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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies (K - 11)
Title: African American Honorees in Alabama History
Description: Students will create a PowerPoint slide show presentation and brochure on a famous African American icon from the Alabama Calendar. Students may select famous African Americans from Alabama such as Rosa Parks, Vonetta Flowers, Dr. Mae Jemison, Joe Louis, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Rosa Parks, Hank Aaron, Dr. Regina Benjamin, Dr. Ethel Hall, Judge Oscar Adams, Billie Jean Young, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This lesson was created to accompany the Alabama African American History Calendar Project.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Word Art with King's Words      Add Bookmark
Description: Examine one or more of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s letters or speeches and turn powerful words and phrases into word art using the online Wordle tool. Included in an OurStory module from Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nonviolence'' , this activity is designed to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of children's literature, everyday objects, and hands-on activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4



Subject: Language Arts - Literature - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Over the River and Through the Woods: Traveling by Memory      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson introduces the concept of mental maps and their development. Students transfer geographic images to a sketch map, which provides visual reinforcement and a means of discussion and assessment.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - Psychology
Title: Mapping What Matters      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students explore the idea that everyone has mental maps they use to store and recover information. Students come to realize that certain places on these maps are more important to us than others. Students investigate these ideas by exploring the differences among students in terms of the value they place on different sites within their communities.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: What Is History? Timelines and Oral Histories      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, aims to help students understand history and recognize that the past is different depending on who is remembering and retelling it. There are four activities, in which students construct a timeline based on events from their own lives and family histories, construct a class timeline through comparison with each other's histories, research oral history by interviewing family members, and study primary sources to write their own history of the Great Chicago Fire.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Geography,Social Studies
Title: How Slaves Found Their Way North      Add Bookmark
Description: Activity. Students learn about natural and human-made clues that helped slaves find their way north through the Underground Railroad. Then they create a quilt with clues about routes to freedom.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 1,2



Subject: Social Studies - Geography
Title: 'Adopt'' a Geographic News Story      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students are introduced to some stories from National Geographic News and then invited to discuss the reasons why it is a good idea to follow the news. The class adopts a geographic news story, designs posters to illustrate it, and researches related topics.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - Urban Studies
Title: Your Changing Town      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students discuss the reasons why cities change over time and investigate how their own town has changed. Students conclude by drawing pictures of the town's past and present.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Troy      Add Bookmark
Description: This educational website about ancient Troy consists of archaeological information, animations, geography, history, time lines, legends, myths and teaching and learning resources. The project is the result of a collaboration between the University of Cincinnati's CERHAS (Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites) and the Troia Projekt of the University of Tubingen, Germany. Major funding for this project has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 2,3,4



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Oh, Say Can You Seeand       Add Bookmark
Description: Students will learn about the history behind the writing of ''The Star-Spangled Banner.''
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Culture of Puerto Rico: Become a Collector      Add Bookmark
Description: Becoming a collector is easy and fun! By following this guide, from the "OurStory'' series produced by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn how to start their own collection after reading about Teodor Vidal, a man who collected objects from Puerto Rico. "OurStory'' is a series of modules designed to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of objects from the Museum's vast collections, quality children's literature, and engaging hands-on activities. Ideal for afterschool use, "OurStory'' resources will allow students to think critically, to be creative, and to achieve academic standards both in and out of the classroom.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Social Studies
Title: John Bull Riding the Rails       Add Bookmark
Description: See one of America s earliest steam locomotives, the John Bull, come to life while riding the rails. Part of an OurStory module from Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled All Aboard the Train!this activity includes strategies that will help adults and children actively view a 4-minute video of the John Bull in motion. OurStory is designed to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of children's literature, everyday objects, and hands-on activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Autobiography Through Objects      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson plan, from Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will analyze images and objects relating to Celia Cruz then create an autobiographical exhibition using personal objects.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - History , Cross-Disciplinary - Informal Education , Arts - Storytelling , Arts - Textile Art , Social Studies - Anthropology , Social Studies - Civics , Social Studies - Human Behavior , Social Studies - Human Relations , Social Studies - State History , Social Studies - United States History , Social Studies - World History , Informal Education - Arts and Crafts
Title: Why Is 2011 the Year Of the Rabbit?      Add Bookmark
Description: Happy New Year! No, we're not a month late. Wonderopolis is celebrating the Chinese New Year!, Around the world (and even in some American cities), festivities are held to ring in the Chinese New Year. Want to know why 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit? Read on.
