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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies (5)
Title: Labor Systems in Colonial America
Description: In this unit, the students will learn about the economic life and labor systems during colonial times in North America. The students will learn about the inequalities individuals faced during that time period, and the inequalities that we face today. The big idea is that the students will understand that discrimination is when people are treated differently based on some characteristic.


Subject: Arts Education (K - 2), or Science (K - 3), or Social Studies (K - 5)
Title: The Medicine Leaf Man
Description: The teacher will briefly discuss Mississippian time period medicine men. The teacher will read Leaf Man by Louis Elhert and discuss leaves of various trees that grow in Russell Cave National Monument and the surrounding North Alabama area that were used for medicinal purposes. Students will then create a medicine man using the discussed medicinal leaves and tree parts. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


Subject: Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: My adventure with Lewis & Clark
Description: Over the course of five days, students will create a daily journal in the style of Lewis and Clark. At the end of the week, the students will create a video using their Flip cameras recreating their journals.


Subject: Arts Education (5), or Social Studies (5)
Title: Plan the Adventure of a Lifetime with Lewis and Clark!
Description: This plan is the first lesson in my unit on Lewis and Clark. This is a project-based, hands-on unit in which students "become" part of the Corps of Discovery - the members traveling in the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In this lesson, the students will be introduced to Lewis and Clark and our daily routine for the unit. We will then create a three-dimensional raised-relief physical map of the United States on which to track our journey and plan what to take on the trip.


Subject: Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Native Cultures in the Americas
Description: This lesson is part of a project-based, hands-on unit in which children discover the native cultures that existed in the Americas prior to the arrival of explorers. The students will "become" part of their assigned culture through research with a provided research guide to keep them on track. The students will be expected to present their culture to the class after completing research and will be graded by a rubric. The lesson includes the use of the trade book: The Discovery of the Americas by Betsy and Giulio Maestro. The unit has the overriding goal of representing the culture in a World Court Hearing against the explorers they encountered.


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 6), or Social Studies (3 - 5)
Title: Living in the Wild
Description: In this lesson, students will compare and contrast how the Prehistoric Americans lived off the land at Russell Cave and how Sam Gribley from "My Side of the Mountain" lived off the land. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


Subject: Social Studies (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Where Am I?
Description: During this lesson students explore the 50 states through the Internet. Students discover important facts and information by navigating the World Wide Web.


Subject: Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Native American Acrostic Poems
Description: In this lesson, students will synthesize the knowledge they have acquired about early Native American tribes by creating and presenting an acrostic poem that incorporates pictures symbolizing important characteristics of the tribes. In creating the acrostic poems students will utilize a variety of technology including digital cameras, scanners, image editing software and word processing software. The lesson will culminate in an oral presentation of the poems.


Subject: Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Archeology: Can You Dig It?
Description: In this technology-based, interdisciplinary study, students will discover how archeology helps us learn about our past. They will navigate the Internet to discover different methods archeologists use and gain an appreciation of the relationship between the past and the present.


Subject: Social Studies (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Native Americans
Description: During this lesson, students will recognize that Native Americans were the first inhabitants of our country. They will locate on a map where different tribes lived and compare and contrast different tribes' basic needs and customs.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: The Native Americans and Their Environment
Description: The students will research Native American groups and relate how the environment affected their lifestyles and cultures. The students will create a slideshow presentation depicting this relationship. The students will compare Native American groups in order to observe the differences in their lifestyles and cultures.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies
Title: Reading When Clay Sings      Add Bookmark
Description: In this activity, students will learn how to answer questions by examining objects as well as learn about a book about Native American culture named When Clay Sings . This worksheet can help guide students while visiting a museum, library, website, or any location where objects are used to interpret the past. It is included in an OurStory module entitled Pueblo Pots. 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: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Pueblo Pots      Add Bookmark
Description: In this "OurStory'' module entitled "Pueblo Pots'' , students will investigate the roles that pottery and water played in the lives of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. Students will learn about Native American culture by reading the book entitled "When Clay Sings'' and discover the symbolism of two modern pots in a hands-on "Explore Pueblo Pots'' activity. The module includes links to the activities and a list of other recommended readings about Native American culture. "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: Worlds in Motion: American Indians on the Colonial Frontier      Add Bookmark
Description: The Worlds in Motion Web site, created by the http://heinzhistorycenter.org/" Senator John Heinz History Center , a Smithsonian Affiliate in Pittsburgh, is designed for use by educators teaching about American Indians on the Colonial Frontier and the French and Indian War. It contains extensive and comprehensive lesson plans for students of all grade levels. The lessons expand perceptions of Eastern American Indians and their role in colonial-era history. Each lesson includes grade level recommendations, a lesson abstract, an activity with process guidelines and tips, and evaluation tools. The lessons are based upon student use of primary artifacts and documents, literature, and the visual and performing arts.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: 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: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Joseph Bruchac: The Flute and the Drum      Add Bookmark
Description: Author and storyteller Joseph Bruchac explains the origin and significance of the flute and the drum to Native American culture.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies,Language Arts,Science
Title: Constellation Maker      Add Bookmark
Description: Make your own constellation commemorating an American woman, like Maria Mitchell. Many cultures have used constellations to remember the stories of heroes, like the Greeks and some American Indians. Included in an OurStory module from Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled "Exploring the Sky'' , 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: K,1,2,3,4



