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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (5)
Title: A Speech from the “Reconstruction Era”  
Description: After researching facts pertaining to a person/topic from the Reconstruction Era in American History, students will organize their facts to write a speech. Afterwards, students will create a character who will give the speech and share the speech through a multimedia presentation such as Power Point, Voki or other approved presentation media.


Subject: English Language Arts (5)
Title: People Things- The Power of Personification in Literature
Description: This lesson teaches personification as a form of figurative language. Students will be introduced to characters and objects in stories, poems, and a movie clip that possess human characteristics. This topic can be used as a stand-alone lesson or with a unit on figurative language.  


Subject: English Language Arts (5)
Title: Disappearing Acts: Why Would a Mother Leave--Issues That Students Have Faced in the Past and Present
Description: Use literary elements to show students' similarities and differences of today's society to the past. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (5)
Title: Henry "Box" Brown
Description: This can be an extended literature connection (the book is useful but not required to use this lesson plan).   The book Henry Brown's Box, the Slave who Mailed Himself to Freedom, is the basis for this lesson.   In Henry's later life, he was an international speaker, describing his courageous journey to become free. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5)
Title: Don't get lost in story writing: Follow the map!
Description: In this lesson, teachers will guide the students, as a group, through the process of writing a meaningful story using a story map. First the teacher will review the parts that make up a successful story. Then, the students will be guided through the planning process in which they will make selections for each part of the story. At the end of the exercise, the students will experience how each selection they made as a group, combines to make one cohesive story. Once the group activity is complete, students will have the opportunity to plan and write stories individually using the same story map.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Give That Character a Voice with Voki!
Description: This lesson fuses fictional literature with technology through a project-based experience.  Students will use the free online resource Voki to bring a fictional character to "life" and deepen their understanding notion of character, character traits, and the importance of character development within stories. They will create an avatar, compose and edit a script, and supplying the voice befitting the character.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5)
Title: A Revolutionary Dinner Party
Description: Students play the role of colonists from the Revolutionary War period. Each group has decided to host a dinner party for some "famous faces" of the American Revolution. There are FOUR parts to this project: research, seating chart, music and food, and dialogue.


Subject: English Language Arts (5 - 6), or Technology Education (3 - 8)
Title: Telling It the Digital Way: Stories of Sports Spectacular Stand-outs
Description: During this lesson students design, develop, produce, and present a five-minute biographical video highlighting the life of a famous sports spectacular stand-out such as baseball's great Babe Ruth.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Narrative Writing: "A Day in the Life of ..."
Description: In this lesson, students will use what they have learned about narrative writing in an authentic situation. This is part of a welcome packet for students who are new to the school. Students will work in groups to conduct research and compose narrative essays telling about a typical day in the life of a kindergartner, first grader, etc. The project will culminate in the creation of a brochure and slideshow presentation that can be used by teachers to introduce new students to their class.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Writing with Presentation Software
Description: During this lesson students use their imaginations to create short stories. Then they create alternative endings to their classmates' stories. Students present their stories using presentation software.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5)
Title: Hershey Kiss Descriptive Essay
Description: This is a fun lesson to demonstrate the power of words to describe a simple chocolate treat prior to writing a five-paragraph descriptive essay.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Let's Eat: An Expository Slideshow Presentation
Description: Students will write a three-paragraph essay explaining the steps necessary to follow a recipe, and then present and serve the recipe to their classmates.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Science (5)
Title: Imaginary Journey Through a System of the Body
Description: The students will choose one of the systems of the human body, such as circulatory, respiratory, digestive, or nervous system, and imagine that they are inside it. They will write a description of what a journey through this system of the body would be like.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Writing with Technology
Description: The students will use technology (portable keyboards) to write a narrative.