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Students Sit for Civil Rights Homepage      Add Bookmark
Description: Students Sit for Civil Rights is an OurStory module that includes activities based on reading Freedom on the Menu, a work of children's literature about the Greensboro sit-ins that played an important role during the civil rights movement. OurStory is a series of modules designed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of objects from the Museum's vast collections, quality children's literature, and engaging hands-on activities. Ideal for afterschool use, OurStory resources allow students to think critically, to be creative, and to achieve academic standards both in and out of the classroom. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Slave Life and the Underground Railroad: Read "Follow the Drinking Gourd''       Add Bookmark
Description: In this activity, students will increase their knowledge of slavery, slave life and the Underground Railroad by answering questions about the book and song "Follow the Drinking Gourd'' and then write and illustrate a poem of letter playing the role of a conductor, agent or passenger of the Underground Railroad. It is included in an "OurStory'' module entitled Slave Life and the Underground Railroad.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Headlines of History      Add Bookmark
Description: In this activity, students will examine an historical newspaper, a piece of historical fiction, and their social studies textbooks for accounts of the civil rights movement, and then define equality and discrimination. They will then use these definitions to look for instances of equality and discrimination in modern society. Part of an "OurStory'' module entitled "Students Sit for Civil Rights'' , this activity will help students develop their research and analysis skills. OurStory is a program from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History designed to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of objects from the Museum's vast collections, quality children's literature, and engaging hands-on activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - Informal Education , Physical Education - Adventure and Risk Challenge Activities , Physical Education - Individual Sports , Physical Education - Motor/Movement Skills , Physical Education - Outdoor Education , Physical Education - Team Sports , Social Studies - State History , Social Studies - United States History , Social Studies - World History , Informal Education - Sports/Fitness/Recreation
Title: Why Do People Kiss Under Mistletoe?      Add Bookmark
Description: Pausing for a smooch under a plant hanging above your head sounds a little crazy, but you may be surprised to discover this little green guy can be found beyond the doorway. It even thrives in the desert!, Take a sneak peak at the life of mistletoe, and then pucker up for the Wonder of the Day.
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Health - Body Systems and Senses , Health - Preventative Health , Science - Biological and Life Sciences , Social Studies - Anthropology , Social Studies - Gerontology , Social Studies - World History , Informal Education - Health/Wellness/Nutrition/Cooking
Title: Why Do We Change the Clocks Twice a Year?      Add Bookmark
Description: Blink and you'll miss it! New Year's Eve isn't the only night when we take note of the passage of time. Two other times a year, we pay special attention to the changing of time - even though you're probably not awake when it happens.,
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - Informal Education , Cross-Disciplinary - Popular Culture , Social Studies - Civics , Social Studies - Comparative Political Systems , Social Studies - Current Events/Issues , Social Studies - Economics , Social Studies - United States Government , Adult & Family Literacy - Lifeskills , Informal Education - Academic Enrichment , Informal Education - Business/Entrepreneurship training , Informal Education - Community service/Leadership/Team-building
Title: Why Do You Have To Pay Taxes?      Add Bookmark
Description: You probably won't be able to fully appreciate taxes until you earn your first paycheck and experience taxes firsthand. In the meantime, though, you can enjoy the benefits that we all reap from our government's use of tax money. Join us in Wonderopolis today as we take a look at how the government taketh away… and giveth back!
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - History , Cross-Disciplinary - Informal Education , Cross-Disciplinary - Popular Culture , Cross-Disciplinary - Process Skills , Cross-Disciplinary - Technology , Social Studies - Civics , Social Studies - Current Events/Issues , Social Studies - Human Behavior , Social Studies - Human Relations , Social Studies - Psychology , Social Studies - State History , Social Studies - United States History , Social Studies - World History , Informal Education - Academic Enrichment
Title: How Did April Fools' Day Begin?      Add Bookmark
Description: Practical jokers unite! Today is your day. It's April 1, and that means it's time for all sorts of shenanigans, tomfoolery and maybe even a little ballyhoo. Join us for a fun Wonder of the Day that explores how all this foolishness got started.