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: Social Studies
Title: Eastern Indian Wars      Add Bookmark
Description: Coveting what remained of the Indian lands in the Southeast and lower South, the United States forced tribes to cede their "rights of occupancy" and give up their ancestral homelands. Students will learn about the Creek Indian War and the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, and the policies that led to the Trail of Tears, one of the most tragic episodes in American history in this section of the online exhibition, Price of Freedom: Americans at War . A non-flash version of this page is available: http://americanhistory.si.edu/militaryhistory/printable/section.asp?id=3" Eastern Indian Wars .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - United States History
Title: Lewis and Clark: Facing Challenges--Real and Imagined      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students consider how they perceive geographic features and obstacles and how the Lewis and Clark expedition members might have done so. If possible, begin the lesson before your students see the large-format film Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West, and finish it after they have seen the movie.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Native American Cultures      Add Bookmark
Description:
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Cross-Disciplinary - History , Social Studies - Anthropology , Social Studies - Comparative Political Systems , Social Studies - Human Behavior , Social Studies - Human Relations , Social Studies - World History
Title: What Is a Cornucopia?      Add Bookmark
Description: While a cornucopia snack is an excellent way to honor the fall season, the traditional cornucopia isn't completely edible. Filled with pumpkins and gourds, nuts and berries, the cornucopia makes a beautiful centerpiece., But have you ever wondered what it represents? Get ready for a history lesson in harvest as we toot the horn of plenty.
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Geography,Social Studies
Title: Major Languages of the Americas      Add Bookmark
Description: Activity. Students identify major languages spoken in the Americas, map them, and discuss the relationship between the distribution of languages and the colonial history of the countries.
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: 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: 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: Not ''Indians,'' Many Tribes: Native American Diversity      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of five lessons, from EDSITEment, students heighten their awareness of Native American diversity as they learn about three vastly different Native groups in a game-like activity using archival documents such as vintage photographs, traditional stories, photos of artifacts, and recipes. This unit helps students study the interaction between environment and culture.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Jamestown Changes      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson from EDSITEment, students study census data showing the names and occupations of early settlers of the English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, to discern how life changed in the Jamestown settlement in the first few years after it was founded. The goals of this lesson plan are to gain experience gathering information from primary sources, to examine changes over time in conditions at Jamestown as revealed in primary documents from early years in the colony, and to organize a statement of findings.
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: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Larry and Jessup Yazzie: Fancy Dancers      Add Bookmark
Description: Meskwaki Tribe member Larry Yazzie and his son, Jessup, discuss and perform traditional Native American dances.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums      Add Bookmark
Description: The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums is a non-profit membership organization, founded in 1945. The organization represents museums professionals, organizations, institutions and museum service providers. The website is a forum to enhance the image of museums and educate individuals on an array of field specific study and programs. The association chiefly represents those museum interests in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: New England Museum Association      Add Bookmark
Description: The New England Museum Association's goal is to strengthen member museums in the region. NEMA fosters communication and ethical conduct; provides professional development; promotes excellence in museum operations; and encourages support for the museum community.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Trade Tomahawk      Add Bookmark
Description: Trade tomahawks were generally made in Europe and used by settlers to trade with the Indians.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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