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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or Social Studies (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Settling the West: Westward Expansion
Description: During this lesson, students will have the opportunity to experience the westward expansion through literature and the Internet. By creating a brochure and a slideshow presentation, students will become aware of the difficulties people faced through their travels.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies
Title: Reading Feivel's Flying Horses      Add Bookmark
Description: Use this guide to actively read Feivel's Flying Horses a picture book about an immigrant who comes to America in the late 1800's. Part of an OurStory module entitled Coming to America, this activity includes discussion prompts, a glossary, and background information. OurStory is designed to help children and adults explore history together through the use of children's literature, museum objects, and hands-on activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Geography,Social Studies
Title: A Community Migration Story      Add Bookmark
Description: Activity. Students conduct interviews to learn migration stories in their own communities.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Space Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Martian Real Estate: A Good Investment?      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Xpeditions, has students compare the landscapes of Mars and Earth and explore why the two planets are so different. They conclude by writing letters convincing fictitious family friends that it is probably not a good idea to invest in Martian real estate.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Geography,Social Studies
Title: Why People Move      Add Bookmark
Description: Activity. Students take a migration poll, discuss places they might like to move and why people might move to their area, and discuss what they think migration means.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies - Geography
Title: The United States at Night      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson has students look at a map of Russia as seen at night, showing the lights that indicate settlement patterns. They then look at United States maps to figure out what the U.S. might look like at night and they draw U.S. maps illustrating their findings.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Mathematics - Statistics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Top Ten Cities      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students identify and study the most populous cities in their state, province, or country. They also learn about population distributions.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Current Events/Issues - Social Studies - Economics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Your Town in the Past, Present, and Future      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson illustrates one way that the study of geography can be applied to planning for the future. Students research an environmental issue that affects their town or region, draw pictures assuming two possible outcomes for the problem in fifty years (one negative and one positive), and create a plan to educate the community about this issue.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Investigating Immigration Patterns      Add Bookmark
Description: It's in the numbers! Explore how charts and data maps can help you see immigration patterns in history. Part of an OurStory module entitled Coming to America, this activity includes data sources, discussion questions, links to free online tools, and background information. OurStory is designed to help children and adults explore history together through the use of children's literature, museum objects, and hands-on activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Imagine an Immigration Interview      Add Bookmark
Description: Imagine what it felt like to be an immigrant arriving at Ellis Island or Angel Island during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Could you pass the interview to enter the country? Part of an OurStory module entitled Coming to America, this activity includes interview questions, discussion prompts, and background information. OurStory is designed to help children and adults explore history together through the use of children's literature, museum objects, and hands-on activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: Mathematics,Social Studies
Title: State Population Projections      Add Bookmark
Description: In Illuminations lesson plan, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations about population projection, students examine the United States Census Bureau Web site to investigate projections of the total population of states from 1995 to 2025. Using the provided data, students analyze statistics from five states of their choice, develop specific research questions using the data, and create three graphs to compare and contrast the information.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies - Geography
Title: Human Migration: The Story of a Community's Culture      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students come to understand key concepts of human migration through the examination of maps and migration patterns. Students research and document the impact of migration on a region's cultural landscape. They examine migration patterns on a global and national scale as a class and then apply that understanding to telling a migration story about their own community.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5,12



Subject: Science - General Science - Social Studies - Economics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: From Boomtown to Ghost Town      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students discuss how a specific economic activity in a region can facilitate the creation of towns, which often turn into ghost towns if the economic activity ends. They create posters or booklets showing the '' '' life cycle'' '' of a mining town, from before its foundation to its status as ghost town.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Meteorology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Twister! What to Do in a Tornado      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students learn that tornadoes can happen anywhere and at any time. Students read about the basics of tornado safety. They also learn about the signs that a tornado might be coming and what they should do if they ever experience a tornado firsthand. They then create safety brochures to share with their friends and families.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Current Events/Issues - Social Studies - Geography
Title: People and Endangered Species      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students examine some endangered species and the ways that human activities contribute to species endangerment. Students are asked to devise their own species protection plans.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Uplink Outpost: To the Future Class of...      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students use the interactive feature in Xpedition Hall called Uplink Outpost to discover ways to interpret geography in their community. Students create a plan for the future of their community based on geographic factors, and write a class email to the next generation of students.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Creating Stories Activity Kit      Add Bookmark
Description: In this activity kit, students will use primary and secondary sources, and conduct oral history interviews to construct a family immigration or migration story. The kit contains step-by-step instructions, sample interview questions, and research guidance. The kit can be used in conjunction with a 28 minute streaming video called http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthemove/learning/AOTM_education_2.wvx" Creating Stories: America on the Move Electronic Field Part 2 . It is included in the online exhibition entitled America on the Move , which focuses on transportation in US history.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Family Trip Plan      Add Bookmark
Description: In this student interactive, from an Xpeditions lesson, students use a print press tool to create a brochure or booklet highlighting a three-week U.S. travel itinerary.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies - Geography
Title: Design Your Own Suburb      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Xpeditions, asks students to think about their own perceptions of cities and suburbs and to consider the features that exist in a typical urban and suburban area. They also learn about sprawl and some of the problems associated with rapid suburban growth. They conclude by designing their own suburbs.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Mathematics - Applied Mathematics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Geography of Pizza      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students analyze Earth's surface according to the spatial elements of points, lines, and areas, and use a simple map to identify features in terms of spatial elements. This lesson uses a pizza restaurant to introduce these components to students, e.g., the location of a restaurant (point), roads and sidewalks (lines), and the city blocks or the region served by a restaurant (area).
