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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 9)
Title: Come to My City!
Description: Students will create a travel brochure for either their home town or a city they would love to visit or move to as soon as possible. This activity will help them learn to research and document information in appropriate spaces. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8)
Title: Drill and Kill No More - Incorporating Verbs, Adverbs, and Prepositions Within the Context of Argumentative Writing
Description: The technique known as "Drill and Kill" is not effective for the retention of grammar skills. Students are more apt to remember grammar skills when the skills are taught in connection with writing. The following lesson demonstrates a better way. Yes, the skills must be taught first; however, the “dril,l skill and kill” method is only 15% of the lesson. The first thing you must do is correlate the different genres of writing with the grammar concepts that go with them. This lesson will show teachers how to teach adverbs, verbs, and prepositions within the context of an argumentative paper. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (8 - 9), or Social Studies (11)
Title: Fried Green Tomatoes & Cultural Crossroads
Description: Having read Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, students will conduct research through an interview with an elderly person from the community (a field trip to local nursing home facility) to determine the validity of the author’s message (setting, cultural, and historical observations).  They will develop interview questions derived from observations and events from the book as a large group. Small student groups will use iPods/MP3s, laptop computers with webcams, or digital cameras to capture pictures, videos, or audio clips from their interview, as well as take notes. On their return, groups will compare facts from the book to findings during interview and collaborate to create a presentation that finds Flagg’s depiction of the Alabama of the Great Depression days credible or not.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: A Dickens of a Time: Discovering the Victorian Period
Description: Before reading Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, students examine different aspects of Victorian Life in London through a variety of research projects requiring hands-on computer activities.


Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Researching Mark Twain's Early Life and Experiences
Description: This lesson requires students to use the Internet to research the early life of Mark Twain and the influence of his childhood experiences on his writing. The lesson includes letter writing, reading, role playing, and working in a group to create a slideshow presentation.


Subject: English Language Arts (5 - 8), or Technology Education (3 - 8)
Title: Author Trading Cards
Description: In this lesson students conduct print and Internet research to gather information about a contempory author. Students create an author trading card featuring this information and then collect and/or trade these cards as they select reading material.


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Everyday Heroes
Description: Following a unit on Greek mythology and mythological heroes, students design and maintain a website that features everyday heroes. Students submit candidates based on their everyday encounters with people in the community.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Copyright Laws and What They Mean To You - Don't Get Branded With the "P" of Plagiarism!
Description: This lesson teaches an overview of copyright laws and the consequences of plagiarism. Students practice paraphrasing short passages and identifying instances of plagiarism.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Who's Who on Olympus and Why Should I Care?
Description: References to mythology extend far beyond the basic exploration of a genre. This unit will serve as an exploration of the creation myth across cultures, an introduction to the major Greek gods and goddesses, and an opportunity to link mythology to today's world. Students will research and create a newsletter on a creation myth and the culture from which it came. They will also plan and present a slideshow presentation about a major god or goddess of ancient Greece, including allusions to him/her in today's world.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Whose Voice Guides Your Choice?
Description: In this one-two week unit, students explore the role media has in influencing public opinion. Students analyze advertising in print, video, and online formats. An optional visit to the Museum of Television and Radio via distance learning videoconferencing helps students examine the extent to which they are influenced by propaganda.


Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 9), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Oral Presentation of Favorite Celebrity
Description: Using the Internet to research facts about a favorite celebrity, students gain the organizational and oral presentation skills needed to successfully deliver an effective speech and slideshow presentation.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: I Am a Fish
Description: This cross-curricular lesson combines research on an ecological issue with creative writing. After conducting research on an important environmental issue, students will present their findings from a different point of view.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Introduction to African American Poets
Description: In this lesson student groups will research selected African American poets using the Alabama Virtual Library. Each group will present its findings according to a chosen format.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: The Rookie Project
Description: This is a three-part writing project which includes a research paper, a creative short story, and a movie review inspired by the movie, The Rookie. The lesson is easily adapted to other appropriate films of similar themes.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Newspapers: Facts and Opinions
Description: In order to sharpen a student's understanding of the differences between facts and opinions, this lesson incorporates both the close reading of a newspaper and the writing of a factual article and a letter to the editor.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Memory Preservation--One Relative at a Time
Description: After organizing and conducting an interview of a grandparent/senior citizen, students create a slideshow presentation using the information and memorabilia collected at the interview.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Mathematics,Science,Social Studies,Geography
Title: The Internet Public Library       Add Bookmark
Description: The Internet Public Library, and EDSITEment-reviewed Blue Ribbon resource, offers a collection of online resources in a variety of subject areas. IPL provides dictionaries, atlases, other basic reference resources, online exhibits, texts of classic literature, links to newspapers and serials, and other resources for both adults and children. IPL also offers two ask-a-librarian services, where users can submit questions via e-mail on virtually any topic.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: ' Black Beauty'' author Anna Sewell was born in 1820.      Add Bookmark
Description: Through Sewell's novel, students explore the cruelty to animals and extend the discussion to current events, eventually presenting the information.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Dynamic Duo Text Talks: Examining the Content of Internet Sites      Add Bookmark
Description: An Observation and Inquiry Sheet guides students as they analyze and compare their reactions to the value, engagement, and credibility of three websites related to Anne Frank and the Holocaust.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Jack London's ''The Call of the Wild'': ''Nature Faker''?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students analyze Jack London's The Call of the Wild. They take a stand on whether London can be called a nature faker and on what he is attempting to communicate through his portrayal of Buck. They support their stands with historical evidence or evidence from the text. Finally, students write an essay, complete with hypothesis and textual support, on London's approach to the animal story in The Call of the Wild.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Metaphorical Gold: Mining the Gold Rush for Stories      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students research the Gold Rush era to provide authentic background for their own fictional prose. By mining online databases for primary texts and period photographs, students can explore the Klondike Stampede and glean from their visit sufficient period details to help them create their own narratives based on the Gold Rush. While the emphasis of this lesson is on history and research rather than literature, selections from Jack London's The Call of the Wild are used to provide focus and structure for students research in online databases of primary sources, and to serve as models of vivid narrative prose for students own stories.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Weaving the Threads: Integrating Poetry Annotation and Web Technology      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read a poem by a Native American, explore Native American culture and then create a Website that explains words and phrases from the poem.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Celebrate Halloween!      Add Bookmark
Description: Students research information on Halloween, create masks or costumes from a text they are reading, or write a narrative essay describing their best Halloween ever.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Cosmic Oranges: Observation and Inquiry Through Descriptive Writing and Art      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will eat up this lesson about oranges as they practice the skills that help them investigate and make detailed observations for descriptive purposes.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Biography Project: Research and Class Presentation      Add Bookmark
Description: Classroom biography study offers high-interest reading with a purpose, as students begin with inquiry and research, summarize and organize their information, and prepare oral presentations to share with the class.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Heroes Around Us      Add Bookmark
Description: Students select, read about, and report on a hero and then identify how their hero matches certain criteria and characteristics. Hero reports are then compiled into a class book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Beyond the Story: A Dickens of a Party      Add Bookmark
Description: Students attend a 19th Century Victorian party to celebrate Scrooge's new outlook on life. They research characters from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and assume those personas for the party.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Making Personal and Cultural Connections Using A Girl Named Disaster       Add Bookmark
Description: Struggling to survive is one of the many themes explored in A Girl Named Disaster. As students read, they look for connections between themselves and the main character, Nhamo.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Inquiry on the Internet: Evaluating Web Pages for a Class Collection      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use Internet search engines and Web analysis checklists to evaluate online resources then write annotations that explain how and why the resources will be valuable to the class.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: In 1847, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula was born.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students brainstorm the superstitions they know and small groups research one of the superstitions to determine its origin and meaning or purpose. Students can write about the superstition using the Mystery Cube interactive.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Women's Suffrage: Why the West First?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students compile information to examine hypotheses explaining why the first nine states to grant full voting rights for women were located in the West. The take a stand, supported by historical evidence, as to whether or not a single theory can explain why the Western states were the first to grant full voting rights to women.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Who Were the Foremothers of Women's Equality?       Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, introduces students to the achievements of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, the foremothers of women's equality. By studying a variety of primary historical materials, students also learn about some of the lesser-known activists who fought alongside Stanton and Anthony in the formative Women's Rights Movement.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Myth and Truth: The First Thanksgiving       Add Bookmark
Description: By exploring myths surrounding the Wampanoag, the pilgrims, and the '' First Thanksgiving,'' this lesson asks students to think critically about commonly believed myths regarding the Wampanoag Indians in colonial America.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter celebrate birthdays today.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students are encouraged to think about why people challenge Harry Potter books, do a Web Quest that allows them to research the issue, and decide whether the books should be banned from the public library.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Action Is Character: Exploring Character Traits with Adjectives      Add Bookmark
Description: Students must '' become'' a character in a novel in order to describe themselves and other characters using powerful adjectives.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Louisa May Alcott was born in 1832.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students brainstorm important events and people that might serve as the beginning of an interesting piece of writing. They then use the Bio-Cube to plan their writing and write an essay about a memorable person.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Picture Books as Framing Texts: Research Paper Strategies for Struggling Writers      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use picture books as framing texts for research, freeing them from the language of encyclopedia sources and allowing them to focus their attention on the content of their papers.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Proverbs: At Home and around the World      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, students work with proverbs from home and from around the world, exploring how these maxims are tied to a cultures values and everyday experience.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Critical Media Literacy: TV Programs      Add Bookmark
Description: By critically analyzing popular television programs, students develop an awareness of the messages that are portrayed through the media.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Critical Media Literacy: Commercial Advertising      Add Bookmark
Description: By looking at advertising and mass media critically, students begin to understand how the media oppresses certain groups, convinces people to purchase certain products, and influences culture.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Get the Gist: A Summarizing Strategy for Any Content Area      Add Bookmark
Description: Gist is a summarizing technique that can be used in any content area. Students will learn and apply the strategy while doing online research and writing activities on news stories.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Timelines and Texts: Motivating Students to Read Nonfiction      Add Bookmark
Description: In an effort to help motivate students to read nonfiction, students are challenged to use a timeline to help them name the year when certain products were invented.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts, Social Studies
Title: What Makes a Poem an Epic?      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from an EDSITEment lesson, prompts students to identify examples of the epic hero cycle from a story with which they are familiar.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: The first English printer, William Caxton, was born on this day in 1422.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students consider how the printing press affects their world by completing a printing inventory, comparing lists, and developing a '' super'' list of all printed materials that they interact with.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: In 1870, the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad was completed.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students access the National Park Service website and look at the webpage '' The Last Spikes.'' Students explore different accounts of what happened as the railroad neared completion and discuss the nature of ceremonies.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Library Card Sign-up Month begins today.      Add Bookmark
Description: A school or public library librarian is invited to visit the classroom to talk to the students about the advantages of having a library card. Students then take a library tour to acquaint them with the general features and resources available.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Richard Wright was born in 1908.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read an appropriate excerpt from Black Boy , discuss the incident in which Richard gets into trouble, and write found poems.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



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