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - Informal Education , Cross-Disciplinary - Technology , Physical Education - Adventure and Risk Challenge Activities , Science - Astronomy , Science - Biological and Life Sciences , Science - Biology , Science - Earth science , Science - General Science , Science - Space Sciences , Social Studies - Technology and Civilization , Social Studies - United States History , Social Studies - World History , Informal Education - Academic Enrichment
Title: How Do Teachers Get To Be So Smart?      Add Bookmark
Description: May 3, 2011, is National Teacher Day, so let's pay tribute to teachers everywhere as we investigate how they got to be so smart!
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Coming to America      Add Bookmark
Description: Almost all Americans have family histories that trace back to other countries. By using this OurStory module, children and adults can enjoy exploring the experiences of immigrants who came to America and the ways that immigration has changed life in America through children's literature, museum objects, and hands-on activities. Focused around Feivel's Flying Horses, a historical fiction picture book about an immigrant who comes to America in the 1800's, the module includes links to hands-on activities and a list of recommended readings for further exploration.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - History , Cross-Disciplinary - Informal Education , Social Studies - Anthropology , Social Studies - Civics , Social Studies - Current Events/Issues , Social Studies - Human Behavior , Social Studies - Human Relations , Social Studies - Social Work , Social Studies - State History , Social Studies - United States History , Social Studies - World History , Informal Education - Academic Enrichment , Informal Education - Arts and Crafts , Informal Education - Business/Entrepreneurship training , Informal Education - Community service/Leadership/Team-building , Informal Education - Drama and Puppets , Informal Education - Environmental Education , Informal Education - Health/Wellness/Nutrition/Cooking , Informal Education - Homework Help/Tutoring , Informal Education - Movement and Music , Informal Education - Photography/Digital Arts , Informal Education - School to Career Experience , Informal Education - Sports/Fitness/Recreation , Informal Education - Technology Training , Informal Education - Zoo/Aquarium/Nature Center Education
Title: What Is an Almanac?      Add Bookmark
Description: If you've ever seen a copy of The Old Farmer's Almanac, you may have wondered what the little hole in the corner is for. Today's wonder gives you the "hole" story.
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Educational Technology,Language Arts,Physical Education,Social Studies,Geography
Title: Full Steam to Freedom      Add Bookmark
Description: Robert Smalls was born a slave in South Carolina, but made a daring escape to freedom on the ship CSS Planter and joined the Union in fighting to end slavery in America. By using this OurStory module, children and adults can enjoy exploring one aspect of the Civil War. Focused on actively reading Seven Miles to Freedom , an illustrated biography of Robert Smalls, this module also includes links to a related outdoor game, classroom-based newspaper investigation and online exploration.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Mathematics,Physical Education,Science,Social Studies,Geography
Title: Great Websites for Kids      Add Bookmark
Description: Created by the American Library Association, this portal website helps parents and children find age appropriate educational materials on the Internet.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - History , Science - Earth science , Social Studies - Anthropology , Social Studies - Current Events/Issues , Social Studies - World History , Adult & Family Literacy - Lifeskills , Informal Education - Academic Enrichment , Informal Education - Arts and Crafts , Informal Education - Business/Entrepreneurship training , Informal Education - Community service/Leadership/Team-building , Informal Education - Drama and Puppets , Informal Education - Environmental Education , Informal Education - Health/Wellness/Nutrition/Cooking , Informal Education - Homework Help/Tutoring , Informal Education - Movement and Music , Informal Education - Photography/Digital Arts , Informal Education - School to Career Experience , Informal Education - Sports/Fitness/Recreation , Informal Education - Technology Training , Informal Education - Zoo/Aquarium/Nature Center Education
Title: How Did the Months of the Year Get Their Names?      Add Bookmark
Description: You probably already know there are 12 months in a year, but have you ever wondered how the months got their names? Join us in Wonderopolis as we explore the origins behind each month of the year.
