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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Mathematics (6)
Title: Michael Phelps.... or not?
Description: This lesson is created to have students compare themselves to Michael Phelps and the features that make him such a good swimmer. Students will measure their height and arm span and graph them on a coordinate graph. Students will then compare their height and arm span to their classmates' to see who might be the best swimmer in the class! This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Mathematics (6)
Title: If I Could...I Would
Description: This cross-curricular lesson is designed to encourage students to apply measurement skills to real world encounters such as frogs and baseball. A literature text will be utilized to initiate students' thoughts to real world situations, and will follow with application of their physical abilities to the math standards. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 7)
Title: Get on your Mark, Get Set, Go!  Collect, Interpret, and Represent Data using a Bar Graph and a Circle Graph.
Description: In collaborative/cooperative groups, students will review basic vocabulary and concepts for data and statistics.  Students will create, collect, display, and interpret data in the form of frequency tables, bar graphs and circle graphs.   


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: What I DIDN'T know...
Description: This unit is designed to assist students in identifying areas of mathematical weakness then requires them to create a wiki page teaching that topic. Activities include evaluating Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-10) scores to determine weak areas, collecting and organizing data, and creating a multimedia project to assist in teaching the topic. Multimedia can be, but is not limited to, movies, slide shows, interactive games, or podcasts. 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: Mathematics (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Hardships During the Great Depression
Description: Students will be divided into groups of 2 or more. Each group will be given a choice of jobs that were available during the 1930s. Students will learn to manage their cost of living and household expenses.


Subject: Mathematics (3 - 6), or Science (3), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Can Plants Be Grown in Space?
Description: This lesson allows students to explore finding a solution to growing plants in space. Students will have the opportunity to conduct a scientific investigation to discover if plants can grow in space. Students will also take a virtual field trip and discuss their experiment results with experts from NASA.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Mathematics
Title: Getting into the Electoral College      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of 3 lessons from Illuminations, students are engaged in activities involving percentages, ratios, and area, with a focus throughout on building problem-solving and reasoning skills. They are designed to be used individually to fit within curriculum being covered at the time of an election. Additionally, the lesson extensions include many ideas for interdisciplinary activities and some possible school-wide activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: A Swath of Red      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students estimate the area of the country that voted for the Republican candidate and the area that voted for the Democratic candidate in the 2000 presidential election using a grid overlay. Students then compare the areas to the electoral and popular vote election results. Ratios of electoral votes to area are used to make generalizations about the population distribution of the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics,Science
Title: The Beat of Your Heart      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of five lessons, from Illuminations, gives students the opportunity to explore applications involving their own heart. The lessons, which span grades Pre-K-8, focus on measuring and data collection.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Playing Games      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of five lessons, from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on the uses of numbers. The activities use the theme of games to develop concepts of measurement and statistics. Students are asked to measure distances using standard and nonstandard units and to record their measurement in various tables. Then they are asked to use descriptive statistics to report the results. These lessons include an individual activity for four different levels plus one for parents to complete with their child at home.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Spinning Tops      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students participate in games and activities that develop concepts of measurement and statistics. Students are asked to measure distances using standard and nonstandard units and to record their measurements in various tables. Then they are asked to use descriptive statistics to report the results.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Finding the Balance      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson for grades 7 and 8, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on patterns and relations that can be developed from the exploration of balance, mass, length of the mass arm, and the position of the fulcrum.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Mean and Median      Add Bookmark
Description: In this applet from Illuminations, students investigate the mean, median, and box-and-whisker plot for a set of data that they create. The data set may contain up to 15 integers, each with a value from 0 to 100.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: How Could That Happen?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students are challenged to generate election results using number sense and other mathematical skills. Students are also given the opportunity to explore the mathematical questions in a politically challenging context.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics,Social Studies
Title: State Names      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students use multiple representations to analyze the frequency of letters that occur in the names of all 50 states. In the process, they learn how various representations, including steam-and-leaf plots, box-and-whisker plots, and histograms, can be used to organize the data.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics, Social Studies
Title: First Class First? Using Data to Explore the Tragedy of the Titanic      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students analyze and interpret data related to the crew and passengers of the Titanic. They draw conclusions to better understand the people who were lost or saved as a result of the disaster, and whether or not social status affected the outcome.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Combinations      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of two lessons, from Illuminations, focuses on combinations, a subject related to the probability-and-statistics strand of mathematics. Students are encouraged to discover all the combinations for a given situation using problem-solving skills (including elimination and collection of organized data) and drawing conclusions. The use of higher-level thinking skills (synthesis, analysis, and evaluations) is the overall goal.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Boxing Up      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students explore the relationship between theoretical and experimental probabilities. They use an interactive box model that allows them to simulate standard probability experiments such as flipping a coin or rolling a die.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Random Drawing Tool      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, allows students to explore the relationship between theoretical and experimental probabilities. Students use this '' box model'' as a statistical device to simulate standard probability experiments such as flipping a coin or rolling a die.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Adjustable Spinner      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, allows students to create their own spinners and examine the outcomes given a specified number of spins. Students learn that experimental probabilities differ according to the characteristics of the model.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Birthday Paradox      Add Bookmark
