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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 6), or Social Studies (3 - 5)
Title: Living in the Wild
Description: In this lesson, students will compare and contrast how the Prehistoric Americans lived off the land at Russell Cave and how Sam Gribley from "My Side of the Mountain" lived off the land. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Creating a Website on Explorers
Description: After researching famous European explorers and choosing the most important ones, students create a web page highlighting European explorers and the discoveries and impact these explorers had on the world. The web page will contain a survey which will allow visitors to select their "Explorer Idol" after reading about each explorer.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Dinosaurs: Prefixes and Suffixes
Description: Scientists use prefixes and suffixes to name dinosaurs. In this lesson, students will use a variety of prefixes and suffixes to create their own dinosaur names. They will draw a picture of the new dinosaur, and then type, edit, and print a story using a word processor.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Career Capers
Description: This lesson will focus on career/job information. This interdisciplinary lesson integrates reading, writing, interview and research skills. Students will research careers through print and on-line sources, conduct interviews, and present their findings in a written/oral report.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Exploring Explorers
Description: Students will create a video in talk-show format about explorers from the 15th-17th centuries. They will utilize books, the Alabama Virtual Library, and the Internet for reference. Groups of students will answer who, what, when, where, and why questions and then use that information to write a script for the video.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Alaska Native Stories: Using Narrative to Introduce Expository Text      Add Bookmark
Description: Tradition and technology come together in this lesson in which students learn about Alaskan animals through Native American tales and their own online research.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Dust Bowl Days      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of seven lessons, from EDSITEment, introduces the dramatic era of the Great Depression to students through photographs, songs, and interviews with people who lived through the Dust Bowl years. These lessons also help students understand the problems Americans were facing during the Great Depression and the attempts of the government and citizens to solve these problems.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Ursula K. LeGuin was born on this day in 1929.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students examine realistic and non-realistic elements of a familiar fantasy story of their choice.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10



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: 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: Thundering Tall Tales: Using Read-Aloud as a Springboard to Writing      Add Bookmark
Description: Imagination and application are key to this tall tale lesson in which students take what they know about tall tales to spin a yarn of their own.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Investigating Junk Mail: Negotiating Critical Literacy at the Mailbox      Add Bookmark
Description: Students increase their media literacy skills by critically examining and revising junk mail.
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: Evaluating Using the Meeting of the Minds Technique      Add Bookmark
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model developed by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson introduces students to the strategy of evaluating, using the Meeting of the Minds technique.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Teaching Science Through Picture Books: A Rainforest Lesson      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read Welcome to the Green House, use note-taking strategies, find patterns in text structure, learn vocabulary in context, and write efferent and affective responses to the text.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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: Book Report Alternative: Examining Story Elements Using Story Map Comic Strips      Add Bookmark
Description: Comic frames are traditionally used to illustrate a story in a short, concise format. In this lesson, students use a six-paneled comic strip frame to create a story map, summarizing a book or story that they've read. Each panel retells a particular detail or explains a literary element (such as setting or character) from the story.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Preamble to the Constitution: How Do You Make a More Perfect Union?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of five EDSITEment lessons, students investigate the purposes of the U.S. Constitution, as identified in the Preamble to the Constitution. They also study fundamental values and principles as they are expressed in the Preamble.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
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,Social Studies
Title: Slave Narratives: Constructing U.S. History Through Analyzing Primary Sources      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students research narratives from the Federal Writers Project and describe the lives of former African slaves in the U.S., both before and after Emancipation. From varied stories, students sample the breadth of individual experiences, make generalizations about the effects of slavery and Reconstruction on African Americans, and evaluate primary source documents.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: A Daily DEAR Program: Drop Everything, and Read!      Add Bookmark
Description: The teacher shouts, '' Drop Everything and Read!'' and students settle into their seats to read books they've selected. This independent reading program helps students build a lifelong reading habit.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts - Journalism - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Seeing the World Through the News      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Xpeditions, introduces students to National Geographic News and has them find several articles about recent geographic and environmental developments. Students are probably familiar with some general news sources, such as the daily newspaper or the nightly TV news. They are less likely to know about specialty sources such as geographic or environmental news Web sites. Students map the locations these news stories describe and explain how maps can help them learn about what's going on around the world.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: American Colonial Life in the Late 1700s: Distant Cousins      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore daily life and its influences in the late 1700s for two families in different colonies: Delaware and Massachusetts. Students use maps to consider the historical and geographical factors in the development of different colonies, research life in two such colonies by investigating artifacts, and write letters to each other from the perspectives of children in the Ipswich, Massachusetts colony and the Mill Creek, Delaware colony.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts - Journalism - Social Studies - Comparative Political Systems - Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - World History
Title: Submarines: The Journey of K-19      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students study the ill-fated first mission of K-19, the Soviet Union's first nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine. Students learn about the Cold War and locate the key points of K-19's journey on a map. They consider the actions of crew members who risked their lives so that others might survive and contemplate the reasons why the story was kept secret until the end of the Cold War. Students conclude by writing a newspaper article about the accident at sea.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: The prototype for the World Wide Web was created in 1990.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students look at pictures from the past using the WayBack Machine and brainstorm a few websites to explore to think about how they have changed over the years.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



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: Writing and Assessing an Autobiographical Incident      Add Bookmark
Description: Students build upon their knowledge of biographies to write their own autobiographical incident. After going through a process of revision, they use a rubric to assess their work.
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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