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ALEX Lesson Plans


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: English Language Arts (5), or Social Studies (5)
Title: Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion
Description: Students engage in a discussion of "Manifest Destiny" using a timeline of events from 1830 - 1860, and a biographical sketch of a real person who lived during that time period.  During the discussion, students will use the biography to interpret and infer how the real person might have felt.  A discussion guide is provided.  Students provide a written answer to the final discussion question to summarize their understanding of the issue.  


Subject: Social Studies (5)
Title: American Inventors
Description: Students will learn about 8 American inventors from the 1800's. They will use the internet of encyclopedia disc to research and print pictures and information about these people.


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or Social Studies (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Settling the West: Westward Expansion
Description: During this lesson, students will have the opportunity to experience the westward expansion through literature and the Internet. By creating a brochure and a slideshow presentation, students will become aware of the difficulties people faced through their travels.


Subject: Social Studies (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Move the Cherokee People
Description: During this lesson, students will explore facts about the Cherokee people, their history, their culture, and their future. This lesson will help students begin to realize how the actions of our predecessors affected people in the past and today. The Internet will be used as a research tool to help students learn more about the Trail of Tears. Students will also have the opportunity to produce a slideshow presentation to share their new knowledge about the Trail of Tears.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies,Geography
Title: Texas Beyond History      Add Bookmark
Description: A public education project of the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin that interprets and shares the results of archeological and historical research on the cultural heritage of Texas.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9



Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - United States History
Title: Lewis and Clark: Overcoming Obstacles      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students discuss the challenges and obstacles the Lewis and Clark expedition faced, focusing on how geographic information can influence a decision. Students work cooperatively to make a decision, and experience the difficulty of weighing options, assessing risks, and learning different consequences of choices. This lesson can be conducted whether or not students see the large-format film Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - United States History
Title: Lewis and Clark: Why Explore the Vast Unknown?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson about the Lewis and Clark expedition, students interpret a map of the West as it was known at the time, learn what President Thomas Jefferson asked Meriwether Lewis to accomplish, and explain why the expedition was important for the future of the country. This lesson can be conducted before watching the large-format film '' '' Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West.'' ''
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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: Get a "Sense" of It      Add Bookmark
Description: What would life have been like in a sod house? This group of activities will allow students to use their senses to see, smell, and feel what it would have been like to live on the prairie long ago. Included in an OurStory module, this activity is 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: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Life in a Sod House      Add Bookmark
Description: In this "OurStory'' module from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History entitled "Life in a Sod House'' , students will learn about life on the prairie and in sod houses. The module includes the interactive activity "Building a Sod House'' , hands-on activities and a list of recommended readings related. "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: 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: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Life in a Sod House: Read "Dakota Dugout''       Add Bookmark
Description: Historical fiction is a great way to begin learning about the past. In this activity, from the "OurStory'' series produced by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, 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. "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,Language Arts
Title: Reading the Flag Maker      Add Bookmark
Description: In this activity, children will actively read The Flag Maker , using these suggested reading questions. They will be better able to read for understanding and answer questions using written and image resources. 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: K,1,2,3,4



Subject: Science,Social Studies,Geography
Title: CampSilos: The Grout Museum Excursion      Add Bookmark
Description: Activities designed to help students understand, interpret and appreciate the story of immigration to the Midwest.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7



Subject: Social Studies
Title: A History of the War of 1812 and The Star-Spangled Banner      Add Bookmark
Description: the Star-Spangled Banner, vocabulary, discussion questions and extension activities. It 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: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Math, Social Studies
Title: Lewis and Clark: Artful Recordings      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, students take on the roles of Lewis and Clark, as they explore the original journals and create journals of their own.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8



Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Gold Rush! California's Untold Stories      Add Bookmark
Description: This site, offered by the Oakland Museum of California, provides a comprehensive look into the California gold rush of the nineteenth century. Resources include paintings, virtual tours of exhibitions at the Oakland Museum, online quizzes, and curricular materials.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: New Perspectives on the West      Add Bookmark
Description: This PBS site, an EDSITEment-reviewed Blue Ribbon resource, provides a guided tour through the history of the American West, following in the footsteps of filmmakers Ken Burns and Stephen Ives. It relates experiences of individual men and women, many of whom tell their own stories in their own words, through diaries and letters and autobiographical accounts.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Saddle      Add Bookmark
Description: The Spaniards who invaded Mexico brought to North America a well-developed equestrian tradition. Over the centuries, horses, saddles, and other riding paraphernalia were altered by the landscape and the lifestyles of both Spanish and indigenous riders. Accompanied by mariachi music, la charrera is the elaborate and spectacle-driven tradition of horsemanship in Mexico. As a national sport rooted in the everyday demands of ranching, the crafts and techniques of charrera were adopted and modified by American settlers in the 19th century...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Social Studies,Geography
Title: Trail Tribes      Add Bookmark
Description: Historical maps and pages on the traditional culture of Native Americans along the Lewis and Clark trail.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



