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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: What Makes a Good or Bad Leader?
Description: After deciding on the criteria of a good leader, students research either a good or bad leader, create a class presentation of that person which focuses on his/her impact on history. Students then write and perform a three to four minute skit to illustrate the leader's impact on American life.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Researching with the Alabama Virtual Library
Description: After an introduction to the Alabama Virtual Library, students use the available resources to research and present information about a United States president.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Escape to Freedom
Description: Students will read Number the Stars by Lois Lowrey. This novel about World War II, the Holocaust, and heroism, provides the topic for an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary lesson. Students will utilize their skills in technology and research to learn why there are dictators like Hitler, followers like the Nazis, and people from all walks of life who endanger their lives for the good of others.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Weapons of World War I
Description: The students will use the Internet and the school's media center to discover the weapons of World War I. They will compare and contrast the weapons used during that time period with the weapons that are used in warfare today. At the conclusion of the lesson, the students will create a digital slideshow with the history, uses, and changes in old and new military technology.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies
Title: Blog Post: WWI Women in Uniform      Add Bookmark
Description: In this post, students will learn about the thousands of American women who volunteered in World War I through their uniforms. Most of the women's uniforms in the Museum's collections from WWI belong to civilian relief and welfare organizations, like the Salvation Army, not to the armed forces, and represent the participation of tens of thousands of American women in the Great War. This post, written by Bart Hacker, Senior Curator of Armed Forces History, 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: History Wired      Add Bookmark
Description: This is an experimental program through which you can take a virtual tour of selected objects from the Museum's collections. The website links to 450 objects from the found on a customizable map that can be used to group objects in different ways. By voting for your favorite objects, you can change the map to reflect which objects have the most popular appeal.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: Presidential Manuscripts: Library of Congress      Add Bookmark
Description: The Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest and most comprehensive presidential library. Although the website is older, it provides valuable images of original primary source documents related to 23 presidents, each paired with contextual information. This is a fantastic teaching resource for teachers who want their students to learn about the presidents and events in American History through the use of primary source documents.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery      Add Bookmark
Description: The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery tells the story of America through the individuals who have shaped U.S. culture. Their official online website features links to current, past, upcoming and online exhibitions, a collections search and educational resources including an The Great History Mystery, an interactive activity that focuses on great Americans as well anecdotal information that can be learned by examining their portraits. This important website will allow students and teachers to learn American history in a unique and interesting way.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Voices of US Presidents of the Twentieth Century      Add Bookmark
Description: The Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University is working to preserve over 100 years of historical spoken word recordings like those of the U.S. Presidents, and shares some of the sound samples from its collection for students, teachers, and scholars on this website. The site is an easily searchable library of primary audio sources of any president from Benjamin Harrison to George W. Bush.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: History and Politics Out Loud      Add Bookmark
Description: History and Politics Out Loud is a searchable archive of politically significant audio materials of politically significant audio materials for scholars, teachers, and students. Speeches from the likes of twentieth century American Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, and major twentieth century political figures can be found on this site.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: America's Story      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, from the Library of Congress, was designed especially with young people in mind, but there are great stories and information for people of all ages. Through the use of short essays, biographies, interactive games and activities, students can explore every era of American history and learn interesting facts about all 50 states. This is a wonderful resource for any teacher of American history and geography.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century      Add Bookmark
Description: Provides a single point of access to an ever-growing selection of digitized assets from the collections of the twelve Presidential Libraries of the National Archives. Includes documents, photographs, audio recordings, and video relating to the events of the presidents' lives (U. of Texas, Presidential Libraries).
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Library of Congress      Add Bookmark
Description: The Library of Congress, established in 1800 serves as the research arm of Congress and is recognized as the national library of the United States. Its collections comprise the world's most comprehensive record of human creativity and knowledge. Open to those above high school age without charge or special permission, it is the world's largest library and a great resource to scholars and researchers.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: World War I Overview      Add Bookmark
Description: Overview of the First World War, taken from news reel footage. Includes the declaration of war and invasion of Belgium by Germany, U Boats and naval warfare, trench warfare, United States entrance and end of war.This video is 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: 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: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers      Add Bookmark
Description: Enhancing access to America's historic newspapers. This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Digital History      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site, provided by the University of Houston, contains extensive resources for the teaching of American History at all educational levels. The site contains classroom handouts and fact sheets, learning modules devoted to significant periods in American history, resource guides, lesson plans, and online exhibitions.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Thompson Model 1928 Submachine Gun      Add Bookmark
Description: During World War I, machine guns were heavy, crew-served weapons. Their operation required several soldiers. Even so-called light machine guns could not easily be handled by single soldiers. To meet the need for an individual rapid-fire weapon, several inventors devised submachine guns. Light enough for one-man use, the new weapons were nicknamed "trench brooms" because they swept the trenches clear of enemy troops. The Thompson submachine gun was the handwork of John Taliaferro Thompson (West Point Class of 1882). It saw only limited wartime use, but the "Tommy gun" in the hands of police and gangsters achieved notoriety as "the gun that made the twenties roar."
