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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: State Jeopardy - How Much Do You Know About My State?
Description: This lesson is a distance learning collaborative project involving another school. Each school will do research on the other school's state and be able to answer questions about that state posed by the other school. Students learn not only about another state, but about their own in formulating questions to stump their opponents.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies
Title: Historians are Detectives      Add Bookmark
Description: Primary sources are very important to historians. In the classroom activity, students will be able to explain the difference between primary and secondary sources, and explain how the value of using primary sources is important to history. By using primary sources to answer a series of questions, they will see that, much like detectives, historians have to prove that their answers are correct by providing evidence. This activity is included in the online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled The Star-Spangled Banner: The Flag that Inspired the National Anthem .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Send a Lincoln Letter      Add Bookmark
Description: Writing and receiving letters is fun! In 1860, Grace Bedell wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln and took it to her local post office to mail it. A week later, a very special letter was waiting for her when she returned! Write a letter and then take it to the post office using helpful advice in this resource from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Included in an OurStory module, entitled A Letter to Abraham Lincoln, this activity will encourage children to write letters to friends and family as well as learn more about their local post office. 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. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Conduct a Genealogical Study      Add Bookmark
Description: Genealogy is the study of family ancestries and histories, and a great way to learn women's history. In this activity, students will learn about the methods and tools needed to conduct a genealogical interview. It is included in an OurStory module entitled Great Women of Our Pasts . 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 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: Reading Dakota Dugout      Add Bookmark
Description: In this activity, students will read Dakota Dugout by Ann Turner and answer questions about the book. They will then look at the image of an object that would have been important to women living in a house made of sod and try to determine what the object is. This resource is included in an OurStory module entitled Life in a Sod House.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: Darkroom Detectives      Add Bookmark
Description: What can we learn about life in a sod house by looking at photographs? In this activity, students will analyze two photographs of families who lived in homes made of sod in order to answer questions about these families' lives. 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: Document Detective      Add Bookmark
Description: Historians gather information about the past by looking at primary sources. In this activity, students will practice using primary sources by to learn about slavery and the Underground Railroad by analyzing newspaper advertisements regarding runaway slaves from the Charleston Mercury. It is included in an OurStory module entitled Slave Life and the Underground Railroad . 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.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



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: Learning from London Town      Add Bookmark
Description: This site presents opportunities for study of the 18th century lost town of London, Maryland, from the integrated perspective of archaeological find, archival records, and material culture.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Presidency: Children Write to the President      Add Bookmark
Description: What would you say if you wrote a letter to the President? In this activity, students will analyze primary source letters that were written to Presidents by children and answer questions based on what they have read. As part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's online exhibition "The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden'' , this activity provides a unique look at the Presidency.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Creating Stories: America on the Move Electronic Field Trip, Part 2      Add Bookmark
Description: In this electronic field, curators from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's exhibition America on the Move take students behind-the-scenes to show how they develop individual stories for exhibitions and provide guidance to students who want to create their own family stories by analyzing objects, documents, and other resources.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8



Subject: Arts - Photography - Social Studies - Anthropology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: What Does a Picture Tell You About Culture?      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson uses photographs to create an understanding of cultural landscapes. Students analyze photographs from around the world and make hypotheses about the similarities and differences of cultures based on the photographs they look at.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8



Subject: Religion,Social Studies
Title: Retablo of El Santo Nino de Atoche      Add Bookmark