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: The Mexican War      Add Bookmark
Description: America went to war to gain territory from Mexico and expand the nation's boundary from Texas to California. In this section of The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, an online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn about the Mexican War by first examining its causes, Texas's struggle for independence and the controversial concept of Manifest Destiny. They will then learn about the war's major events and battles, and the results of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which the United States annexed all of the territory that would become the states of the Southwest.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Andrew Jackson's Uniform Coat      Add Bookmark
Description: Andrew Jackson wore this uniform coat at the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815; it was also worn by Jackson when he sat for his portrait by artist Ralph E. W. Early, about 1815
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: War of 1812      Add Bookmark
Description: In 1812, America went to war against Great Britain to assert its rights as an independent, sovereign nation, and to attempt the conquest of Canada. The major events of the War of 1812 are discussed here, including the burning of Washington, and the battles of Fort McHenry and New Orleans. This section of the online exhibition entitled The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, uses images and objects from the museum's collections to shed light on the conflict that gave the country a new symbol, the Star-Spangled Banner, and a new hero, Andrew Jackson.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Buffalo Coat      Add Bookmark
Description: According to legend, this coat was made from the skin of a buffalo killed by Buffalo Bill, and presented by him to Captain J. B. Irvine, Twenty-second U.S. Infantry. Irvine then presented it to Second Lieutenant Albert C. Dalton, Company A, U.S. Infantry. In a life that was part legend and part fantasy, William F. Cody came to embody the spirit of the West. During the Civil War, Cody served first as a Union scout in campaigns against the Kiowa and Comanche; then in 1863 he enlisted with the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, which saw action in Missouri and Tennessee. In 1867, Cody took up the trade that gave him his nickname, hunting buffalo to feed the construction crews of the Kansas Pacific Railroad. According to Buffalo Bill, he killed 4,280 head of buffalo in seventeen months. He is perhaps best known for Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, a theatrical extravaganza. His show dramatized some of the most picturesque elements of frontier life. It contained a buffalo hunt with real buffalos, an Indian attack with real Indians, and a grand finale that reenacted Custer's Last Stand, with some Lakota who actually fought in the battle playing a part. The show was enormously successful and traveled the world for three decades.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Governor Warren's Expedition      Add Bookmark
Description: Join Governor Warren on his 1856 expedition into the American frontier and identify the specimens he sent back to the Smithsonian for study and classification in this interactive activity from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Students will begin by reading a letter that Warren sent to the Smithsonian and will then match specimens to the locations that they were found on a map of Warren's expeditions. A wonderful example of object-based learning, this activity will help students learn more about the connections between science, history and the work of museums. - This activity is included in the online exhibition entitled West Point in the Making of America .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: 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: 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: Geography,Social Studies
Title: Gold Fever      Add Bookmark
Description: Article. Short article on the discovery of gold in California that sparked the California Gold Rush.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Van Valen's Gold Rush Journey      Add Bookmark
Description: Investigate the authentic journal of Alex Van Valen, a man who set sail in 1849 to stake his claim in the California gold fields, to discover what life was like during the gold rush. This dynamic project from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History includes student questions to help guide research, rich primary sources, images of artifacts and background information. The student materials can be completed on paper or using the interactive PDF format that allows students to create beautiful publications from their research. The teacher guide includes suggested discussion questions for the introduction and conclusion classes, answers to the student questions, a sheet of Frequently Asked Questions about the gold rush journal, and a summary of what Smithsonian curators learned about the journal's author. Although intended as a project, elements of the site could also be used independently to develop historical research skills. 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: Lewis and Clark as Naturalists      Add Bookmark
Description: This online exhibition focuses on the natural history specimens that were collected by Lewis and Clark on their historic expedition. The site contains images of museum specimens, scientific drawings, and field photos of the plant and animal species observed and described by Lewis and Clark, along with journal excerpts, historical notes, and references for many of these examples as well as the date and location of observation. An interactive collection search allows students to search the specimens by species, date, location, or through the use of an interactive map. A teacher's guide includes standards-based lesson plans and activity ideas for grades 1-12 as well as vignettes that provide additional perspective on some of the plants that were described in the journals of the expedition members.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The War of 1812      Add Bookmark
Description: Website for the PBS film'' War of 1812'' . Includes short scholarly essays on the American, British, Canadian Native American perspectives on the war, the role of black sailors and soldiers, diplomatic maneuvers, James Madison's leadership, and the military campaigns. Multiple lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school levels.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Spark!Lab Homepage      Add Bookmark