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Julia Child's Pyrex Measuring Cup      Add Bookmark
Description: The well-known cookbook author and television cooking show star Julia Child had a number of the most commonly used American kitchen measuring devices in her kitchen. Now in the collections of the National Museum of American History, Julia's Pyrex glass one- and two- cup measures, are marked in both English measurements (1 cup; 8 oz.) and in metric (250 ml). National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Smithsonian National Museum of American History      Add Bookmark
Description: The Web site for the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History features virtual exhibits, background on the museum, and an overview of the museum's collections. Also included are resources for teachers, the Smithsonian Store, and details regarding internships, workshops, and other opportunities to get involved.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Foreign Languages,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: EDSITEment Websites      Add Bookmark
Description: This page from EDSITEment provides links to top humanities sites on the Web. All sites linked to EDSITEment have been reviewed for content, design, and likely impact in the classroom. They cover a wide range of humanities subjects, from American history to literature, world history and culture, language, art, and archaeology, and have been judged by humanities specialists to be of high intellectual quality. EDSITEment is the product of a partnership forged among the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council of the Great City Schools, WorldCom Foundation and the National Trust for the Humanities and is a member of the MarcoPolo consortium.
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 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: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: April Calendar      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment calendar is a collection of peer-reviewed Web sites and EDSITEment lesson plans covering April holidays and special events. April is National Poetry Month and the calendar links to many EDSITEment lesson plans, Web site features and additional learning activities related to this theme.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,C1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: June Calendar      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment calendar is a collection of peer-reviewed Web sites and EDSITEment lesson plans covering June holidays and special events. June's theme is '' The Bill of Rights,'' and this calendar includes links to many EDSITEment lesson plans, Web site features and additional learning activities related to this theme.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,C1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: 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: The Soldier's Experience- Vietnam versus World War I      Add Bookmark
Description: Analyze museum artifacts and first-person accounts of World War I and the Vietnam War, then take on the role of soldiers and a news team to present a newscast about the experience of fighting in these two wars. This lesson plan (which includes background information and full-color primary sources) was produced to accompany the exhibition "The Price of Freedom: Americans at War,'' by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: On Time: How America Has Learned to Live By the Clock      Add Bookmark
Description: On Time explores the changing ways we have measured, used, and thought about time over the past three hundred years. With this online resource, from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn how improvements in time keeping technology have led to the increased importance of efficiency, punctuality and regimentation in American life. The resource is divided into 5 chronological sections that demonstrate America's ever-changing relationship with time.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: The Story Behind the Song: The Marine's Hymn      Add Bookmark
Description: This article gives you the stories behind the words - ''From the Halls of Montezuma, To the shores of Tripoli.''
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Price of Freedom: Americans at War      Add Bookmark
Description: ' The Price of Freedom: Americans at War Timeline offers access to a unique blend of original objects, first person interpretations, video presentations, and interactive experiences organized by War. It gives visitors a comprehensive and memorable overview of America military experience and the central role it has played in our national life.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: America in the Great War      Add Bookmark
Description: Although the United States remained neutral for most of the First World War, American involvement eventually proved decisive in ending the conflict. This section of "West Point in the Making of America'' , an online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, focuses on the involvement of West Point graduates in the United States war effort during the Great War. Through the use of brief biographies and objects from the museum's collections, students will learn how these men helped to mobilize the country for war and supply and lead the army in the field,
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Fishing For a Living 1840-1920      Add Bookmark
Description: Oceans, seacoasts, and rivers have long been sources of food and profit. From tiny villages to bustling seaports, communities have harvested fish, whales, and other marine resources to survive. In this section of On the Water: Stories from Maritime America, an online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn about the importance of salmon fishing to the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest, and the communities that developed around the Atlantic cod, Chesapeake oyster, Columbia River salmon and whaling industries. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Jailed for Freedom Pin      Add Bookmark
Description: Protesting the government's failure to pass a constitutional amendment enfranchising women, National Women's Party members, led by Alice Paul, began picketing the White House in January 1917. In June of that year, the D.C. police began arresting picketers for obstructing sidewalk traffic. In December, 1917, at a meeting in their honor, the picketers who had been jailed were presented with small silver pins in the shape of prison doors with heart-shaped locks. 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: First World War.Com      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site provides extensive resources on World War I. Users can find an online encyclopedia, a daily calendar of key events in the war, a year-by-year timeline, maps, diaries, propaganda posters, prose and poetry, archive recordings, historic photographs and much more.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: American Memory Project: Main Index Page      Add Bookmark
Description: The main index page for the Library of Congress's American Memory Project gives users free access to more than 9 million items that document U.S. history and culture.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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