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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Reading, Writing, and Sounder
Description: The activities included in this lesson plan require the reading of William Armstrong's Sounder. This technology-based lesson fosters critical thinking and includes journal writing, student-led discussions with another class via video conferencing, vocabulary development, and persuasive writing.


Subject: English Language Arts (7), or English Language Arts (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Harlem Renaissance Unit
Description: This unit on the history and contribution of the Harlem Renaissance combines research and creative presentations in the form of slideshows, a timeline, and desktop publishing.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Arts,Language Arts
Title: Childhood Through the Looking-Glass      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson from EDSITEment explores the vision of childhood created by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. Students begin by looking at Carroll's photographs of the real Alice for whom Carroll imagined his story and compare the image of childhood that he captured on film with images of children in our culture. Then students read Alice in Wonderland with special attention to the illustrations that Carroll made for his book, and explore the relationship between words and pictures by creating an Alice illustration of their own. Next, for contrast, students compare Carroll's vision of childhood with that presented by the Romantic poet William Blake in his illuminated Songs of Innocence and Experience. Finally, students consider the interplay of image and text in their own favorite children's literature and how the vision of childhood presented there compares to their experiences as children. Several pieces of literature appropriate for use with this lesson are suggested.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Making Personal and Cultural Connections Using A Girl Named Disaster       Add Bookmark
Description: Struggling to survive is one of the many themes explored in A Girl Named Disaster. As students read, they look for connections between themselves and the main character, Nhamo.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Battling for Liberty: Tecumseh's and Patrick Henry's Language of Resistance      Add Bookmark
Description: Students study Patrick Henry's '' Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death'' speech and the ways Native Americans also resisted oppression through rhetoric and action.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts - Writing (composition) - Social Studies - Anthropology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Culture Shock      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson asks students to think about how cultural customs differ throughout the world. Students research a foreign culture's customs and write stories pretending they are on vacation with a friend from the country they have researched. They pretend to travel to a new country that neither person is familiar with, and describe each person's reactions to the new culture. They consider how these reactions differ based on each person's own cultural customs and habits.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Promoting Diversity in the Classroom and School Library through Social Action      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore the effects of stereotypes by analyzing children's books. Then they create bookmarks that encourage readers to question the assumptions of stereotyped books and to seek out matching, balanced texts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Picture Books to Explore Identity, Stereotyping, and Discrimination      Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze the concepts of identity, stereotyping, and discrimination by reading picture books; identify how these concepts are dealt with in each book; and discuss concrete actions to stop discrimination.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: In 1928, Maya Angelou was born.      Add Bookmark
Description: After hearing Maya Angelou's poem, '' On the Pulse of Morning,'' students infer information about the speaker and her feelings about America and reflect on how one's life and experiences can influence one's writing.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Beyond the Story: A Dickens of a Party      Add Bookmark
Description: Students attend a 19th Century Victorian party to celebrate Scrooge's new outlook on life. They research characters from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and assume those personas for the party.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Fighting Injustice by Studying Lessons of the Past      Add Bookmark
Description: Social injustice occurs every day all over the world. In this lesson, students research a few historical examples of social injustice, including the Holocaust, the Trail of Tears, and Japanese internment.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Girls Read: Online Literature Circles      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson designed especially for girls, students read a work of realistic fiction and get to know strong female protagonists through online literary circles and writing activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: 'Esperanza Rising'': Not Being Afraid to Start Over      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson from EDSITEment students look behind the story Esperanza Rising at the historical, social, and cultural circumstances that help account for the great contrasts and contradictions that Esperanza experiences when she moves to California.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Metaphorical Gold: Mining the Gold Rush for Stories      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students research the Gold Rush era to provide authentic background for their own fictional prose. By mining online databases for primary texts and period photographs, students can explore the Klondike Stampede and glean from their visit sufficient period details to help them create their own narratives based on the Gold Rush. While the emphasis of this lesson is on history and research rather than literature, selections from Jack London's The Call of the Wild are used to provide focus and structure for students research in online databases of primary sources, and to serve as models of vivid narrative prose for students own stories.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Reading and Writing Workshop: Freak the Mighty       Add Bookmark
Description: Students use a variety of reading and writing strategies as they read Rodman Philbrick's Freak the Mighty.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Women's Suffrage: Why the West First?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students compile information to examine hypotheses explaining why the first nine states to grant full voting rights for women were located in the West. The take a stand, supported by historical evidence, as to whether or not a single theory can explain why the Western states were the first to grant full voting rights to women.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Imagine That! Playing with Genre through Newspapers and Short Stories      Add Bookmark
Description: Students identify genre characteristics for short stories and newspaper articles then practice both genres by turning a short story into a news article and an article into a short story.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Live from Ancient Olympia!       Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students have an opportunity to develop live interviews with ancient athletes that reflect an understanding of the beliefs that underlay the ancient Olympic Games. In addition, students learn about the city of Olympia and its Games, read stories about ancient athletes, and analyze the qualities to which praise or blame was attached among ancient Olympic athletes.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Proverbs: An Introduction      Add Bookmark
Description: Students are introduced to proverbs and explore how proverbs are often tied to a cultures values and everyday experience, although their meanings are not always readily apparent to us today.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Investigating Names to Explore Personal History and Cultural Traditions      Add Bookmark
Description: Students investigate the meanings and origins of their names in order to establish their own personal histories and to explore the cultural significance of naming traditions.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts - Literature - Language Arts - Story Telling - Social Studies - Geography
Title: New Takes on Old Tales      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions student activity, students revamp a classic fairy tale so that it takes place in today's world. They base their stories on original fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Jacob Grimm, one of the Brothers Grimm, was born today.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students compare different versions of the fairy tale Cinderella and then rewrite a lesser-known Grimm story and explain the changes they made.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Myth and Truth: The First Thanksgiving       Add Bookmark
Description: By exploring myths surrounding the Wampanoag, the pilgrims, and the '' First Thanksgiving,'' this lesson asks students to think critically about commonly believed myths regarding the Wampanoag Indians in colonial America.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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