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



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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