ALEX Lesson Plans
Subject: Literacy Standards (612) (6  8), or Mathematics (7), or Credit Recovery Science (8), or Science (8) Title: ABCs of Nano
Description: This module provides 6th – 8th grade middle school students with a basic understanding of the Nano. With the knowledge evolution about everything in nano, the various disciplines of nanoscience and nanotechnology have seen enormous growth and the advent of various revolutionary technologies. In this module development with the help of 3D visualization, the important concept and phenomenon such as, how small is “small”, why nano is a magic number, the dramatic increase in surface area thereby exposed atoms by dicing a cube into tons of tiny cubes at nanoscale.
In addition to the introduction of the basic concepts of the nanoscience, the module further define the difference among nanoscience, nanotechnology, and nanoengineering. Nanoscience is the study of material properties and behaviors at the magic nanoscale, which is different from bulk materials.
Subject: Mathematics (7), or Credit Recovery Science (8) Title: Mad Scientist Jam Too!
Description: This activity will serve as an interactive culminating activity for surface area. Specifically, the students will get an opportunity to create a rap, song, or chant utilizing information they have learned and discussed about surface area. Students may use notes or other information approved by the teacher on surface area. Teachers may allow students to incorporate instrumental music to enhance the activity. All performances will be videotaped. This activity was created for a module entitled Exploring the Surface Area with the Mad Scientist (TU Math & Science Partnership Project).
Subject: Mathematics (7) Title: The Golden Face
Description: The following lesson serves as a review surface area activity. Specifically, the students will explore the surface area of a threedimensional Styrofoam cube using lima beans. To accommodate atrisk or diverse learners, cooperative learning groups will be utilized. This activity was created for a module entitled Exploring the Surface Area with the Mad Scientist (TU Math & Science Partnership Project)
Subject: Mathematics (7) Title: WHAT ABOUT WOODENRUBIK!
Description: This activity will serve as a review surface area activity. Specifically, the students will explore what happens to the surface area of a threedimensional wooden rubik cube if it is broken down into smaller pieces or smaller cubes. Cooperative learning groups and handson wooden cubes will be used to accommodate the various learning styles. This activity was created for a module entitled Exploring the Surface Area with the Mad Scientist (TU Math & Science Partnership Project).
Subject: Human Services (7), or Mathematics (4  7) Title: Have Your Math and Eat It, Too!
Description: In this twoday lesson, students will collaborate to create a healthy pizza using only geometric items that have been precisely measured. Students must identify the items as triangle, quadrilateral (parallelogram), or cube. Next, students will measure the items that they place on their pizza. Finally, students will bake their pizza; therefore, having their math and eating it, too!
Subject: Mathematics (7), or Technology Education (6  8) Title: 2020  Year of the Cool School!
Description: Hey! Are you tired of your old lame school? Are the halls too narrow? Do you like walking outside to get to the cafeteria? Are the classrooms too small? Is the design too simple  just too wacky for a middle school? Well, now is the biggest break of your lives  You and your peers will design the school of the future and make history! Your biggest challenge is to create a section of a dream school that oozes and awes your peers. Each team will design a section (cafeteria, library, performing arts room, or recreational room) of the school, research different floor coverings for the section, research different loans to cover the cost of the floor coverings, and design a model of each section. Grab your math knowledge and as many construction tools as you can because you are about to construct a building for the world to remember. But wait, THE CATCH  your team will be competing against other groups. So put your thinking caps on and let the building begin!
Subject: Mathematics (6  7) Title: Painting the Pyramids
Description: The students will find the area of each two dimensional figure on a net of a square pyramid. In groups, students will cut out the net and create a square pyramid. Groups will then discuss how to find the lateral area and the total surface area of the solid.
This lesson plan was created by exemplary Alabama Math Teachers through the AMSTI project.
Subject: Mathematics (6  8) Title: Popcorn  Bucket or Box?
Description: In this exploration, students will apply their knowledge of finding volume and surface area of cylinders and rectangular prisms. Students will make recommendations to the local movie theater after determining which package is cost effective. Students will support their decision through a presentation.
This lesson plan was created by exemplary Alabama Math Teachers through the AMSTI project.
Subject: Mathematics (6  7) Title: Cutting the CHEESE
Description: The students will find the area of each two dimensional figure on a net of a triangular prism. In groups, students will cut out the net and create a triangular prism. Groups will then discuss how to find the lateral area and the total surface area of the solid.
This lesson plan was created by exemplary Alabama Math Teachers through the AMSTI project.