Description: This webiste, from the Lemelson Center's Spark!Lab, uses fun activities to help kids and families learn about the history and process of invention. Students can play games, conduct science experiments, explore inventors' notebooks, and even invent! Spark!Lab, the newest hands on space for families and others visiting the National Museum of American History, shows the real story behind an inventor's work. p align="left"
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies,Geography
Title: Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition      Add Bookmark
Description: Annotated journals of Lewis and Clark during their expedition. Images, maps, and audio readings of scholarship on Lewis and Clark.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Western Indian Wars      Add Bookmark
Description: In the decades following the Civil War, the U.S. Army fought dozens of engagements with Indians in the West. This website explores Federal Indian policies and conflicts that arose as Americans flooded west into the Great Plains. Through the use of images and objects from the Museum's collections, students will learn about: Sitting Bull, George Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn; the massacre at Wounded Knee; the resistance of Geronimo and the Chiricahua Apache; buffalo soldiers; and the realities of life on Indian Reservations. A non-flash version of the site is available: http://americanhistory.si.edu/militaryhistory/printable/section.asp?id=6" Western Indian Wars .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Price of Freedom: Americans at War Homepage      Add Bookmark
Description: Americans have gone to war to win their independence, expand their national boundaries, define their freedoms, and defend their interests around the globe. This exhibition, from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, examines how wars have shaped the nations history and transformed American society. Students will learn about American military history through the use of an interactive timeline, brief movies, and objects from the museum's vast collections. Also included are a collection search, an interactive game and learning resources.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Blue Ribbon resource contains archival resources used in the production of the PBS series '' Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery.'' It includes a section on Native Americans, a forum with Ken Burns, thoughts from historians, an interactive story about the expedition, and extensive classroom resources.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century      Add Bookmark
Description: This resource, designed by Learning Technology Center in the University of Texas at Austin College of Education, features an interactive timeline that tells the stories of the American presidents of the twentieth century, from Herbert Hoover to William Jefferson Clinton. Each presidents biographic information is included along with interpretation of the major issues and events of their presidencies. The site also allows students to view special exhibitions relating to twentieth century events like the Great Depression and the Vietnam War, and a gallery of personal images from the lives of each of these twelve presidents.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Smithsonian's First Ladies Collection      Add Bookmark
Description: This website includes 10 objects from the Smithsonian's First Ladies Collection supplemented with contextual information. Part of the online exhibition entitled Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, this resource will give students a unique look at the life of some of American's First Ladies.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Go Back in Time      Add Bookmark
Description: Travel back in time to visit five of the families who lived at 16 Elm Street in Ipswich, Massachusetts over the past 200 years in this interactive game from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Students will match primary source materials and museum artifacts to the appropriate time period in order to learn about the everyday lives of Americans from different eras of our nation's history. This activity is one of the educational resources included in the online exhibition entitled Within These Walls .
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 Expedition: Create Your Own Adventure      Add Bookmark
Description: In this student activity, from Xpeditions, students relive the spirit of Lewis and Clark by planning their own expedition. The Lewis and Clark Expedition of two hundred years ago embodied a spirit of adventure, curiosity, and exploration that is as exciting today as it was in the early 1800s. To capture that spirit, students imagine a journey through an unknown place. They choose a place that they have never visited, but would love to explore. Together with their family, students plan out their trip, imagining what they would like to learn, how they would travel, and what obstacles they might encounter along the way.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Exploration Map      Add Bookmark
Description: The U.S. Army played a key role in exploring the nation's vast new lands acquired through purchase and conquest during the first half of the nineteenth century. Military-scientific expeditions crisscrossed the West, mapping the country, gathering scientific data, identifying potential resources for exploitation, and surveying routes for roads and railroads. In this section of the online exhibition entitled "West Point in the Making of America'' , from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn about the exploration of the West through the use an interactive map, biographical sketches and brief descriptions of the expeditions undertaken by graduates of West Point.
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: Social Studies
Title: Mercury fuming box for daguerreotypes used by Samuel F. B. Morse      Add Bookmark
Description: This Mercury fuming box for developing daguerreotypes is certainly among the earliest photographic equipment used in America, dating 1839-1840. Working closely with Dr. J.W. Draper in New York, Morse was instrumental in promoting photography in America, furthering experimentation, and producing early examples of the daguerreotypes...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: First Person Account: Juan Bautista Vigil y Alarid      Add Bookmark
