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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Social Studies (4 - 5)
Title: Native Cultures Vs. Explorers in World Court
Description: This lesson represents the end result of a project-based, hands-on unit in which children represent a culture they've researched in a World Court Hearing against the explorers they encountered.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5)
Title: "The Regulars are coming!"
Description: In this lesson, students will review information about Paul Revere and the American Revolution. Students will also determine facts and opinions about the American Revolution.  After viewing primary sources, students will complete a journal entry.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5)
Title: Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion
Description: Students engage in a discussion of "Manifest Destiny" using a timeline of events from 1830 - 1860, and a biographical sketch of a real person who lived during that time period.  During the discussion, students will use the biography to interpret and infer how the real person might have felt.  A discussion guide is provided.  Students provide a written answer to the final discussion question to summarize their understanding of the issue.  


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Science (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: The Evidence of Chemistry
Description: The students will learn to identify evidence that a chemical reaction has taken place.  They will use the Internet to research evidence and find examples.  They will look around their school and neighborhood for examples. They will perform experiments in the science lab. The students will make a podcast, slideshow presentation, or a digital story board to show the types of evidence they collected and examples of each.


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Science (4 - 5)
Title: Venomous Snakes of Little River Canyon National Preserve
Description: There are three known venomous snakes found at Little River Canyon. They include the timber rattlesnake, copperhead, and cottonmouth.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5)
Title: Using Primary Sources to Uncover the True Thanksgiving Story
Description: This is an interdisciplinary inquiry-based lesson that focuses on critical thinking.  Students are introduced to the true story of the first Thanksgiving with the reading of a NCSS Notable Trade Book Thanksgiving:  The True Story.  Working in cooperative learning groups, students use primary sources to evaluate the accuracy of the Thanksgiving story currently told in many history textbooks.  This lesson teaches students the importance of using primary sources to construct accurate understandings of historical events.  Extensions in this lesson also integrate science and technology.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Mathematics (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Fun with Problem Solving
Description: The object of this lesson is to teach students that problem solving can be interesting and fun. It is important to pay attention to what is asked and information that is in the problem.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: Arts Education (3 - 5), or English Language Arts (5), or Science (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Scrapping the Biomes
Description: This is a student led exploration of the biomes through art and self-expression, in which students create a scrapbook of assigned biomes. This activity utilizes technology, research, and cooperative learning groups for completion. The biomes included in this activity are the tropical rainforest, deciduous forest, grassland, taiga, desert, tundra, freshwater (including rivers and wetlands), and saltwater (including coral reefs and deep sea). 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: English Language Arts (5), or Science (2 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Light Is
Description: The students will explore the properties of light in order to understand optics. Students will do two activities that will aid with their mastery of this concept.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: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: "Twenty Questions" History Virtual Fieldtrip
Description: During this lesson, students engage in a virtual game of "Twenty Questions" with another class. They will utilize textbooks, trade books, the Alabama Virtual Library, and other Internet sites for reference. Each team (class) will be assigned ten historical figures from the American Revolution. The identities remain hidden from the other team. Students also have the opportunity to investigate the appropriate dress of each figure and then dress ten students accordingly. Students will make a list of important events and dates in the persons’ lives to use as reference during the game.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Mathematics (7), or Science (3), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Investigating the Weather
Description: During this lesson, students will study, record, and predict weather. Students will work in groups to create a weather word wall, research and make a barometer, and create a video about weather. Students will also use the Internet to learn more about weather.


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 8)
Title: Lou Gehrig and Character Education
Description: After reading book or short story about Lou Gehrig, students conduct online research to learn more about him. Using the material they gather about his life and character, students create a flyer/poster. Students then participate in a virtual field trip from the Baseball Hall of Fame entitled "Lou Gehrig: The Iron Horse."


Subject: English Language Arts (5 - 6), or Mathematics (5)
Title: Peanut/Peanut Butter
Description: During this lesson students navigate the Internet to learn about the accomplishments of George Washington Carver. Students explore the history of peanuts and sample different types of peanuts. They use their five senses to write a descriptive paper about making homemade peanut butter.


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Who Will Be President?
Description: This lesson will allow students to experience the election process of an American President through a mock election. Students will learn the steps that must be followed in order to have an election. This is a great way to get students motivated to be involved in the election process.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Revolutionary War Patriots and Loyalists
Description: Students are assigned a prominent man or woman of the American Revolutionary War. The students will write a two-page report, create a poster person, and then present their research to the class in first person.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: What was Right about the Wright Brothers?
Description: In this unit students will explore the lives of the Wright brothers. The end result will be a student-made documentary highlighting the factors that allowed the Wright brothers to succeed at manned flight when others before them had failed.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Creating State Brochures
Description: Students will work in pairs to research online and/or in print a chosen state and create a travel brochure incorporating the information gathered.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Washington, DC Report
Description: Students will utilize the Internet to complete the DC Report during their study of Colonial American history and Washington, DC. They will demonstrate their understanding of the material through a written report using the three modes of writing. (This report may be given in its entirety or it may be broken up into sections.)


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Looking at Conestoga Wagons
Description: This lesson combines information literacy and technology skills with subject area skills. It is designed to be a collaborative effort between the classroom teacher and the school librarian. The topic of conestoga wagons is reseached from the perspective of a scientist, mathematician, English teacher, artist, geographer, engineer, or historian.


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Better Living Through Science
Description: This lesson involves research on scientists whose accomplishments have impacted areas of nutrition, sanitation, or health care. Students will research an area of their choice, record information on a graphic organizer, and use the information to write a five-paragraph narrative essay to present to the class.


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Digital Slideshows: PowerPoint for the Novice
Description: Students will learn how to use presentation software to enhance learning. Student-created digital slideshow presentations can span the curriculum. Each student will prepare a presentation in one of the following curriculum areas: reading/literature, mathematics, social studies, or science. The presentations will be created in the classroom or in the technology/computer lab. Students will access the Internet, Alabama Virtual Library, and local libraries for their information.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Today is St. Patrick's Day.      Add Bookmark
Description: St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by reading Irish folk tales and using the Story Map tool to create a graphic organizer and see what characteristics are unique to Irish tales.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Demonstrating Comprehension Through Journal Writing      Add Bookmark
Description: Students demonstrate comprehension by responding to open-ended questions based on the Newbery Honor book Mr. Popper's Penguins, and then draw from the text and their personal experiences to create journals.
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: 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: Research Building Blocks: Cite Those Sources!       Add Bookmark
Description: Students learn the importance of crediting others for their words and ideas, and then learn the paraphrasing and citation skills necessary to avoid plagiarism.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Research Building Blocks: Organize This!       Add Bookmark
Description: In this minilesson, students organize information they compile while doing research for a written report on a selected topic.
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
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 - 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: Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales      Add Bookmark
Description: In this series of lessons, from EDSITEment, students learn about the 19th-century author Hans Christian Andersen, who created vivid characters, and hear and read the original texts of several of his stories. The colorful characters, strong emotions, and engaging language of Andersen's tales offer rich imaginative experiences for students, as well as opportunities to analyze themes and ideas.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Exploring World Cultures Through Folk Tales      Add Bookmark
Description: Journey around the world with students as they read a Japanese, African, or Welsh folk tale, create a visual depiction of the tale, research the tale's culture, and present findings.
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: 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



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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
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The Malone Family Foundation
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