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Geography,Social Studies
Title: Geographic Groceries      Add Bookmark
Description: Activity. Students explore the regions of a grocery store to see which foods are grouped together and why.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Arts - Photography - Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - Human Behavior
Title: Jimmy Chin's Adventure in Extreme Photography      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students explore how culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions. They explore the photography of National Geographic Emerging Explorer Jimmy Chin and discuss how adventure travel differs from regular tourism.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Be a Geography Detective      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students become geography detectives, learning about geography and the relationship human beings have with the land. Students apply the six essential elements of geography as they make observations and draw conclusions about historical landscapes. They demonstrate their understanding by writing journal entries, sketching landscapes, and making mental maps.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Ecology - Science - Meteorology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Antarctica: A Cold Desert Ecosystem      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students construct a rough map of Antarctic ecosystems and explore relationships among the creatures that populate them. This lesson can be adapted to focus on other regions, including the one in which you live.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science,Social Studies
Title: Folktales and Ecology: Animals and Humans in Cooperation and Conflict      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of three lessons, from EDSITEment, students study relationships between humans and animals in folktales in order to highlight issues concerning ecology and the environment. They explore the ways in which animals and humans help one another and consider the efforts of humans to protect endangered species.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies - Anthropology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Nomads: Where Boundaries Move      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students explore nomadic pastoralism. Focusing on Central Asia, students investigate the way humans have adapted to regions that do not sustain communities through agriculture and the influence this has both on how they live and on how they view the boundaries of their homes.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Informal Education,Science,Social Studies
Title: food      Add Bookmark
Description: Encyclopedic entry. Food is one of the basic necessities of life. Food contains nutrients-substances essential for the growth, repair, and maintenance of body tissues and for the regulation of vital processes.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: C1,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Where I Come From      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students take research into their heritage a step beyond the construction of a family tree, traveling through cyberspace to find out what's happening in their ancestral homelands today and explore their sense of connection to these places in their past.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: What They Left Behind: Early Multi-National Influences in the United States      Add Bookmark
Description: The four lessons in this unit, from EDSITEment, are designed to help students make connections between European voyages of discovery, colonial spheres of influence, and various aspects of American culture. They map 18th-century Europe's influence on what is now the U.S., list remnants of European influence that still remain today, and connect marks of European influence with specific explorers.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Traces: Historic Archaeology      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of five lessons, from EDSITEment, students recover and analyze artifacts from sites in use from the settlement period to the second half of the 19th century. They look for similarities and differences among the artifacts and the lives they reveal. In conclusion, students look at today's eventual artifacts of the future and consider how we may be viewed.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science, Social Studies
Title: Global Breakfast      Add Bookmark
Description: The purpose of this Science NetLinks lesson is to look for evidence of global interdependence in the foods that we eat. Students recognize the fact that many of the foods that they eat, and the ingredients that go into making them, are produced in other countries. They speculate about why certain foods are produced in different regions of the world, and what might happen if the production and/or distribution of these goods was to stop.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science, Social Studies
Title: Energy Sources and Use      Add Bookmark
Description: The purpose of this Science NetLinks lesson is to distinguish between renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy, to investigate a variety of renewable energy resources, and compare the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Western Museums Association      Add Bookmark
Description: The Western Museums Association challenges the diverse museum community of the West, empowering individuals to cultivate leadership and enable institutions to remain relevant in a dynamic world. We provide opportunities for learning and personal interaction to enhance the creative skills and enrich the lives of individuals who do museum work.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Southeastern Museums Conference      Add Bookmark
Description: Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) members include museum staff, corporate partners and other individuals, who benefit from the networking opportunities provided through this website, Members represent museum interests throughout the Southeastern United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography
Title: World Viewer      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpedition Hall interactive allows visitors to view six different kinds of information in spatial terms, distributed on a world map. Click on the right circle in Room I to view this interactive.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - Urban Studies
Title: City or Country Life?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students explore the advantages and challenges of life in urban and rural areas. The focus is on cities and villages in Eastern Asia.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Earth science - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Comparing the Continents      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students examine a map and globe to compare the physical features of Earth's continents. They play the GeoSpy continents game and manipulate an online map to compare the continents climates. Students conclude by writing paragraphs comparing and contrasting two continents.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Physical Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Earthquakes and Volcanoes      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students compare maps of plate tectonics with population density maps and analyze what these maps imply about the relationship between population and seismic hazards. They also research specific volcanoes or earthquake zones and write pretend letters to residents of these areas describing the risks.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Science - Earth science - Science - Geology - Science - Meteorology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: The Active Earth      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, students investigate natural disasters and create a poster showing '' '' The Active Earth.'' '' They look at examples of weather maps and create their own weather map based on the current weather conditions.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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