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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies (7)
Title: It's in the Hopper!
Description: A Congressional simulation in which students research a topic of interest, write a bill, and submit the bill for consideration by a Congressional committee of their peers.  This lesson teaches in a real way the legislative process and committee work.


Subject: Social Studies (7)
Title: Get the Party Started!
Description: "Get the Party Started!" is designed to help students understand how political parties are formed and why people are members of certain parties. Students will have the opportunity to experience what it is like to form a group with like values and ideas. This lesson plan is technology enriched with a podcast and student micro-blogging.


Subject: Social Studies (7)
Title: Democrat or Republican
Description: During this lesson, students will begin to understand the differences between the two major political parties that exist in the United States of America. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the roles of each presidential candidate and his/her political views.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies
Title: Mission US      Add Bookmark
Description: ' Mission US'' is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Jefferson vs. Franklin: Revolutionary Philosophers      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students deepen their understanding of the documents crucial to the birth of United States democracy as they scrutinize the contributions of two towering figures of the American Revolutionary period and beyond. They consider whether Benjamin Franklin's philosophical contributions to the early development of our government may have been overlooked.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Constitutional Convention: What the Founding Fathers Said      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, contains four activities for students to examine debates of the Constitutional Congress, and to reflect on what we can learn from them about democratic statesmanship. The activities involve a close study of transcripts of the debates themselves, a dramatic recreation of some of the debates, and a discussion of how democratic ideas were developed through these debates.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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: Background on the Patriot Attitude Toward the Monarchy      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students look at how the role of President was defined by the founding fathers in order to distinguish the position from that of a monarch. They describe the role of the English monarch as perceived by the Patriots, and then describe how the Patriots viewed the King of England and his effect on their lives.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts - Reading - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Points of View in the News      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Xpeditions, helps students sort through the myriad points of view offered on the Internet and evaluate the sources and purposes of news articles and Web sites. Students read articles from National Geographic News and answer questions describing each article's source, purpose, and viewpoint. Students then research the topics presented in an article of their choice and evaluate the resources they find. They conclude by creating checklists they can use in the future to evaluate articles, Web sites, and other information.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Mount Vernon      Add Bookmark
Description: This is a link to the official website of George Washington's famous Virginia home. The site presents information about life at Mount Vernon, as well as detailed information about Washington himself. For teachers and students wishing to learn about George Washington, this website is a good place to start. Students can take an online tour of the Mount Vernon plantation, and there are ready-made lesson plans for teachers to use with their classes. Information about slave life at Mount Vernon is also readily available.
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: 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: 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: Chief Executives Compared: The Federalist Papers      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students look at an excerpt from the Federalist Papers, written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison. They discuss how Hamilton's remarks reflect the concerns of some of the Founders. Students compile a list of the powers and responsibilities of the President based on Hamilton's essay and/or additional resources.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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: National Archives and Records Administration      Add Bookmark
Description: NARA makes available to the public the historically valuable records of the three branches of federal government: executive (including the President), legislative, and judicial. National Archives holdings include textual; audiovisual; cartographic and architectural; and electronic records.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Legendary Firsts      Add Bookmark
Description: Some legendary coins are the first of their kind; others are the first step in a new creation. In this section of the online exhibition entitled "Legendary Coins and Currency'' , students will learn about some of the famous "firsts'' in the history of American money: the first colonial currency, the first currency created for the United States during the American Revolution and after the adoption of the Constitution, and the coins bequeathed by James Smithson to the United States that were used to found the Smithsonian Institution. This highly interactive resource, from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, allows students to rotate and zoom in on objects for detailed examination. A glossary linked to the exhibition will help students learn challenging vocabulary.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Collection Search - A More Perfect Union: Japanese-Americans and the U.S. Constitution      Add Bookmark