Description: The image shown here represents El Santo Nio de Atoche, a depiction of the Christ child common throughout Mexico and the American Southwest. Made by Rafael Aragn in Santa Fe, this particular image is from a retablo, a kind of Catholic devotional art...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Lincoln at 200      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, produced by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Chicago History Museum, is part of the bicentennial celebration of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. The site features 2 exhibitions about Lincoln and searchable database of objects. A Museums and the Web Best of the Web Award nominee, this site is an outstanding place for students to view background and primary source resources regarding Lincoln.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Hometown History      Add Bookmark
Description: This activity is a field trip that takes adults and children to historic places to learn through asking questions and seeking answers through observation and using experts. Children will be better able to observe details and ask questions. It will help children build an understanding of a specific historical place and time period, and also spark curiosity about history and ways to creatively solve problems. It is included in an OurStory module entitled "Making the Star-Spangled Banner'' . 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 children to think critically, to be creative, and to achieve academic standards both in and out of the classroom.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Inaugural Words 1789-Present (Word Cloud)      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, from the New York Times, allows students to read the texts of every American president's inauguration speech. The site creators clarify each address by highlighting words that appear the most often in each president's speech. The site also includes related multimedia from President Obama's inauguration and links to news items from the event.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Transportation in America Classroom Activity Guide      Add Bookmark
Description: This activity guide accompanies the exhibition America on the Move . It delivers a variety of historical primary source materials from the exhibition directly to your classroom. Through these documents and activities, students can build a deeper understanding of how transportation shaped American commerce, communities, landscapes, and population migrations. It is one of the many resources connected to 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: Lewis and Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, produced by the Missouri Historical Society, was produced to coincide with a traveling exhibition celebrating the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark exhibition. Students can explore the entire journey of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery through the use of an interactive map, thematic units and an image gallery. Primary source documents, objects, oral histories and historical quotes tell the story of this pivotal episode in America's history from the perspectives of those involved in the expedition as well as the people they encountered. Resources for teachers include classroom activities written for upper elementary, middle and high school students.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: United States, 10 Dollars, 1907 (pattern)      Add Bookmark
Description: This is the final object in the Roosevelt/Saint-Gaudens object group. In 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt asked sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to lead an effort to redesign American coinage. Saint-Gaudens developed a design that many consider the most beautiful American coin ever conceived. In addition to this $20 coin, Saint-Gaudens also redesigned this $10 coin, or eagle. Although the design has always been considered subordinate to his design for the $20 coin, it deserves close scrutiny...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: United States, 20 Dollars, 1907      Add Bookmark
Description: This is the fifth object in the Roosevelt/Saint-Gaudens object group. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt asked sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to lead an effort to redesign American coinage. Saint-Gaudens developed a design that many consider the most beautiful American coin ever conceived. Work on the production version of the coin progressed through the winter and spring of 1907. Sadly, the artist himself now suffered from cancer, and would die of the disease at the beginning of August. It was left to his assistant, Henry Hering, to finish the work his master had begun...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: United States, 20 Dollars, 1907 (experimental)      Add Bookmark
Description: This is the fourth object in the Roosevelt/Saint-Gaudens object group. Someone once observed that a giraffe was a horse designed by a committee. The same might be said of this coin: what had seemed a good idea around a table in the boardroom proved to be an interesting but spectacular flop as it neared production. The coin resulted from a project that President Theodore Roosevelt began in 1905 to redesign American coinage. He commissioned sculptor August Saint-Gaudens to create the new designs, and Saint-Gaudens developed a plan for an ultra-high relief $20 coin. The coin here, which appears to have been struck early in 1907, followed Saint-Gaudens' basic designs, but there the similarities ended...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: United States Cent, 1974 (aluminum)      Add Bookmark
Description: This one-cent piece from 1974 is perfectly normal-except for one thing. It was struck in aluminum rather than bronze. Lincoln's bust graces the obverse, just as it has done for over ninety-five years. And the Lincoln Memorial appears on the reverse, just as it has since the closing years of the Eisenhower Administration. The choice of aluminum over bronze is what makes this coin legendary. How did it happen, and why?