Subject: Mathematics (6  8) Title: Nifty Nets
Description: During this activity, students will create nets for prisms. They will find the volume and surface area of the shapes. They will also use interactive activities to review threedimensional shapes.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMSU Project.
Subject: Mathematics (6  7) Title: Pump Up the Volume
Description: In this lesson, students will be required to generate a formula for volume of a rectangular prism. Students working in cooperative groups will use prior knowledge for finding area of a rectangle to determine the "amount of area in a rectangular prism" they have created with a stack of cards.
This lesson plan was created by exemplary Alabama Math Teachers through the AMSTI project.
Subject: Mathematics (6  7) Title: Thinking outside the "BOX"
Description: The students will find the area of each two dimensional figure on a net of a rectangular prism. In groups, students will cut out the net and create a rectangular prism. Groups will then discuss how to find the lateral area and the total surface area of the solid.
This lesson plan was created by exemplary Alabama Math Teachers through the AMSTI project.
Subject: Mathematics (5  7), or Technology Education (6  8) Title: Ping Pong Madness
Description: In this lesson, students will use their knowledge of 3D shapes to create packages for ping pong balls. They must create small, medium and large packages that are cost effective and stack easily. They will make nets of the their packages and find the volume and surface area of each. Students will present the information using a multimedia presentation and a spreadsheet software. This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMSU Project.
Subject: Mathematics (6  7), or Technology Education (9  12) Title: Applications of Area Abound
Description: The teacher will first provide direction instruction on area formulas and provide students an opportunity to practice using those formulas. Students will then apply their knowledge of area to reallife situations. They will write a short story to go along with the area problem, then record themselves "acting" it out, and finally add clip art images to illustrate their story. They will then turn all of this into a podcast using Photo Story 3, which can be uploaded to the Internet.
Subject: Mathematics (7  12), or Technology Education (9  12) Title: Water Tank Creations Part I
Description: In this lesson students will study the surface area and volume of threedimensional shapes by creating a water tank comprised of these shapes. Students will work in groups of 45 to research water tanks, develop scale drawings and build a scale model. Teacher will evaluate the project using a rubric and students will assess one anothers cooperative skills using a rubric.
Subject: Mathematics (7  12), or Technology Education (9  12) Title: Creating a Water Tank  Part II "Selling the Tank"
Description: Working in groups of 45 students will take the information,pictures and 3D model of the water tank they assembled in Part I of Creating a Water Tank and develop a web page and a video presentation. The web page will be a tool to advertise their water tank construction company and must include hyperlinks and digital pictures. The video presentation will be a "sales pitch" to a city council. The web page and video will be scored using a rubric. The web page and video must include the surface area, volume and cost of construction.
Subject: Mathematics (7  12), or Technology Education (9  12) Title: Let’s Tessellate
Description: This lesson is a handson, technologybased project that will take place in the classroom and computer lab. Students will discover which regular polygons tessellate the plane by constructing polygonal tessellations. Students will also use a spreadsheet to calculate the area and perimeter of the polygons.
Subject: Mathematics (7), or Credit Recovery Science (7  12), or Technology Education (9  12) Title: How Big Can a Bee Be?
Description: Students will study the relationship between surface area and volume. Math, science, and technology components are included.
Thinkfinity Lesson Plans
Subject: Mathematics Title: A Swath of Red
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart 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 Title: Circle Packing
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Description: In this unit of three Illuminations lessons, students explore circles. In the first lesson students apply the concepts of area and circumference to explore arrangements for soda cans that lead to a more efficient package. In the second lesson they then experiment with threedimensional arrangements to discover the effect of gravity on the arrangement of soda cans. The final lesson allows students to examine the more advanced mathematical concept of curvature. There are also links to online interactives that are used in the lessons. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
Subject: Mathematics Title: Do They Match?
