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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Physical Education (K - 2), or Social Studies (K - 2)
Title: Treasure Hunt
Description: Get hands-on with students in building a map with a class.  Take students outside to a sandbox and work with them to build a map of campus.  Once the map is drawn you can turn their design into a treasure hunt to assess map interpretation.


Subject: Physical Education (2 - 3), or Social Studies (K - 2)
Title: Capture the Flag
Description: Try this twist on a schoolyard favorite.  Teams are given incomplete maps and need to read the map in order to find the pieces of the map covering enemy territory.  Only then can they seek out their opponents flag to win.


Subject: Science (K - 2), or Social Studies (K - 2), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Continent Jump
Description: Students will learn about animals that live on all seven continents. Students and teachers will use websites to learn additional information about the animals from various continents.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.


Subject: English Language Arts (1), or Social Studies (K - 2), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Our Summer Vacation
Description: This lesson will be used after a study of Alabama. It will incorporate the theme of vacationing into information learned about state parks in Alabama. Students will make a book about favorite state parks in Alabama and favorite things to do in them.


Subject: Social Studies (K - 2), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Primary Technology Maps
Description: This hands-on, inquiry-based lesson combines maps skills which include identifying map elements, applying an understanding of cardinal directions, interpreting resource maps, and identifying a location. Students will have the opportunity to work with a group to research a specific continent and create a multimedia slide about the continent.


Subject: Social Studies (K - 2), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Come with Me to the Islands
Description: Students will explore several islands by watching a multimedia presentation prepared by the teacher on islands and how they were formed. Students will then use globes and maps to find various islands using cardinal directions given by the teacher. Students will work to make models of islands and draw and write about islands using software.


Subject: Social Studies (K - 2), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Fifty States Project
Description: Students will follow simple research steps in the school media center and on the Internet to complete a poster on an assigned state by identifying the state's symbols and agricultural products.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - State History
Title: Explore Your State with Maps      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students create maps of their state using information from National Geographic's MapMachine. They then make their own maps from memory after studying the original maps they created. The lesson concludes with a discussion of the benefits of understanding your state map and remembering certain key features of the state's geography.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Using Maps to See Regions      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students travel around the world on a visual scavenger hunt. They select a handful of important natural and cultural characteristics of places. They then search through magazines such as National Geographic for photographs that illustrate the range of those characteristics. They also chart the locations they find on a map of the world.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Science - Oceanography - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Fish Aren't Afraid of the Dark!      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students are introduced to the concept of bioluminescence and consider how animals benefit from having their own light sources. They look at pictures of bioluminescent marine animals and conclude by making collages or writing stories pretending they have just seen bioluminescent animals from a deep sea vehicle.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Marco Polo Takes a Trip      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students learn about the travels of Venetian adventurer Marco Polo. They consult maps to locate Venice and follow the routes Marco Polo took to Beijing and back. They learn about the challenges of traveling along the Silk Road, discover some interesting facts about China under Mongol rule, and find out how Marco Polo came to produce his famous book. Finally, they work in groups to create a large mural/timeline of the life and adventures of this famous traveler.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Social Studies - Geography
Title: Geography Skills and Your Town      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students relate the five themes of geography (location, place, human/environment interaction, movement, and regions) to their own home town. Students first gather information about their town and then create books, Web sites, or multimedia presentations showcasing their town's unique features.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biology - Science - Ecology - Science - Oceanography - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Getting to Know the Chesapeake Bay Watershed      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson, which uses the Chesapeake Bay as a model, focuses on how the sciences can identify clues about the health of the environment and the ways in which geography can help make connections between human actions and environmental conditions. Students are introduced to the Chesapeake Bay watershed through the use of online resources and hands-on experiences. They then apply what they learn to their local watershed.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Taking Care of Our Oceans      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students consider why so many people live near the coast and learn about the impacts of this trend on ocean animals. They make posters to educate coastal residents and visitors about human impacts on marine life.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Mapping Our Worlds      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the world of maps and learn how to view the world around them in a two-dimensional format. They begin by depicting the familiar terrain of their favorite rooms. In order to understand the concept of boundaries, they then create maps of areas within their classroom. To reinforce the relationship of small to large and the concept of one area nesting within another, students then compare a series of online geographical maps, beginning with a map of their home state and ending with a map of the world. Finally, students may extend what they have learned by creating maps of other parts of their immediate environments, such as routes that they regularly travel.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Geography,Social Studies
Title: Exploring the Characteristics of Places      Add Bookmark
Description: Activity. Students use facts to create a poster about the natural and cultural characteristics of a place in the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 1,2