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: World War I Overview      Add Bookmark
Description: Overview of the First World War, taken from news reel footage. Includes the declaration of war and invasion of Belgium by Germany, U Boats and naval warfare, trench warfare, United States entrance and end of war.This video is part of the Price of Freedom learning resources package for use with the The Soldiers Experience lesson plan. It was produced to accompany the exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War , by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: World War II Overview: North Atlantic and North Africa      Add Bookmark
Description: This video, an overview of the Allied efforts in the North Atlantic and North Africa, was compiled from original video footage as part of the Price of Freedom learning resources package for use with the The Soldiers Experience lesson plan. It was produced to accompany the exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War , by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: United States, One Dollar, Pattern, 1879      Add Bookmark
Description: United States Mint, Philadelphia. Obverse: Young head of Liberty, facing right; date below. Reverse: Eagle, facing left; denomination below. The piece was designed by George T. Morgan, and, while no more successful than any of his other designs, stands in marked contrast to them. Because of the youthful appearance of the Liberty head, this pattern was dubbed the "Schoolgirl" dollar, perhaps as early as the 1890s...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Portrait Medal of James Smithson      Add Bookmark
Description: James Smithson was born in 1765, the illegitimate son of Sir Hugh Smithson, later known as Sir Hugh Percy, Baronet, 1st Duke of Northumberland, K.G., and Elizabeth Hungerford Keate. Elizabeth Keate had been married to James Macie, and so Smithson first bore the name of James Lewis Macie. His mother later married Mark Dickinson, by whom she had another son. When she died in 1800, he and his half-brother inherited a sizable estate. He changed his name at this time from Macie to Smithson...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Samuel Slater's Spinning Wheel      Add Bookmark
Description: This 48-spindle spinning machine, the oldest piece of cotton machinery in America, was built by Samuel Slater, and first operated by him on December 20, 1790, at Pawtucket, Rhode Island. One hundred years later, 1890, it was lent to the city of Pawtucket for exhibition at the Cotton Centenary, a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of cotton spinning by power machinery on the Western Hemisphere, and yarn was spun on it by an old man who had tended the spinning frame in the 'Old Slater Mill' when he was a boy. In 1876, it was exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, and in 1885, was lent by the National Museum for exhibition at the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans. Presented by the Rhode Island Society For The Encouragement of Domestic Industry.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - Informal Education , Cross-Disciplinary - Popular Culture , Language Arts - Whole Language , Social Studies - United States History , Adult & Family Literacy - English-language Learning , Adult & Family Literacy - Lifeskills , Informal Education - Academic Enrichment
Title: Why Is the Liberty Bell Cracked?      Add Bookmark
Description: From September 17 through September 23 each year, students around the United States celebrate Constitution Week. Let's reflect on the Constitution by taking a closer look at an iconic symbol of freedom.
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: General George Washington, Military Leader      Add Bookmark
Description: Use artifacts and a historical letter to discuss George Washington's leadership during the War of Independence and the qualities of great leaders. This lesson plan, which includes background information, full color primary sources, and a transcript of a letter about George Washington, was produced to accompany the exhibition "The Price of Freedom: Americans at War,'' by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: What Makes a Hero?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of eight lessons, from EDSITEment, students explore heroes and the traits that make them heroic. Students begin by thinking about their own heroes and list the character traits their heroes possess. Students then explore kid heroes, adults heroes, local heroes, and heroes from history, before completing one of several suggested culminating activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Old Sturbridge Village      Add Bookmark
Description: This website allows students to take a tour of Sturbridge village, a living history museum that replicates rural live in the nineteenth century. Students who use this site will gain an understanding of early rural American life by navigating an illustrated map, searching an online artifact collection featuring over 60,000, and participating in online educational activities. The site also includes professionally developed lesson plans for teachers, over 500 primary source documents, a graphics database, and a collection of recipes from the past. The Kids Zone includes activities, puzzles and games for younger students.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Massachusetts, Pine Tree Shilling, "1652" (struck 1667-1674)      Add Bookmark
Description: As early as 1650, the colony of Massachusetts Bay was a commercial success. But an inadequate supply of money put its future development in jeopardy. England was not inclined to send gold and silver coins to the colonies, for they were in short supply in the mother country. Taking matters into their own hands, Boston authorities allowed two settlers, John Hull and Robert Sanderson, to set up a mint in the capital in 1652. The two were soon striking silver coinage-shillings, sixpences, and threepences. Nearly all of the new coins bore the same date: 1652. This was the origin of America's most famous colonial coin, the pine tree shilling...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Sheet Music-"The Battle of the Sewing Machines"      Add Bookmark
Description: The Battle of the Sewing Machines" was composed and arranged by F. Hyde for the piano, and was published in 1874 by Wm. A. Pond Co. of 547 Broadway, N.Y., N.Y. The lithograph by R. Teller of 120 Wooster St., N.Y., N.Y., illustrates a "battle" of sewing machines. The Remington "army" is marching towards the fleeing Singer, Howe, Succor, Weed, and Willcox Gibbs sewing machines. The soldiers are riding the Remington treadle machines like horses and are carrying Remington rifles. The Remington No. 2 sewing machine had just come out to market in June 1874. The family treadle machine with a drop-leaf table and two drawers would have cost $75.00.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Transportation in America Reading List      Add Bookmark
Description: Students and teachers will find age appropriate books that support the online exhibition, America on the Move , and address the history of transportation in America.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Social Studies
Title: 1874 Remington Type Writer      Add Bookmark
Description: Remington put its writing machines on the market in 1874 at a price of $125. The new Type Writer owed some of its identity to the sewing machines that Remington had recently added to its product line. The writing machine came mounted on a sewing machine stand, with a treadle to operate the carriage return and advance the paper on the platen. Even the Type Writer's shiny black case, elaborately decorated with floral designs and emblems, resembled the factory's sewing machines.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Spinning Wheel      Add Bookmark
Description: Spinning wheels are believed to have originated in India between 500 and 1000 A.D. By the 13th century, they were seen in Europe, and were a standard piece of equipment for those making fiber into yarn. By the 17th century they were commonly found in homes in the colonies of North America.
