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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4)
Title: School Days: Early 19th Century in Alabama
Description: Students will explore an article about education in the early nineteenth century and a newspaper article from 1818 to determine what education was like in the early nineteenth century. Students will investigate the documents and find text evidence to find out what schools were like in the early nineteenth century. Students will use their findings to write a story. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4)
Title: Alabama's Early Governors
Description: In this lesson, students will learn about the executive branch of government at the state level, especially related to the first governors of the state of Alabama. Their impact on the development of Alabama and Alabama's role in the United States will be discussed. Students will use research and note taking skills to gather information on an early governor. Then students will participate in jigsaw groups to share their information, discuss the importance of each governor, similarities, and impact. Finally, students will discuss the role of governor and how governors have an impact on the state and the impact these men had in Alabama and in other states.  This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History. 


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4)
Title: School is in Session!
Description: In this lesson, students will be able to describe cultural aspects of early nineteenth century townspeople by reading a newspaper article describing the opening of a new school. Students will also be able to discuss, infer, and write from a variety of perspectives when explaining the roles of various people mentioned in the article. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4)
Title: You Don't Have Mail!
Description: This lesson will provide students with two primary documents, a drawing of a postal stagecoach and a newspaper article outlining the difficulties of mail delivery. Students will complete a graphic organizer to provide evidence that details a specific perspective described in the documents. Students will examine the cultural and economic aspects of the early nineteenth century and will refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences. Students will be able to explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points of view. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4)
Title: Look Who's Coming to Dinner!
Description: Students will read from an Alabama newspaper about President James Monroe's surprise visit to Huntsville. The article discusses the purposes of the visit, the locals who welcomed and entertained the President, and his discussion of current (1819) events. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4)
Title: Hernando de Soto in Alabama
Description: Students will use primary sources to gain information about Hernando de Soto, his route, and his interactions with Native Americans in Alabama. Students will read two articles in order to identify information about Hernando de Soto and his journey through Alabama. Students will also learn about the impact of European Exploration on the Native Americans who were in Alabama in the 1500s.  This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4)
Title: We, the People...
Description: In 1819 the Constitutional Convention met in Huntsville, Alabama in order to write our state's constitution. In this lesson, students will learn what a preamble is, as well as, read both the United States' Preamble to the Constitution and the preamble to Alabama's Constitution. Students will examine similarities between both preambles and discuss possible reasons for such similarities. Fifth-grade teachers could also utilize this lesson to examine and compare both preambles and their purposes.  This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (4)
Title: Constitution Day Wordle
Description: Students will draw inferences about the delegates of the Constitutional Congress after watching the video describing the process of creating the Constitution. Students will then follow a link to the Alabama Virtual Library where they will read or listen to an article written about why we celebrate the United States Constitution looking at important details from the text that tell who, what happened, and where and other specific keywords from the text.  Students will then work independently taking their words gathered from the article and place them in a word cloud using Wordle .They will then partner and share paraphrasing the text by explaining the words they chose for their word cloud. This lesson will be taught in one day.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (3)
Title: A Father's Life at Russell Cave
Description: In this lesson, students will learn about a father's life at Russell Cave and learn about different writing genres. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Aunt Chip and the Triple Creek Dam Affair by Patricia Pollaco
Description: In this lesson, students will read and summarize the book by pages. After publishing, students will use their slides as sequencing exercises. This lesson plan can be adapted for any grade level or book.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Narrative Structure      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson uses comic strip frames to define plot and reinforce the structure that underlies a narrative. Students finish by writing their own original narratives.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Edward Stratemeyer, creator of book series such as Nancy Drew, was born on this day in 1862.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students select several books from one of Stratemeyer's series to read, discuss shared elements in the books, and use the 3-Circle Venn Diagram to compare story elements.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Cyberspace Explorer: Getting to Know Christopher Columbus      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore multiple online sources to gather information about the life of Christopher Columbus, complete a cyber scavenger hunt, and use their notes to prepare a timeline and summary report.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Find favorite book picks in the Children's Choices.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students create lists of their favorite books and then the class creates a '' Top Picks'' class booklist. Students can use the Book Cover Creator to create a book jacket for their favorite book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Exploring the Subtext Strategy: Thinking Beyond the Text      Add Bookmark
Description: What is it like to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day? Students find out in this lesson in which they become the characters in Judith Viorst's book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 2,3,4



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Making Connections Using a Double-Entry Journal      Add Bookmark
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson helps students learn three types of connections (text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world) using a double-entry journal.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5,6



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Blending Fiction and Nonfiction to Improve Comprehension and Writing Skills      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use a text set to increase understanding of content area material and demonstrate what they have learned by writing an original piece that blends together narrative and expository elements.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Q is for Duck: Using Alphabet Books With Struggling Writers      Add Bookmark
Description: A is for zoo? Q is for duck? The alphabet as students know it is transformed when students create a class book that contains clever associations for each letter of the alphabet.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Research Building Blocks: Notes, Quotes, and Fact Fragments      Add Bookmark
Description: Students are guided through the process of taking notes while reading factual information, then turning those notes into new sentences and paragraphs written in their own words.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Knowing How Words Work Using Semantic Feature Analysis      Add Bookmark
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model developed by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson introduces students to the comprehension strategy of knowing how words work.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Science Texts to Teach the Organizational Features of Nonfiction      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore organizational features of nonfiction science. Students then work together to create a two-page spread using those features to present information about their local environment.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Readers Theatre      Add Bookmark
Description: Students develop scripts, perform, and use their voices to depict characters from texts, giving them the opportunity to develop fluency and further enhance comprehension of what they are reading.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Vote for Me! Developing, Writing, and Evaluating Persuasive Speeches      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson encourages students in grades 4 and 5 to think critically and write persuasively by focusing on preparing, presenting, and evaluating mock campaign speeches.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Voting! What's It All About?      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore a variety of sources for information about voting. They evaluate the information to determine if it is fact or opinion, and then create a graffiti wall about voting.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Historical Fiction to Learn About the Civil War      Add Bookmark
Description: Students in grades 4 and 5 discuss inferential comprehension and visualization as they use a think-aloud questioning strategy to develop a deeper understanding of a historical novel.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Exploring How Section Headings Support Understanding of Expository Texts      Add Bookmark
Description: Nonfiction may be dull for some students, but this lesson helps them focus on the main ideas. Through awareness of section headings, students learn to sort and categorize main concepts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Wartime Poetry: Working With Similes      Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze a photograph, brainstorm words to describe the characters' senses and feelings, work in pairs to describe a character's experience, and create a poem using their ideas and similes.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Creating a Classroom Newspaper      Add Bookmark
Description: Students write authentic newspaper stories, including learning about various aspects of newspapers, such as writing an article, online articles, newspaper reading habits, and layout and design techniques.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Science
Title: 'Leap, plashless'': Emily Dickinson and Poetic Imagination      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students read and explore one of Emily Dickinson's nature poems, A Bird came down the Walk--through interaction with other art forms. First, they listen to clips of a hymn to help them hear Dickinson's meter. Then, they view 19th-century bird images and describe what they see, just as a poet would. They observe how a poet plays with language and imagery to create a scene by acting out verse lines. Finally, they write a brief poem of their own, using what they have learned and their own observations.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: All About Our Town: Using Brochures to Teach Informational Writing      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore their towns' landmarks, symbols, and people; look at brochures and other informational tools; practice writing for a specific audience and revising; and work collaboratively to create a brochure.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: November is National American Indian Heritage Month.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore Native American heritage through the study of pourquoi tales, write their own original pourquoi tales, and use the ReadWriteThink Printing Press to publish them.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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