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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies (4)
Title: Living Museum
Description: The students will research famous Alabamians, write an informative paragraph about their historical figure, and prepare a presentation for a school-wide living museum. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Growing Up During World War II
Description: This is a whole group inquiry lesson that is largely, but not entirely, technology-based. Through the use of a PhotoStory-created movie, students will learn about several basic concepts related to life in Alabama during World War II. More specifically, aspects of life that affected children growing up during this time will be discussed.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Japanese American Internment Camps: Make your Own Fish Kite      Add Bookmark
Description: In this activity, students will learn how to make their own fish kites, called "koinobori'' . "Koinobori'' are an important expression of Japanese culture that became an important part of life for children in Japanese American internment camps during World War II. It is included in an "OurStory'' module entitled "Life in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp'' . "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: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Japanese American Internment Camps: Leaving Things Behind      Add Bookmark
Description: What would you take if you were suddenly forced to move? In this activity, students will make this decision after reading and responding to a quote by a woman who was forced to move to a Japanese American internment camp during World War II. It is included in an "OurStory'' module entitled "Life in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp'' . "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: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Japanese American Internment Camps: Read "Baseball Saved Us''       Add Bookmark
Description: In this activity, students will read information about the book "Baseball Saved Us'' , its author and its illustrator. The activity includes images of objects from the online exhibition "A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution'' . It is included in an "OurStory'' module entitled "Life in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp'' . "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,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: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Women's History: Great Women of Our Pasts      Add Bookmark
Description: This introductory resource for the "OurStory'' module entitled Great Women of Our Pasts, includes links to hands-on activities and a list of recommended readings related to the topic of women's history. "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: Role Model Medal      Add Bookmark
Description: Encourage children to recognize a woman role model in their lives by creating a special symbolic pin. Part of an OurStory module from Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled Winning the Vote for Women, this activity includes a hand out that encourages discussion of the woman suffrage movement and instructions for choosing effective symbols and creating a pin for a modern day female role model 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. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 1,2,3,4



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: 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: 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: World War II Cartoons      Add Bookmark
Description: Cartoons from World War II helped explain the war to children and encouraged families to do their part for the war cause.This video is part of the Price of Freedom learning resources package for use with the Mobilizing Children WWII 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: D Day      Add Bookmark
Description: Robert Capa (1913 - 1954) documented World War II from the bombing of London to fronts in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany. He captured this arresting image of American troops landing at Omaha Beach on D-day, June 6, 1944. Capa was one of two magazine war correspondents allowed to join the U.S. troops landing on the shores of Normandy, France, for the D-Day operations, launching the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Western Europe. Sailing with the 2000 men transported on the U.S.S. Chase , Capa joined the men of Company E on a barge headed for the section of the beach designated "Easy Red." Dodging bullets and hiding behind pieces of steel, Capa photographed for hours in waist-deep water with several Contax cameras. His hands trembled, and he ruined many rolls of film as he tried to change film amid the dead and wounded of the battle. Capa did make his way to the shore, but soon after found himself jumping aboard a barge to rest and dry off, not realizing the boat was returning to its main ship. Capa didn't get back to shore again until the fighting had ended. Capa's D-Day was sent directly to the offices of LIFE in London for processing. Hurrying to develop the rolls, a technician turned up the heat in the dryers, ruining many of the 72 images taken.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: On the Water: Stories from Maritime America      Add Bookmark
Description: The maritime history of the United States is brought to life in this online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American history. With a focus on boats, ships and the lives of the men and women who lived, worked, traveled and died on them, students will understand the importance of maritime activity throughout the nation's history. Objects from the Museum's collections, audio and video clips, oral histories and narrative accounts provide a unique look into this important aspect of American history. An interactive collections search, learning resources and an extensive list of web links are included to extend the experience further. 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: Reading Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie      Add Bookmark
Description: Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie is a work of children's literature about a young heroine who runs her family's lighthouse during a fierce storm. Included in an OurStory module entitled Life on the Water, this activity includes four strategies that will help adults and children actively read Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie together. 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 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: 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: The Scott Family: Life on the WWII Homefront      Add Bookmark
Description: The Scotts rented apartment on the first floor of an Ipswich, Massachusetts house became a home front battlefield during World War II. Through the use of a description of the apartment, an excerpt from Mary Scott's diary, and artifact from the period, students will learn about life on the home front during World War II. The Scotts are one of the families that lived in the Ipswich, Massachusetts house which is the focus of Within These Walls , an online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: 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: Social Studies
Title: Sheet Music: Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!      Add Bookmark
Description: On a Sunday morning in December 1941, a chaplain had his most difficult assignment — to say a prayer to sailors aboard a U.S. navy ship actively under low flying attack by the enemy firing from all directions. He quickly realized the best he could do was walk the ammunition line saying, Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition! Stories of the overheard phrase quickly turned into legend and passed between soldiers, eventually reaching the press and one Broadway composer and lyricist, Frank Loesser.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Japanese-Americans and the U.S. Constitution: Topic 3 - Internment      Add Bookmark
Description: In this section of "A More Perfect Union,'' an online exhibition from the Smithsonian s National Museum of American History, students will learn about everyday life in the Japanese American internment camps during World War II. Living in geographically isolated camps under harsh conditions and laboring for unfair wages, internees recreated a community structure that enabled them to live as normal a life as possible as well as thrive culturally. Through the use of artifacts from the Museum s collections, fine art, primary source documents, photographs and oral histories students will get sense of the daily life of internees as well as gaining an appreciation of the unique art and culture that emerged from the rigors of life in the camps. "A More Perfect Union'' focuses on the experiences of Japanese Americans who were placed in internment camps during World War II.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: World War II Poster      Add Bookmark
Description: This image, said to be the most popular poster design of World War II, appeared as a billboard in 1941.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Soldier's Pocket Bible      Add Bookmark
Description: Religion has an essential role in military history, which is reflected in military material. Steel-covered New Testaments were popular keepsake gifts for soldiers going off to fight in World War II. Advertised in newspapers and magazines as protection from bullets, the small books were designed to be carried in the pocket over one's heart as both symbol and shield.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Blog Post: Americans Experience Mexico, circa 1890-1945      Add Bookmark
Description: In this blog post, students will learn some of the ways in which Americans learned about Mexico from some examples in the Archives Center's collections. In the years prior to World War II, most Americans had limited first-hand experience of Mexico. Mexico primarily was known as a place for American financial investment and as a land of frequent political turmoil. Written Craig Orr, Aquistions Archivist at the Archives Center, 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
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



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