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: Let Freedom Ring: The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students listen to a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., view photographs of the March on Washington, and study King's use of imagery and allusion in his I Have a Dream speech. After studying King's use of imagery and allusion, they create original poetic phrases about freedom and illustrate them with symbols representing the forms of freedom that have yet to be realized in the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Why Use Primary Sources?      Add Bookmark
Description: When it comes to telling the true account of an event or an historical time period, there s nothing more real or more exciting than a primary source.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Declare the Causes: The Declaration of Independence      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of eight lessons, from EDSITEment, the propensity to complain is used to increase student awareness of the precedents behind the Declaration of Independence. After completing this unit, students will be able to describe and list the sections of the Declaration of Independence and explain the basic purpose of each. They will also be able to give an example of a document that served as a precedent for the Declaration, list and explain one or more of the colonists complaints included in the Declaration, and demonstrate an awareness of the Declaration of Independence as a historical process developed in protest of unfair conditions.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: NCHS Social Studies Standards      Add Bookmark
Description: This is a link to national standards of history written by the National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California, Los Angeles under the guidance of the National Council for History Standards. From this homepage, students and teachers can link to US and World history content standards as well as historical thinking skills standards for grades K-4 and 5-12.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: POTUS.com      Add Bookmark
Description: POTUS.com consists of detailed biographies of every president from George Washington to George W. Bush. Each president has a comprehensive individual section devoted to them specifically. In each section teachers and students can find a great deal of information about the (residents, including dates, cabinet members, general information, video and audio media resources. In addition, the site offers links to other helpful internet resources for each individual president. The site is a great starting point for students wishing to begin researching a specific president.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Presidential Inaugural: Smithsonian Documentary Photographs      Add Bookmark
Description: Documentary photographs of inaugural events and festivities are the focus of this online collection from the Smithsonian Photographic Services. Included are photographs from the inaugurations of Presidents Reagan through Clinton, as well as select images of inaugural celebrations that have been held at the Smithsonian since 1881.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: American Presidents: Life Portraits      Add Bookmark
Description: This website was originally designed to complement C-SPAN's 20th Anniversary Television Series, American Presidents: Life Portraits, which debuted in 1999. The American Presidents website, created for the television series, contains a complete video archive of the series, additional resources of biographical facts, key events of each presidency, presidential birthplaces, libraries, and gravesites, as well as reference material. The site is a great starting point for students researching a specific president.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: National Geographic's Inside the White House      Add Bookmark
Description: This website is a entertaining resource for students researching the history of the White House, and/or the American Presidency. The site contains an interactive map of Washington for students, as well as a section devoted entirely to younger kids. The site also has a section devoted to teachers, where teachers can access teacher-tested classroom activities, suggested readings, and more that will help students learn about the history of the White House and the presidency. Also included is an activity in which students can decorate the Oval office using objects that were favorites of former presidents!
