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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Is Separate Equal?  The Role of School Integration in the Civil Rights Movement
Description: Students will read and do research in order to build their background knowledge regarding school integration.  Students will use various websites and view online videos to develop an understanding of segregation and integration of schools during the Civil Rights Movement.  Students will then write and publish a picture book about school integration.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6)
Title: Save the Forest
Description: President Theodore Roosevelt believed in the need for conservation and was called America's first environmental president. What steps did he take to help preserve the environment and its natural resources? Today we can enjoy the beauty of our nation in national parks like the Little River Canyon National Preserve. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Science (6)
Title: Let’s Get Physical! (or Chemical Weathering)
Description: This lesson helps students learn the differences between physical and chemical weathering. Students will complete various activities in which they identify and describe the type of weathering that is taking place.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 Science (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Washed Away
Description: In this lesson, students will learn about water erosion. They will view pictures and videos, complete drawings, and work in collaborative groups as they research types of water erosion (rill, gully, sheet, and channel). Students will also connect water erosion to deposition.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 Science (6)
Title: Just Breezy
Description: In this lesson, students will learn about sea breezes and land breezes. They will complete demonstrations and work in groups as they investigate how air is affected by the surfaces below it.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: English Language Arts (6), or Science (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Volcanoes
Description: In this lesson, students will learn about the three main types of volcanoes. Students will watch videos, complete drawings and diagrams, and work in collaborative groups as they investigate cinder cone, composite, and shield volcanoes. Students will also review the positive and negative effects of volcanoes.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: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: What Makes a Good or Bad Leader?
Description: After deciding on the criteria of a good leader, students research either a good or bad leader, create a class presentation of that person which focuses on his/her impact on history. Students then write and perform a three to four minute skit to illustrate the leader's impact on American life.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: What Was So Depressing About the Great Depression?
Description: This lesson focuses on the effects of the Great Depression on American life in the period from 1929-1940. Students learn about changes in art, music and literature that symbolize life of the everyday man. Students also learn about the causes that lead to the Great Depression.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Copyright Laws and What They Mean To You - Don't Get Branded With the "P" of Plagiarism!
Description: This lesson teaches an overview of copyright laws and the consequences of plagiarism. Students practice paraphrasing short passages and identifying instances of plagiarism.


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 8)
Title: Lou Gehrig and Character Education
Description: After reading book or short story about Lou Gehrig, students conduct online research to learn more about him. Using the material they gather about his life and character, students create a flyer/poster. Students then participate in a virtual field trip from the Baseball Hall of Fame entitled "Lou Gehrig: The Iron Horse."


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Who's Who on Olympus and Why Should I Care?
Description: References to mythology extend far beyond the basic exploration of a genre. This unit will serve as an exploration of the creation myth across cultures, an introduction to the major Greek gods and goddesses, and an opportunity to link mythology to today's world. Students will research and create a newsletter on a creation myth and the culture from which it came. They will also plan and present a slideshow presentation about a major god or goddess of ancient Greece, including allusions to him/her in today's world.


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 (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Christopher Paul Curtis and His Books: Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Description: This interdisciplinary lesson on two books by C.P. Curtis features students in one classroom (or group) reading one of the books while the other class (or group) reads the other novel. Each class then divides into groups and researches the time period of its novel and develops presentations designed to encourage the reading of the second novel. These presentations are then presented to the other class.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: The Camelot Times: Writing a Newspaper
Description: As part of a unit on Arthurian literature and medieval culture, students imagine they are reporters living in the realm of King Arthur and create newsletters/newspapers based on their study and research.


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 (6), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Researching with the Alabama Virtual Library
Description: After an introduction to the Alabama Virtual Library, students use the available resources to research and present information about a United States president.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Escape to Freedom
Description: Students will read Number the Stars by Lois Lowrey. This novel about World War II, the Holocaust, and heroism, provides the topic for an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary lesson. Students will utilize their skills in technology and research to learn why there are dictators like Hitler, followers like the Nazis, and people from all walks of life who endanger their lives for the good of others.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Our African American Heroes
Description: Students will create a short digital slideshow presentation and brochure on a famous black American.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: An Author Study: Christopher Paul Curtis and his novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Description: This five-day lesson will introduce the students to the author of the novel as the beginning of a unit. The students will conduct research to obtain biographical information about the author and read/analyze summaries and critiques of the author's writing. Finally, the students will create brochures or flyers to highlight the author as a guest at a mock author's conference.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Biography Project: Research and Class Presentation      Add Bookmark
Description: Classroom biography study offers high-interest reading with a purpose, as students begin with inquiry and research, summarize and organize their information, and prepare oral presentations to share with the class.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Why Preserve Biodiversity?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, students discuss the importance of maintaining ecosystems and find out about the various arguments that people make in favor of preserving the Earth's biodiversity. They write essays in which they explain what they feel are the most compelling reasons for preserving biodiversity and also describe the arguments they think would be most likely to convince the general public that biodiversity should be preserved.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics - Statistics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Interpreting Population Statistics      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students are introduced to population statistics such as birth, death, and literacy rates. They compare these indicators for several countries, graph the results, and hypothesize about what their graphs indicate about the countries.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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



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



Subject: Social Studies - Economics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Where Do Your Possessions Come From?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students learn about the activities involved in producing their own belongings and gain an understanding of and appreciation for the Earth's natural resources. In the process, they may become more conscious consumers.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Orphan Trains      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students develop their ideas about social trade-offs by examining the history of the Orphan Trains and the New York Children's Aid Society, created in 1853. The purpose of the society, a forerunner of modern foster care, was to provide thousands of street children with homes in rural communities in the American Midwest. For some poor urban children the trip west brought great opportunity, but for others it meant heartbreak and disappointment. The majority of the Internet resources about the Orphan Trains have resulted from genealogical research done by families of the children who were sent to the Midwest by the New York Children's Aid Society. By considering what these children as individuals both gained and lost, as well the benefits and consequences to the larger society, students can explore the concept of social trade-offs in a compelling context.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Inventors and Innovators      Add Bookmark
Description: The purpose of this Science NetLinks lesson is to use the Internet to explore the scientific enterprise and the contributions to science of various people. Students use the Inventor of the Week Archives on the Invention Dimension Web site to create a class project on American invention.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Jefferson vs. Franklin: Renaissance Men      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the interests and achievements of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. They take a position that one or the other's interests and achievements were more wide-ranging or that they were equivalent.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Foreign Languages,Social Studies
Title: In My Other Life      Add Bookmark
Description: The goals of this EDSITEment lesson are to challenge stereotypes about cultures unfamiliar to us; to expand awareness of the range of factors that help constitute a cultural identity; to research, organize, and present information about everyday life in an unfamiliar culture; and to create an imaginative first hand account of life in an unfamiliar culture.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8



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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