Subject: Social Studies - Geography
Title: Mission Geography: Continents       Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students identify characteristics of the physical geography of each continent of the world. Students start by identifying each of the continents and reassembling continental maps. Then they listen to stories set in each of the seven continents to identify geographic characteristics of each place. Finally, students examine photographs from each continent and write stories that include descriptions of certain geographic characteristics of the continent.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - Informal Education , Cross-Disciplinary - Popular Culture , Religion - Christianity , Social Studies - Current Events/Issues , Social Studies - Human Behavior , Social Studies - Human Relations , Social Studies - United States History , Social Studies - World History , Informal Education - Academic Enrichment
Title: What Is a Sinkhole?      Add Bookmark
Description: Make sure you wear good shoes in Wonderopolis today. We're treading on some unsteady ground!
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Physical Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: The Three Little Pigs in Earthquake Land      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students are introduced to some of the basics of earthquakes and volcanoes. They are also asked to think about how people living in cities and suburbs must plan ahead by constructing sturdy buildings and preparing their homes and themselves for the possibility of a natural disaster. Students are therefore introduced to some basic concepts of physical geography, as well as some of the ways in which the physical environment affects people's lives.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Science - Ecology - Science - Oceanography - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Submarines: The Classroom Fleet      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students study the submarine and the challenges humans face when traveling underwater. Students look at pictures of submarines on National Geographic's K-19 and Other Subs in Peril Web site and conclude by creating a classroom mural featuring a fleet of their own model submarines and marine life that might be encountered on a journey under the sea.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Geology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: To Build an Island      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson gives students a basic overview of the geography of islands. They learn where islands are located throughout the world and study two very different island groups (the Philippines and the British Isles) to illustrate the diversity of the world's islands. Students explore the islands flora and fauna, languages, climates, and cultures.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Geology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Introduction to the Grand Canyon      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson introduces students to canyons and has them compare canyons to mountains and plains. They look at photographs of three canyons and then focus on the Grand Canyon, discussing how the Colorado River carved it into its present form. They conclude by drawing pictures of the Grand Canyon and writing captions or drawing additional pictures to describe how the canyon was formed.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Down at the Shore      Add Bookmark
Description: Field trips are great ways to learn about life on the water. In this activity, students will find and explore a local maritime area-a river, seashore, or another place related to the water, and share the experience with others. The activity guide includes printable tip sheets tailored to help you explore different kinds of water-related areas. Included in an OurStory module from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled Life on the Water, this activity is intended to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of children's literature, everyday objects, and hands-on activities. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Water Nearby      Add Bookmark
Description: Do you live near the water? There is probably a body of water closer than you think! In this activity, students will use Google Maps to first find their school, and then locate and learn about the closest body of water to their school. Included in an OurStory module from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled Life on the Water, this activity is intended to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of children's literature, everyday objects, and hands-on activities. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



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: 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 - Informal Education , Physical Education - Outdoor Education , Science - Biological and Life Sciences , Science - Biology , Science - Chemistry , Science - Earth science , Science - General Science , Science - Natural History , Science - Oceanography , Social Studies - Technology and Civilization , Social Studies - United States History , Social Studies - World History , Informal Education - Environmental Education , Informal Education - Zoo/Aquarium/Nature Center Education
Title: What Is an Iceberg?      Add Bookmark
Description: If you're sailing your shopping cart down the produce aisle, you may want to keep a lookout for rogue icebergs, but "lettuce" assure you that a collision surely won't sink you. On the other hand, the icebergs that are the subject of today's Wonder of the Day can - and did - sink the ship the world thought was "unsinkable."
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - History , Cross-Disciplinary - Informal Education , Social Studies - Civics , Social Studies - Comparative Political Systems , Social Studies - State History , Social Studies - United States Constitution , Social Studies - United States Government , Social Studies - United States History , Social Studies - World History , Informal Education - Academic Enrichment
Title: Where Is the Tallest Waterfall?      Add Bookmark
Description: The closest many of us come to a waterfall is our daily shower. The showerhead can't hold a candle to Mother Nature's beauty, though. Let's learn about waterfalls!
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: science, social studies
Title: Islands - Satellite Images      Add Bookmark
Description: Satellite Image Gallery. Learn about islands around the globe with this gallery of imagery taken from Earth-orbiting satellites.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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