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The White House Historical Association      Add Bookmark
Description: This website is a must-visit for students and teachers studying the history of the White House, or the presidency itself. The site contains timelines, historical photographs, historical tours, as well as links for further research. In addition, the site has entire sections devoted to students and the classroom. Information found on this site is likely not easily accessible elsewhere. It truly is a treasure-trove of information for students and teachers alike.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Official Website of the White House      Add Bookmark
Description: The official website of the White House features updated news on the current administration, as well as a history of each past president, administration, and all of the first ladies. A comprehensive history of the White House itself is also presented, with many interactive links for students of all ages. Resources for student research include links to each of the existing Presidential Libraries, Camp David, Air Force One, and Marine One. For any student beginning a research project on the White House or a particular president or first lady, this website is a must see.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents      Add Bookmark
Description: Complete inaugural addresses of every president from George Washington to George W. Bush can be found on this reference website. It is a very useful tool for students conducting research on a particular president.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: I Do Solemnly Swear Presidential Inaugurations      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, from the Library of Congress, is a collection of approximately 400 items or 2,000 digital files relating to inaugurations from George Washington's in 1789 to George W. Bush's inauguration of 2001. It includes diaries and letters of presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations, handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music. This site is a fantastic resource for both teacher and students, as it includes many primary source images and text regarding Presidential inaugurations.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: A Brief History of Presidential Inaugurations      Add Bookmark
Description: This section of the White House Historical Association's website provides a wonderful history of presidential inaugurations. Through the use of historical images and interesting anecdotal information, students will learn how inaugural ceremonies have changed from modest affairs to modern extravaganzas. Also included at the end of the online exhibition is an entertaining trivia quiz that helps students review what has been learned.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Roosevelt Inaugural Medal, 1905      Add Bookmark
Description: When Theodore Roosevelt was elected President in 1904 and needed an inaugural medal, he gave the commission to scupltor Augustus Saint-Gaudens after rejecting the standard, unmemorable medal typically produced for this occasion by the United States Mint.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Confederate 5 Dollar Bill, 1862      Add Bookmark
Description: Like the fledgling United States during the American Revolution, the Confederacy struggled to keep its money in existence during the American Civil War, 1861-1865. Coinage had never been all that plentiful in the states that now made up the Southern Confederacy. It was a debtor area, with coinage flowing out for purchase of manufactured goods about as quickly as it flowed in from the sale of agricultural ones.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: No. 5 Field Case Surgical Set      Add Bookmark
Description: Many of the surgical sets used during the American Civil War were made to the specifications of the Union Army. This Civil War surgical set was made by George Tiemann Company of New York City. Tiemann, who emigrated to America from Germany in 1826, was considered one of the finest surgical instrument makers of the 19th century.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Civil War Soldier      Add Bookmark
Description: Photographs can be powerful connections to the past. Soldiers, for example often had their portraits made before going off to war so that loved ones would have a rememberance of them in the event they did not return. This decorative mat is unusual and suggests the pride the owner may have felt about his status as a fighting soldier.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,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: Templeton Reid, 5 Dollars, 1830      Add Bookmark
Description: Before the famous California gold rush, several important strikes were made in the East: in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The earliest took place in Mecklenburg County, N.C., in 1799, where a nugget weighing several pounds was discovered. Its finder used it as a doorstop until someone recognized it for what it was! Discoveries multiplied, and a federal branch Mint was eventually set up in Charlotte to process the metal into coinage.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site, from the Newberry Library, provides historically significant map documents for K-12 teachers and their students. Illustrating the geographical dimensions of American history, the maps are accompanied by lesson plans written for four grade levels and designed to support a variety of social studies, history and geography curricula.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Blog Post: Star Spangled Women: Mary Pickersgill      Add Bookmark
Description: In this post, students will learn the story of Mary Pickersgill, the woman who created the Star-Spangled Banner. Mary Pickersgill learned the art of flagmaking from her mother, Rebecca Young, who made a living during the Revolution sewing flags, blankets, and uniforms for George Washington's Continental army. Rebecca lived with Mary during the time the Star-Spangled Banner was created, but since she was 73 years old at the time, we have no idea how much she was able to contribute. We do know that Mary's daughter Caroline, her two teenage nieces Eliza and Jane, and an indentured servant named Grace Wisher did help with the onerous task of sewing the 30 × 42 foot flag. Grace was an African-American teen who had entered into a six-year indentured apprenticeship with Mary in order to learn the art and mystery of Housework and plain sewing. Written by Megan Smith, Education Specialist in the Department of Public Programming, this post is published on the Museum's "O Say Can You See?" blog.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies - Geography
Title: Alike and Different: The Middle East and the United States      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson asks students to examine the similarities and differences between the Middle East and their own city, state, and country. Students practice basic map skills by examining maps of the Middle East at National Geographic's Hot Spot: Iraq Web site and maps of their own region, looking for similar features: rivers, lakes, cities, marshes, etc. They look at a map of Baghdad and compare it to a map of their own city, a city they have visited, or any major U.S. city. Finally, they fill in and label their own blank outline maps of the Middle East region and the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Pismo Beach, California, 1 Dollar, 1933 (clamshell)      Add Bookmark
Description: When the Depression and resulting banking crisis hit their community, the residents of the coastal town of Pismo Beach, California picked an unusual but logical medium of exchange. Perhaps with tongue in cheek, the merchants and officials of Pismo Beach decided to make the best of a bad situation, and to make the humble clam shell into an object of trade.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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