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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Book Boxes: Analyzing Elements of a Story
Description: In this lesson, students will listen to a read aloud and view a model of the project expected related to the first read aloud.  Students will then complete a group project based on a story read as a class. (This can be done as a read aloud or in literature circle groups.)  The books used in this particular activity are Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons go to Birmingham.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Memories of the Great Depression
Description: This hands-on lesson combines social studies, language arts, and technology. Fourth grade students begin by researching and collecting information from a variety of sources. Students develop an appreciation of the difficulties endured by many people during the era of the Great Depression.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Picturing Modern America      Add Bookmark
Description: Site contains interactive exercises designed to: Deepen students' understanding of common topics in the study of modern America 1880-1920; Build students' skills in analyzing primary sources; Generate questions that students can pursue by searching in American Memory and other sources.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 5,6,7



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: 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: Feedsack Dress      Add Bookmark
Description: Farm families in the early twentieth century, used to "making do'' with what they had, turned feed sacks and flour bags into dresses, underwear, towels, curtains, quilts, and other household necessities. By the 1940s the bag manufacturers were turning out bags in bright colors and printed designs. It was felt that these designs and colors would boost sales, because the woman of the house would always select the brand with the most attractive fabric. During World War II, there was a shortage of cotton fabric for the civilian population, and the recycling of bags became a necessity, encouraged by the government. 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: 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: Remembering Jim Crow      Add Bookmark
Description: In the documentary entitled Remembering Jim Crow , Americans—black and white—remember and reflect on life in the time of Jim Crow. The accompanying website breaks down the documentary into sections, and features audio clips that accompany each documentary section. Students and teachers can read personal histories of segregation, and can also access a sampling of repressive Jim Crow laws by individual southern state. An excellent link to various resources is included for students wishing to research the topic further. Remembering Jim Crow was produced by American Radioworks and American Public Media.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Thompson Model 1928 Submachine Gun      Add Bookmark
Description: During World War I, machine guns were heavy, crew-served weapons. Their operation required several soldiers. Even so-called light machine guns could not easily be handled by single soldiers. To meet the need for an individual rapid-fire weapon, several inventors devised submachine guns. Light enough for one-man use, the new weapons were nicknamed "trench brooms" because they swept the trenches clear of enemy troops. The Thompson submachine gun was the handwork of John Taliaferro Thompson (West Point Class of 1882). It saw only limited wartime use, but the "Tommy gun" in the hands of police and gangsters achieved notoriety as "the gun that made the twenties roar."
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: Social Studies
Title: Blog Post: Electric Cars: 100 Years Ago and Today      Add Bookmark
Description: In this post, students will discover the history of electric car technology over the course of the last century. In the early 20th century, motorists had a choice of electric, steam, or gasoline cars, and it wasn't clear that any one type would dominate the market. Electricity was beginning to power home appliances, lights, and streetcars, so it seemed natural to put electric motors and batteries in carriages. Electric vehicles were clean, quiet, and comfortable, but most car buyers in the 1910s and 1920s chose gasoline cars, which had much longer range between fill-ups. Written by Roger White, Associate Curator for Road Transportation with the Division of Work and Industry, 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: Arts, Social Studies
Title: The Story Behind the Song: Brother Can You Spare a Dime?      Add Bookmark
Description: When Americans were humbled by the Great Depression, this song gave voice to their fears and feelings of loss.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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