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Digital History      Add Bookmark
Description: This website is a comprehensive set of web based resources and activities suitable for students at every grade level. Produced through a collaborative partnership including the National Park Service, the University of Houston, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the Chicago Historical Society, t he site features a digital textbook with hypertext links, virtual exhibits featuring letters, artwork and artifacts, an interactive timeline, a collection of e-lectures, inquiry based learning units, and an extensive collection of online resources like maps, charts, and primary sources.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Mount Vernon      Add Bookmark
Description: This is a link to the official website of George Washington's famous Virginia home. The site presents information about life at Mount Vernon, as well as detailed information about Washington himself. For teachers and students wishing to learn about George Washington, this website is a good place to start. Students can take an online tour of the Mount Vernon plantation, and there are ready-made lesson plans for teachers to use with their classes. Information about slave life at Mount Vernon is also readily available.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - Informal Education , Physical Education - Outdoor Education , Science - Meteorology , Social Studies - Anthropology , Social Studies - Human Behavior , Social Studies - Psychology , Social Studies - State History , Social Studies - United States History , Social Studies - World History , Informal Education - Zoo/Aquarium/Nature Center Education
Title: Why Do We Have Different Time Zones?      Add Bookmark
Description: When the sun is shining on one half of the Earth, it's nighttime on the other half. If you have ever wondered why clocks are set to different times in different places, check out today's video to see the difference between night and day. After you're finished, visit the Wonder of the Day to get in the zone and read up on the science behind time zones.
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: May Calendar      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment calendar is a collection of peer-reviewed Web sites and EDSITEment lesson plans covering May holidays and special events. May is Asian-Pacific Heritage Month and this calendar includes links to many EDSITEment lesson plans, Web site features and additional learning activities related to this theme.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,C1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: About the Supreme Court      Add Bookmark
Description: The United States Government's official Supreme Court Website is a fantastic resource for both students and teachers. Links to the Constitution can be found on this site, as well as a history of the court, traditions past and present a list of past justices, and profiles of current justices.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: November Calendar      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment calendar is a collection of peer-reviewed Web sites and EDSITEment lesson plans covering November holidays and special events. November is Native American Heritage Month and this calendar includes links to many EDSITEment lesson plans, Web site features and additional learning activities related to this theme.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,C1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Brown v. Board of Education at 50      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, sponsored by the Howard University School of Law, is the homepage of the celebration and commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court Ruling in 1954. Howard University and the Howard University School of Law played historic roles leading to the decision in Brown and afterwards in realizing its promise. This website contains information relating to the people and the historic events leading up to and following Brown.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Remembering Jim Crow      Add Bookmark
Description: In the documentary entitled Remembering Jim Crow , Americans—black and white—remember and reflect on life in the time of Jim Crow. The accompanying website breaks down the documentary into sections, and features audio clips that accompany each documentary section. Students and teachers can read personal histories of segregation, and can also access a sampling of repressive Jim Crow laws by individual southern state. An excellent link to various resources is included for students wishing to research the topic further. Remembering Jim Crow was produced by American Radioworks and American Public Media.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: August Calendar      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment calendar is a collection of peer-reviewed Web sites and EDSITEment lesson plans covering August holidays and special events. August's theme is '' Lady Liberty,'' and the calendar links to many EDSITEment lesson plans, Web site features and additional learning activities related to this theme.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,C1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden Resources      Add Bookmark
Description: A list of the presidents, a time line of presidential candidates, a summary of the military service of presidents as well as a bibliography and web sites related to the presidency are the resources included in the online exhibition entitled The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Japanese American Digital Archive      Add Bookmark
Description: A core component of the California Digital Library, the Online Archive of California (OAC) is a digital information resource that facilitates and provides access to materials such as manuscripts, photographs, and works of art held in libraries, museums, archives, and other institutions across California.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: April Calendar      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment calendar is a collection of peer-reviewed Web sites and EDSITEment lesson plans covering April holidays and special events. April is National Poetry Month and the calendar links to many EDSITEment lesson plans, Web site features and additional learning activities related to this theme.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,C1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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