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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (8 - 9), or Social Studies (11)
Title: Fried Green Tomatoes & Cultural Crossroads
Description: Having read Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, students will conduct research through an interview with an elderly person from the community (a field trip to local nursing home facility) to determine the validity of the author’s message (setting, cultural, and historical observations).  They will develop interview questions derived from observations and events from the book as a large group. Small student groups will use iPods/MP3s, laptop computers with webcams, or digital cameras to capture pictures, videos, or audio clips from their interview, as well as take notes. On their return, groups will compare facts from the book to findings during interview and collaborate to create a presentation that finds Flagg’s depiction of the Alabama of the Great Depression days credible or not.


Subject: Arts Education (6 - 8), or English Language Arts (8), or Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table
Description: Students will learn basic information on a specific element found on the Periodic Table. Students will produce a reference book appropriate for a third or fourth grade child on the topic of the element the student is assigned. The book will include all of the basic information about the element while making the elements appeal to a young audience.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 (8), or Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Inventions Using Simple Machines Project
Description: Students will have completed a unit on the six simple machines (lever, inclined plane, pulley, wedge, screw, and wheel and axle) before beginning this project. Students will choose to investigate an invention composed of one or more simple machines that has already been invented, or they will choose to build a device composed of one or more simple machines. The invention must be safe to operate and it should be one that can be demonstrated at school. It should be one that students use themselves in everyday life. It should not be complicated.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: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Everyday Heroes
Description: Following a unit on Greek mythology and mythological heroes, students design and maintain a website that features everyday heroes. Students submit candidates based on their everyday encounters with people in the community.


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: 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 (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Hold Fast To Your Dreams: The Sound and Sense of Langston Hughes
Description: Students investigate poetry form as they research the life of Langston Hughes. They perform the lyrics of his poetry, participate in a distance learning program from Cleveland Institute of Music, and produce computer-generated brochures and booklets as they execute this lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 9), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Oral Presentation of Favorite Celebrity
Description: Using the Internet to research facts about a favorite celebrity, students gain the organizational and oral presentation skills needed to successfully deliver an effective speech and slideshow presentation.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: I Am a Fish
Description: This cross-curricular lesson combines research on an ecological issue with creative writing. After conducting research on an important environmental issue, students will present their findings from a different point of view.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Introduction to African American Poets
Description: In this lesson student groups will research selected African American poets using the Alabama Virtual Library. Each group will present its findings according to a chosen format.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: The Rookie Project
Description: This is a three-part writing project which includes a research paper, a creative short story, and a movie review inspired by the movie, The Rookie. The lesson is easily adapted to other appropriate films of similar themes.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Memory Preservation--One Relative at a Time
Description: After organizing and conducting an interview of a grandparent/senior citizen, students create a slideshow presentation using the information and memorabilia collected at the interview.


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: Social Studies - Geography
Title: Where in the World Would You Like to Live?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students compare thematic maps of the continents and the world as a whole to determine where they would like to live. They view several online thematic maps and conclude by writing paragraphs describing the three places in the world they think they d most like to live.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
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



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: The Constitutional Convention: Four Founding Fathers You May Never Have Met      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, contains four activities for students to examine the contributions and perspectives of some of the less-renowned of the Founding Fathers in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. The activities involve a biographical study of four of the Founding Fathers (Ellsworth, Hamilton, Paterson, and Randolph), oral presentations arguing for their significance in the events of the period, and a puzzle to match characteristic quotes with the Founding Father responsible for uttering them.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Industrial Age in America: Sweatshops, Steel Mills, and Factories      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson from EDSITEment, students research working conditions in the Age of Industrialization and examine worker responses to these conditions. They then read arguments for and against modern sweatshops and write a position paper on sweatshops today.
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: Expository Escapade Detectives Handbook      Add Bookmark
Description: Students create a Detective's Handbook based on a detective mystery they have read. The handbooks include expository and descriptive writing, as well as a letter.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Finding Figurative Language in The Phantom Tollbooth       Add Bookmark
Description: Students examine figurative language in The Phantom Tollbooth and create a chart representing the literal and figurative meanings of words and phrases.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Inside or Outside? A Minilesson on Quotation Marks and More      Add Bookmark
Description: Students often question whether a punctuation mark goes inside or outside the quotation marks, especially when writing dialogue. This lesson helps students identify the conventions and apply them to their text.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Picture Books as Framing Texts: Research Paper Strategies for Struggling Writers      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use picture books as framing texts for research, freeing them from the language of encyclopedia sources and allowing them to focus their attention on the content of their papers.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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: The Big, Bad Wolf...Is This a Fact?      Add Bookmark
Description: Reading is revamped in this lesson in which students use a multimedia approach to study the books by Seymour Simon.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Dynamic Duo Text Talks: Examining the Content of Internet Sites      Add Bookmark
Description: An Observation and Inquiry Sheet guides students as they analyze and compare their reactions to the value, engagement, and credibility of three websites related to Anne Frank and the Holocaust.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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Thinkfinity
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