Description: Juan Bautista Vigil y Alarid, acting governor of New Mexico, expresses the pain of changing loyalty from Mexico to the United States.This video is part of the Price of Freedom learning resources package for use with the Conflicting Voices of the Mexican War 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: First Person Account: George Ballentine      Add Bookmark
Description: George Ballentine, a British volunteer in the United States Army during the Mexican War, tells of fighting at Cerro Gordo.This video is part of the Price of Freedom learning resources package for use with the Conflicting Voices of the Mexican War 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: Cross-Disciplinary - History , Social Studies - Comparative Political Systems , Social Studies - State History , Social Studies - United States Government , Social Studies - United States History
Title: Where Was Abraham Lincoln Born?      Add Bookmark
Description: Follow Donna and her grandson, Landen, as they take a tour of Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Then read on to learn more about Abraham Lincoln's humble beginnings as a young boy in Kentucky. Happy birthday, Mr. President!
Thinkfinity Partner: Wonderopolis
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - United States History
Title: Lewis and Clark: Same Place, Different Perspectives      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students write about several encounters between the Lewis and Clark expedition and various Native American groups from the viewpoint of an expedition member or one of the Native Americans. Students can view the large-format film Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West before or after the lesson.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Geography,Social Studies
Title: After the Gold Rush      Add Bookmark
Description: Article. Short article on the aftermath of the California Gold Rush.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: C1,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: First Person Account: Jose Maria y Mendivil      Add Bookmark
Description: Jose Maria Tornel y Mendivil, Mexico's secretary of war, warns that Mexico's loss of Texas may lead to other territorial losses to the United States.This video is part of the Price of Freedom learning resources package for use with the Conflicting Voices of the Mexican War 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, 2 1/2 Dollars, 1848      Add Bookmark
Description: In 1848, the largest single gold rush in history was just getting under way in California. The event triggered a mass migration of fortune hunters from around the world. The territory has only recently passed into American hands as an outcome of U.S. victory in the Mexican War. The new California military governor Col. R.B. Mason sent 230 ounces of native bullion to the Secretary of War, who in turn passed the gold on to the Mint.Much of this first shipment went into large, honorific medals Congress authorized for the winning American generals in the war, Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. Scott's medal is in the Smithsonian Collection. The rest of the gold was used to make "quarter eagles," or 2½ dollar gold pieces. These became some of the most legendary coins in American numismatic history. The basic design was standard: the head of Liberty was on one side, a somewhat bellicose eagle on the other. The mint had been striking quarter eagles with these designs for nearly a decade. But closer scrutiny showed that these coins had one odd feature: above the eagle on the reverse, the initials "CAL." These were added by means of a punch. Precisely 1,389 quarter eagles marked with the CAL stamp were made. Less than 200 still exist. They bear poignant witness to the colorful history of the American West.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: United States, 20 Dollars, 1854      Add Bookmark
Description: The sheer size of the California gold strike altered the nature of American numismatics. It was not only that mintage figures dramatically increased; the actual range of denominations increased as well. Prior to 1849, there had been three gold coins: the quarter eagle, half eagle, and eagle (or $2.50, $5.00, and $10.00 coins). By 1854, three more had been added, a dollar, a three-dollar piece, and a double eagle, or twenty-dollar coin.Artist James Barton Longacre designed all three of the new coins. The double eagle was the most popular...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: 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: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Go West: Imagining the Oregon Trail      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson from EDSITEment, students compare imagined travel experiences of their own with the actual experiences of 19th-century pioneers. After writing stories about contemporary cross-country journeys, students learn about the experiences of the emigrants who traveled on the Oregon Trail. They then create works of historical fiction in the form of picture books or letters, drawing upon the information they have gathered.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Born on a Mountaintop? Davy Crockett, Tall Tales, and History      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of four lessons, from EDSITEment, students examine tall tale characters, such as Davy Crockett, and their relationship to history. By the end of this unit, students will be able to name tall tale characters and locations that are based on actual people and places, and describe how they are used in an exaggerated way; name created characters and events from tall tales; list some of the literary characteristics of tall tales; and write a tall tale.
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: 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: Sailor's Trousers      Add Bookmark
Description: To fight Mexico, the United States had to mobilize, equip, and transport a large force, including both army and navy components. President James Polk planned a complex campaign. He sent one army under Stephen Kearny to capture New Mexico and then march on to California. Commodore John D. Sloat assaulted California from the sea...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine      Add Bookmark
