Professional Learning Podcast Treasury Lesson Plans Personal Workspace Site Search ALEXville Learning Assets Home Courses of Study

ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies (4 - 5)
Title: The Effects of the Civil War
Description: Students will work in groups to research the causes of the Civil War, events during the war, and Reconstruction. They will compile their information into a multimedia presentation. They will use research to answer the essential question, "How did the events of the Civil War affect our society today?"


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Yo! The Slaves Have Gotta Go!
Description: In this lesson, students will explore the events leading up to the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Students will work collaboratively to research and report their findings.


Subject: Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Collaborative Project on the Civil War
Description: During this lesson two or more schools will work together using distance learning to investigate and share their community's involvement in the Civil War.


Subject: Social Studies (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: A Divided Nation
Description: Students will explore the sectional differences between the North and the South that ultimately led to the southern secession. Students will learn what is meant by secession and which states seceded, the country they formed, its capital, and whom they elected president. Students will create a PowerPoint Presentation, a brochure, and possibly a newsletter using computer software presenting information they have learned.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Expository Writing and The Civil War
Description: This lesson is designed to help students strengthen their research and writing skills, while learning more about the Civil War, as they produce an expository paragraph. Students will glean information from an article about the causes of the Civil War and then use the "Step Up To Writing" technique to write their paragraphs.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: The Underground Railroad
Description: The Underground Railroad of the 1800's inspired talented writers of all ages. This lesson will integrate some of these famous writings to encourage students to develop their questioning techniques for analysis of literature while furthering their knowledge of this era in American history. As an extension of this study, students will create a class quilt to illustrate the depth of their research.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Did You Hear the News?
Description: After studying about the differences between the North and South prior to the Civil War and how Alabama decided to secede from the Union, students will write a newspaper article on this important decision. They will go back in time and imagine they lived in Alabama as a journalist in the year of 1861. The articles will be published in newspaper format using Microsoft Publisher and distributed.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: To March or Not to March      Add Bookmark
Description: In this activity, children pretend to be an American during 1963 and decide whether or not to join the March on Washington. Children base their choice on information gathered through guided observation of a handbill from the march. Included in an OurStory module from Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled "Martin's Big Words'' , 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: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Reading Seven Miles to Freedom      Add Bookmark
Description: Seven Miles to Freedom is a book about Robert Smalls, a man who 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. Part of an OurStory module entitled Full Steam to Freedom, this activity includes strategies that will help adults and children actively read Full Steam to Freedom together. 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: Social Studies
Title: Reading 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 writing and illustrating a poem or letter playing the role of a conductor, agent or passenger on the Underground Railroad. It is included in an OurStory module entitled Slave Life and the Underground Railroad . 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: Using Rice Plantation Tools      Add Bookmark
Description: In this activity, students will analyze images of tools that were used on rice plantations to determine each tool's purpose. These objects can tell us a great deal about slavery and the lives of the slaves who worked on rice plantations. 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: Social Studies
Title: Union Belt Plate      Add Bookmark
Description: Union belt buckle found on the battlefield at Winchester, Virginia.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Ulysses Grant's Letter from Fort Donelson      Add Bookmark
Description: On February 16, 1862, General Buckner surrendered Fort Donelson. The unconditional surrender created jubilation throughout the North and shock in Dixie. It was the North's first major victory of the Civil War, opening the way into the very heart of the Confederacy.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Ulysses Grant's Field Glasses      Add Bookmark
Description: In September 1861 Ulysses S. Grant was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers by President Abraham Lincoln. Grant directed Sherman to drive through the South while he himself, with the Army of the Potomac, pinned down Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. On April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Lee surrendered. Grant wrote out magnanimous terms of surrender that would prevent treason trials.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Ulysses Grant's Camp Chair      Add Bookmark
Description: This camp chair was used by Ulysses Grant during the Civil War.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies,Geography
Title: Rebellion: John Horse and the Black Seminoles      Add Bookmark
Description: The site explores the story of the first black rebels to beat American slavery and leaders of the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies
Title: USS Monitor      Add Bookmark
Description: Built by contract with John Ericsson at Green Point, Long Island, and launched January 30, 1862, the USS Monitor saw its first naval action at Hampton Roads, Virginia, on March 9, 1862. Despite the CSS Virginia being almost twice its size, with ten guns, the Monitor with its two eleven-inch turret guns held its own. The engagement ended in a draw. The Monitor sank in a gale off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on December 31, 1862.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: John Mosby's Cavalry Jacket and Hat      Add Bookmark
Description: Confederate cavalry leader John Mosby is among the most romantic characters in the Civil War. From 1863 to the end of the conflict, Mosby's raiders were a constant headache for the North. The raiders usually acted in small detachments of several dozen, sacking supply depots, attacking railroads, and harassing federal troops.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Battle of Gettysburg Lithograph      Add Bookmark
Description: The Battle of Gettysburg was a critical turning point in the American Civil War. During the first three days of July 1863, over 172,000 men and 634 cannons were positioned in an area encompassing 25 square miles.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Religion,Science,Social Studies,Geography
Title: Encyclopedia of Alabama      Add Bookmark
Description: A free, authoritative source information about the history, politics, geography, and culture of the state of Alabama; updated regularly to ensure that the content is accurate and accessible. The editors are continually adding new entries, photographs, and maps, so check back frequently to see what's new.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Harriet Tubman: Secret Messages Shared through Song      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, students are introduced to the African-American spiritual and its use of a secret language to share information within the slave community.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4