Description: This Illuminations lesson demonstrates the birthday paradox, using it as a springboard into a unit on probability. Students use the TI-83 graphing calculator to run a Monte Carlo simulation with the birthday paradox and engage in a graphical analysis of the birthday-problem function.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Explorations with Chance      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students analyze the fairness of certain games by examining the probabilities of the outcomes. The explorations provide opportunities for the learning phases of predicting results, playing the games, and calculating probability ratios.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Fire      Add Bookmark
Description: In this student interactive, from Illuminations, students can see the results of a fire if a forest is densely planted in a rectangular grid. Students are able to choose a starting place for the fire and enter the probability that a given tree will burn.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Stick or Switch?      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Illuminations, presents a version of a classic game-show scenario. You pick one of three doors in hopes of winning the prize. The host opens one of the two remaining doors, which reveals no prize, and then asks if you wish to stick or switch. Which choice gives you the best chance to win? Students explore different approaches to this problem including guesses, experiments, computer simulations, and theoretical models.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Sticks and Stones Demo      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from an Illuminations lesson, allows students to generate random throws for the game '' Sticks and Stones.'' In the game, three sticks are tossed and a player moves his or her marker according to how the sticks land.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Sticks and Stones      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students play Sticks and Stones, a game based on the Apache game Throw Sticks, which was played at multi-nation celebrations. Students collect data, investigate the likelihood of various moves, and use basic ideas of expected value to determine the average number of turns needed to win a game.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: The Game of SKUNK      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students practice decision-making skills while playing a dice game called Skunk. This allows them to develop a better understanding of mathematical probability and of the concept of choice versus chance.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics - Statistics - Social Studies - Economics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Rich, Poor, or Somewhere in the Middle      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson offers students an opportunity to use economic and social indicators to identify the connection between a country's access to resources and its economic development. They learn how development is measured and examine basic statistical figures related to standard of living.
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: Mathematics - Statistics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Population Pasta      Add Bookmark
Description: In this student activity, from Xpeditions, students investigate population statistics. Using different types of pasta to represent different numbers of people, students experiment with using graphs, maps, and more to illustrate the population densities of various countries.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Canada Data Map      Add Bookmark
Description: Investigate data for the Canadian provinces and territories with this interactive tool. Students can examine data sets contained within the interactive, or they can enter their own data.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Circle Grapher      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, allows students to create a customized circle graph as well as display pre-set circle graphs. They can choose from one of 3 predetermined data sets, or input their own data into the applet. In addition to the circle graph, a table of the data is also included.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Exploring Histograms      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students create their own sets of data using an interactive data analysis tool. They then examine how various statistical functions such as mean, median, and standard deviation depend on the choice of data. The lesson includes an interactive online applet.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Histogram Tool      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, allows students to create a customized histogram as well as display pre-set histograms for various data sets. The tool also allows students to see a frequency table, adjust the interval, and view the median and standard deviation of a data set.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: History of Populations      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students analyze information represented graphically. Students are asked to discuss, describe, read, and write about the graphs and the information they contain. The emphasis on using components of language is natural for students and helps them clarify the information depicted.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Information Represented Graphically      Add Bookmark
Description: In this three-lesson unit, from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they analyze information represented graphically. Students are asked to discuss, describe, read, and write about the graphs and the information they contain.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Health - Disease - Mathematics - Applied Mathematics - Science - Biology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Africa's Struggle With AIDS      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students come to understand the enormity of the impact of AIDS on the population of Africa by comparing its effect there with its effect on the population of the world in general, and especially on that of the United States. After locating Africa on a world map, and individual sub-Saharan nations on a map of Africa, students examine charts and graphs to find and compare data about AIDS in Africa, the world, and the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Using NBA Statistics for Box and Whisker Plots      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use information from NBA statistics to make and compare box and whisker plots. The data provided in the lesson come from the NBA, but you could apply the lesson to data from the WNBA or any other sports teams or leagues for which player statistics are available.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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The Malone Family Foundation
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