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students use three dimensional figures they have constructed to determine when two isometric drawings can represent the same shape. They also determine what possible shapes might have the same isometric drawing and explain their reasoning. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Frontrighttop Views
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Description: This reproducible transparency, from an Illuminations lesson, depicts an isometric drawing of a threedimensional figure, along with its front, right, and top views. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Soda Cans
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Description: In this lesson, one of a threepart unit from Illuminations, students investigate various designs for packaging soda cans and use geometry to analyze their designs. Students work to create more efficient arrangements that require less packaging material than the traditional rectangular arrays. In addition, there are links to online activity sheets and other related resources. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
Subject: Mathematics Title: Soda Rack
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Description: In this lesson, one of a threepart unit from Illuminations, students consider the arrangement of cans placed in a bin with two vertical sides and discover an interesting result. They then prove their conjectures about the interesting results. In addition, there are links to online activity sheets and other related resources. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
Subject: Mathematics Title: Using Cubes and Isometric Drawings
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Description: In this unit of six lessons, from Illuminations, students explore polyhedra using different representations and perspectives for three dimensional block figures. In addition, students examine area and volume concepts for block figures within this context. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Area Contractor
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Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students are given the opportunity to explore surface area in the same way that a contractor might when providing an estimate to a potential customer. Once the customer accepts the estimate, a more detailed measurement is taken and a quote prepared. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Pan Balance  Expressions
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Description: This interactive pan balance, from Illuminations, allows students to enter and compare numeric or algebraic expressions. They can '' weigh'' the expressions they want to compare by entering them on either side of the balance, allowing them to practice arithmetic and algebraic skills, as well as to investigate the concept of equivalence. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
Subject: Mathematics Title: Scaling Away
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Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students measure the dimensions of a common object, multiply each dimension by a scale factor, and examine a model using the multiplied dimensions. Students then compare the surface area and volume of the original object with those of the enlarged model. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Fractal Tool
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Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, illustrates iteration graphically. Students can view preset iterations of various shapes and/or choose to create their own iterations. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
Subject: Mathematics Title: Learning about Multiplication Using Dynamic Sketches of an Area Model
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Description: Students can learn to visualize the effects of multiplying a fixed positive number by positive numbers greater than 1 and less than 1 with this tool. Using interactive figures, students can investigate how changing the height of a rectangle with a fixed width changes its area. eMath Investigations are selected eexamples from the electronic version of the Principles and Standards of School Mathematics (PSSM). The eexamples are part of the electronic version of the PSSM document. Given their interactive nature and focused discussion tied to the PSSM document, the eexamples are natural companions to the iMath investigations. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Arts,Mathematics,Social Studies, Language arts Title: History on Stage PopUp Lesson
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Description: This lesson plan, developed in support of the exhibition Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop, and Turn , introduces students to the variety of mechanisms included in movable books and encourages them to build their own popup in support of a social studies lesson. Making popups subtly reinforces student's understanding of mechanical movement and helps budding architects, designers, and engineers begin to envision objects threedimensionally. Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian Grade Span: 5,6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Learning about Length, Perimeter, Area, and Volume of Similar Objects by Using Interactive Figures: Side Length, Volume, and Surface Area of Similar Solids
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Description: This is part two of a twopart eexample from Illuminations that illustrates how students can learn about the length, perimeter, area, and volume of similar objects using dynamic figures. In this part, Side Length, Volume, and Surface Area of Similar Solids, the user can manipulate the scale factor that links two threedimensional rectangular prisms and learn about the relationships among edge lengths, surface areas, and volumes. eMath Investigations are selected eexamples from the electronic version of the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (PSSM). Given their interactive nature and focused discussion tied to the PSSM document, the eexamples are natural companions to the iMath Investigations. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Language Arts,Mathematics Title: Mathematics and Children's Literature
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Description: In this fivelesson unit, from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on connections between mathematics and children s literature. Five pieces of literature are applied to teaching a wide range of topics in the mathematics curriculum, from sorting and classifying to the meaning of averages. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Area Formulas
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Description: In this unit of four lessons, from Illuminations, students use the area formula for a rectangle to discover the area formulas for triangles, parallelograms and trapezoids. Students also consider irregular figures whose areas can be determined by estimation or decomposition. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Discovering the Area Formula for Triangles
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students learn the area formula for a triangle. Students find the areas of rectangles and squares and compare them to the areas of triangles derived from the original shape. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Finding the Area of Trapezoids
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students discover the area formula for trapezoids and explore alternative methods for calculating the area of a trapezoid. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Finding the Area of Irregular Figures
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students estimate the areas of highly irregular shapes and use a process of decomposition to calculate the areas of irregular polygons. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Trapezoid
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Description: This reproducible activity sheet, from an Illuminations lesson, features several drawings of trapezoids of different sizes. Students first estimate then measure the area of the trapezoids. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Finding the Area of Parallelograms
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students use their knowledge of rectangles to discover the area formula for parallelograms. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Creating A Firewise Defensible Space
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Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students learn about creating defensible space around a home using a series of fire protection zones. Students then draw the zones that surround a house and estimate the area of each zone. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
Subject: Mathematics Title: Patterns and Function
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Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students investigate properties of perimeter, area, and volume related to various geometric two and threedimensional shapes. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8