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: Interactive Gettysburg Address      Add Bookmark
Description: Use this interactive document from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to bring one of the five know handwritten copies of the Gettysburg Address to life! Students can zoom in on the document, click on highlighted passages that help put the famous speech into context and listen to actor Liam Neeson read the entire address. Transcripts of the manuscript are also available in English and Spanish to help students understand one the most famous speeches in American History. This resource is included in the online exhibition entitled The Gettysburg Address. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Gettysburg Address Homepage      Add Bookmark
Description: President Abraham Lincoln's short address at the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, battlefield is one of the most eloquent political speeches in American history. Its inspiring message remains as meaningful today as when first delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery on November 19, 1863. This online exhibition, from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, tells a unique story of the Gettysburg Address by focusing on the last handwritten copy of the speech, a manuscript that usually resides out of the public eye in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White house. Also included to help students further explore this important document are a printable version of the manuscript, transcripts in both English and Spanish and an interactive document that features actor Liam Neeson reading the entire address. 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: The Union is Dissolved! Broadside      Add Bookmark
Description: The Charleston Mercury 's The Union Is Dissolved! broadside was the first Confederate publication, as South Carolina was the first state to secede. It went to press fifteen minutes after the secession ordinance was passed.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: Confederate Bowie Knife and Scabbard      Add Bookmark
Description: During the Civil War, the Bowie knife was popular with Confederate soldiers, whose arms generally were inferior. The blade, made of steel, was up to 14 inches long. In general, the bowie is usually classified as any large knife with a chipped point.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: An EDSITEment Tour of the National Mall      Add Bookmark
Description: This page from EDSITEment features resources relating to Washington D.C.'s National Mall, and presents information about the history and landmarks of the Mall. Learn more about Washington D.C.'s rich history by visiting the EDSITEment lesson plans and EDSITEment-reviewed Web sites referenced on this page.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Confederate Five Dollar Bill, 1862      Add Bookmark
Description: With limited coinage, the Confederacy struggled to keep its money in existence during the American Civil War, 1861-1865, and looked to paper money to support its economy. This object tells us something about popular attitudes of the day. There was an almost superstitious aversion to allowing Confederate notes to fall to pieces. So they would be sewn together, or more frequently glued back together, reinforced with any stray bits of paper deemed fit for the job. This five-dollar bill was reinforced with part of a low-value (ten-cent) note from Mississippi. Specialists call this sort of minor currency "scrip,'' and it played an essential role on the lower end of the monetary scale during the early and middle phases of the war. 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: Slave Shackles      Add Bookmark
Description: In the 15th century, decades before they sailed into the Caribbean, Spanish merchants, captains, and adventurers had already conquered and enslaved the people of the Canary Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. On the western coast of continental Africa, the Portuguese had been cultivating a slavery-based economic policy. This legacy of conquest and slavery shaped the colonization of Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean. Some of the first American encounters between Europeans, Indians, and Africans took place in Puerto Rico, and its early history of genocidal violence and physical exploitation was repeated throughout the Americas.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Legendary Coins and Currency Timeline      Add Bookmark
Description: This interactive timeline will introduce students to a unique and interesting perspective of American history as they navigate chronologically through the objects included in the online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled "Legendary Coins and Currency'' . The timeline spans the years 1652 through 1974 and includes artifacts from every era of American history. Clicking on the images on the timeline will allow students to rotate and zoom in on objects from the National Numismatic Collection for detailed examination.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Treasures of American History: National Challenges      Add Bookmark
Description: The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History provides a broad and complex view of the American experience. The valuable pieces of history displayed in this section of the online exhibition entitled "Treasures of American History'' document some of the struggles, conflicts, and controversies that have shaped the nation. Students will learn that by understanding the challenges of the past, they can draw lessons and inspiration for confronting new challenges in the present and future. The topics discussed in this section are: the American Revolution; slavery; westward expansion; the Civil War, women's suffrage, the Great Depression and World War II, the Civil Rights movement and AIDS. A Spanish version of the exhibition is available on the exhibition's homepage.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: New York Library      Add Bookmark
Description: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a national research library devoted to collecting, preserving and providing access to resources documenting the history and experiences of peoples of African descent throughout the world. Their website features online access to digitized images, texts, manuscripts, and archival finding aids. This site is a great for students researching any topics having to do with African-American history.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies,Geography
Title: EDSITEment lessons on Slavery, the Crisis of the Union, the Civil War and Reconstruction      Add Bookmark
Description: This is an expansive multi-disciplinary collection of EDSITEment resources on the antebellum and Civil War era of American history.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Slave Narratives: Constructing U.S. History Through Analyzing Primary Sources      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students research narratives from the Federal Writers Project and describe the lives of former African slaves in the U.S., both before and after Emancipation. From varied stories, students sample the breadth of individual experiences, make generalizations about the effects of slavery and Reconstruction on African Americans, and evaluate primary source documents.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
Thinkfinity
Thinkfinity
Best of the Web

Web Design by: Digital Mason LLC