Description: This website from the National Park Service is a helpful resource for anyone who is interested in visiting Fort McHenry or learning more about it. A photo gallery and brief historical essays describe the fort, its defenders and the various roles that Fort McHenry has played in different periods of American history, from its construction to the present day. Kids and teachers sections include lesson plans, field trip planning guides and suggested activities for visitors.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: 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: 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: West Point in the Making of America Homepage      Add Bookmark
Description: In March 2002, the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, celebrated 200 years of producing leaders for the United States Army-and also for American science, education, engineering, exploration, public works, business, manufacturing, communications, and transportation. This online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History looks at the lives of selected West Point graduates who attended the Academy between 1802 and 1918. Students will also learn about the U.S. Army's major functions in 19th- and early 20th-century America: building the nation's infrastructure of roads, bridges, canals, and railroads; exploring its territories from the Mississippi to the Pacific; and fighting its wars-the role of the West Pointers in engineering, exploration, and war.
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: 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
Title: I Hear the Locomotives: The Impact of the Transcontinental Railroad      Add Bookmark
Description: In this four lesson unit, from EDSITEment, students analyze archival material in order to make connections between the arrival of the railroads and many of the changes that occurred subsequently in the United States and its territories. They learn how the development of the Transcontinental Railroad brought about an increase in hide hunting and so the demise of the Native American tribes dependent on the buffalo herds, and they examine documents relating to other economic and social upheavals brought about by this revolution in travel.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Arts, Social Studies, Math, Science
Title: Inventors and Explorers      Add Bookmark
Description: Lewis and Clark explored the American West; Japanese artists Maywa Denki invent performance art '' products.'' These resources can help you discover the process of discovering.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies - Economics - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Rail Traffic Controller      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students use the Xpedition Hall virtual exhibit, Rail Traffic Controller, to locate the countries of origin for items imported to specific countries in Europe. Students record the information they find on a map and use symbols to customize the map and link countries that have economic interdependence. Students conclude by working in pairs to create legends for their maps. Students may also choose to research the imports and exports of another country and add this data to their maps.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Association of Midwest Museums      Add Bookmark
Description: The Association of Midwest Museums was founded in 1927. It is a non-profit membership organization that provides resources to museums and cultural institutions and services to museum professionals in an eight-state region in the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Through its programs and activities, AMM encourages professional standards for all areas of museum administration and provides cutting-edge information and resources to museums and cultural institutions in the Midwest and the greater museum community.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Storming of Chapultepec      Add Bookmark
Description: This print shows American forces attacking the fortress palace of Chapultepec on Sept. 13th, 1847. General Winfield Scott, depicted in the lower left on a white horse, led the southern division of the U.S. Army that successfully captured Mexico City during the Mexican American War.
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: West Point in the Making of America Resources      Add Bookmark
Description: The collection of resources relating to military history and the United States Military Academy at West Point from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, includes an extensive bibliography, teacher and student resources and web links. It is included in the online exhibition entitled "West Point in the Making of America'' .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Blog Post: Collecting the Presidential Campaigns      Add Bookmark
Description: In this post, students will learn how political history curators collect campaign memorabilia Democratic and Republican National Conventions. S ince the late 1980s, they have collected more than 150,000 objects. In this video, the curators give a show and tell of some of the artifacts they collected from the 2008 campaigns. 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: 1848 Gold Nugget      Add Bookmark
Description: This small piece of yellow metal is believed to be the first piece of gold discovered in 1848 at Sutter's Mill in California, which launched the gold rush. 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: Powder Horn      Add Bookmark
Description: This powder horn is inscribed "Robart Holmes, Ft. Edward 1758," and was used during the French and Indian War.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Sam Houston's Hunting Knife      Add Bookmark
Description: Sam Houston emerged as a prominent player in the affairs of Texas. Houston was elected commander in chief of the armies of Texas and took control of the Texas forces after the fall of the Alamo. On April 21, 1836, his force defeated Santa Anna and secured Texas independence. Houston was elected the first president of the Republic of Texas. After statehood in 1845, Houston was elected senator from Texas to the Congress of the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Abraham Lincoln's Patent Model: Improvement for Buoying Vessels Over Shoals      Add Bookmark
Description: Abraham Lincoln's interest in canal building, river commerce, and internal improvements led him to try his hand at designing a devise for raising boats off sand bars. On May 22, 1849, he was granted Patent No. 6469 by the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C. This boat model, submitted with the drawings of his idea, is inscribed "Pat./May 22/49/Abram Lincoln'' on the surface of the upper deck. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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