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.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Newscast on the Battles of the Ironclad Ships
Description: This lesson is on the ironclad ships and the battles that took place during the Civil War. Students will use the information from previous lessons to create a simulated newscast that takes place during an actual battle between ironclad ships.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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: Color Poems Using the Five Senses to Guide Prewriting      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use their five senses as a prewriting tool to guide their poetry writing as they compose free-form poems using imagery to describe a color.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Sequencing: A Strategy to Succeed at Reading Comprehension      Add Bookmark
Description: Did Paul Bunyan gouge out the Grand Canyon before or after he dug the Great Lakes? Students create a life-sized timeline showing the sequence of events in this tall tale.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts - Literature - Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - United States History
Title: One If By Land, and Two If By Sea!      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson introduces students to various places associated with the American Revolutionary War. Students use historical and current maps of the Boston area to trace Paul Revere's route and learn about the region and the conflict.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
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: Webcams in the Classroom: Animal Inquiry and Observation      Add Bookmark
Description: Students observe animals using one of the many webcams broadcasting from zoos and aquariums around the United States and the world, with a focus on observation, discussion, questioning, and research.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Author Lois Duncan was born on this date in 1934.      Add Bookmark
Description: Mysteries are shared with students for them to solve and brainstorm the attributes of a good mystery. Small groups then compose short mysteries using the Mystery Cube.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: A Genre Study of Letters With The Jolly Postman       Add Bookmark
Description: Students read The Jolly Postman, in which a postman delivers letters to storybook characters. They explore different types of mail and categorize letters from the book and their own mail.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Artistic Elements: Exploring Art Through Descriptive Writing      Add Bookmark
Description: Paint a vivid picture in your reader's mind with good descriptive writing! Artwork provides the perfect starting point for practicing descriptive writing that conveys color, shape, line, and mood.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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: Writing a Movie: Summarizing and Rereading a Film Script      Add Bookmark
Description: Lights! Camera! Action! In this lesson, students view a scene with no dialogue from E.T., write a script for that scene, and perform a dramatic reading while the scene plays.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Choosing Clear and Varied Dialogue Tags: A Minilesson      Add Bookmark
Description: In this minilesson, students explore the use of dialogue tags such as he said or she answered in picture books and novels, discussing their purpose, form, and style.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Flying to Freedom: Tar Beach and The People Could Fly       Add Bookmark
Description: Students look to the past and use historical context to compare and contrast two characters from folktales.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Writing and Role-Play to Engage the Reluctant Writer      Add Bookmark
Description: What does the world look like through a javelina's eyes? Students become javelinas in this lesson when they analyze a character and write from his or her perspective.
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: 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,Social Studies
Title: Go West: Imagining the Oregon Trail      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson from EDSITEment, students compare imagined travel experiences of their own with the actual experiences of 19th-century pioneers. After writing stories about contemporary cross-country journeys, students learn about the experiences of the emigrants who traveled on the Oregon Trail. They then create works of historical fiction in the form of picture books or letters, drawing upon the information they have gathered.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Cinderella Folk Tales: Variations in Plot and Setting      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students compare and contrast several versions of Cinderella stories told around the world to find differences and similarities in plot and setting. They then write a narrative--a Cinderella variation--with a plot appropriate to the genre and an original setting.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
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: The Smithsonian Institution was founded in 1846.      Add Bookmark
Description: After exploring an exhibit online, students use the information they learned to write '' A Day in the Life'' narratives that tell about a person, animal, or object they saw in the exhibit.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Fairy Tale Autobiographies      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read and analyze fairy tales from several cultures, identifying common elements. Choosing common situations, students write original fairy tales, using picture books as models and a peer review process.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9



Subject: Language Arts
Title: How Big Are Martin's Big Words ? Thinking Big about the Future      Add Bookmark
Description: Inspired by the book Martin's Big Words, students explore information on Dr. King to think about his '' big'' words, then they write about their own '' big'' words and dreams.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Caldecott Medal-winner Virginia Lee Burton was born on this day in 1909.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students discuss similarities in Burton's illustrations and writing style in her many books, in addition to her use of personification.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Patriot Day is celebrated today on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 2001.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students write about the name '' Patriot Day'' and how it marks the anniversary of a huge disaster. An alternative assignment could be to ask students to record their reflections about 9/11.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: What's in a Mystery? Exploring and Identifying Mystery Elements      Add Bookmark
Description: Students identify the characteristics of mystery writing, outline a mystery story using a graphic organizer, write and revise their own mystery story, edit each other's work, and share their mysteries.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Mickey Mouse appeared in his first animated feature.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students create a short, humorous story with at least one action character, and then use the Comic Creator to make a flipbook.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Today is the International Day of Peace.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students brainstorm a list of current conflicts and why people fight. Groups discuss and present possible solutions and create posters that promote their particular solution.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Once Upon a Time Rethought: Writing Fractured Fairy Tales      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read and analyze fairy tales, identifying their common elements. They then write their own fractured fairy tales by changing one of the literary elements found in the original.
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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