Description: In this resource from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students can explore more than 800 artifacts from the online exhibition A More Perfect Union, including: archival photography, publications, original manuscripts, works of art, and handmade objects from the Museum's outstanding collection of items related to the Japanese American experience during World War II. "A More Perfect Union'' focuses on the experiences of Japanese Americans who were placed in internment camps during World War II.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Banished: Louisa Susannah Wells, Loyalist Woman      Add Bookmark
Description: Louisa Susannah Wells was a female colonist who was loyal to King George III, who was banished from America and returned to England after the War of Independence. Listen to a dramatic reading of her narrative, and then study the supporting primary sources to answer the discussion questions. This resource is part of a series called Life at Sea: 1680 to 1806, which includes five perspectives on maritime life in the colonial period and early America.This resource includes a title="Wells Teacher Guide" http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater/oral_histories/life_at_sea/pdf/guide_wells.pdf%20" target="_blank" teacher guide , student worksheet, downloadable audio, images of supporting primary sources, and discussion questions.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Health,Language Arts,Mathematics,Philosophy,Religion,Science,Social Studies,Geography
Title: British Academy      Add Bookmark
Description: The United Kingdom's National Academy for the humanities and social sciences. It is designed to inspire, recognize, and support excellence in the humanities and social sciences, throughout the UK and internationally, and to champion their role and value.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: First Person Account: Lydia Post      Add Bookmark
Description: Lydia Minturn Post, a Long Island patriot, expresses her fear that the American Revolution will fail. Ms. Post discusses the disparities between the British and Colonial forces and the true meaning behind the colonists will to fight. This video is part of the Price of Freedom learning resources package for use with the General George Washington, Military leader 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: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Ben's Guide to US Government for Kids      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, from the U.S. Government Printing Office, offers students explanations of America's founding documents, descriptions of the functions of each branch of American government, an outline of the American lawmaking process, and interactive games relating to American government and politics. Educators are given the choice to select from four different grade ranges, ensuring that students receive readings and activities that are targeted to their abilities.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Demos: Classical Athenian Democracy      Add Bookmark
Description: Demos is a digital encyclopedia of classical Athenian democracy that will be useful to a wide audience. The aim is to describe the history, institutions, and people of democratic Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, to publish the efforts of scholars to answer questions about Athenian democracy, and to invite you, our audience, to explore, discover, and judge for yourselves. The earliest work on Demos was supported by grants from Furman University and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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: Four Freedoms for the Fourth      Add Bookmark
Description: This page from EDSITEment features resources relating to freedom, and presents information and activities about Franklin Delano Roosevelt's concept of The Four Freedoms. Learn more about political speeches, freedom, and the U.S. government by visiting the EDSITEment lesson plans and EDSITEment-reviewed Web sites referenced on this page.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: National Constitution Center      Add Bookmark
Description: The National Constitution Center is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution, its history, and its contemporary relevance.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Founders' Constitution      Add Bookmark
Description: Online version of the invaluable aid to all those seeking a deeper understanding of one of our nation's most important legal documents. This unique anthology draws on the writings of a wide array of people engaged in the problem of making popular government safe, steady, and accountable. The documents included range from the early seventeenth century to the 1830s, from the reflections of philosophers to popular pamphlets, from public debates in ratifying conventions to the private correspondence of the leading political actors of the day. These materials are arranged, first, according to broad themes or problems to which the Constitution of 1787 has made a significant and lasting contribution. Then they are arranged by article, section, and clause of the U.S. Constitution, from the Preamble through Article Seven and continuing through the first twelve Amendments. Those seeking additional information and guidance should consult '' A Reader's Advisory'' and the '' Introduction.'
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Constitution of the United States of America      Add Bookmark
Description: This page from EDSITEment features resources relating to the U.S. Constitution, and presents information about the history and significance of the famous document. Learn more about the history of the Constitution by visiting the EDSITEment lesson plans and EDSITEment-reviewed Web sites referenced on this page.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Monticello: The Home of Thomas Jefferson      Add Bookmark
Description: This resource, from the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, provides an extensive collection of resources about Jefferson's Virginia home, Monticello. Users can take an online tour of the famed house, explore a day in Jefferson's life at Monticello, and learn about events taking place at Monticello. This resource is referenced in the EDSITEment curriculum unit titled '' The Monroe Doctrine: Origin and Early American Foreign Policy'' and a related lesson.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Bill of Rights      Add Bookmark
Description: This page from EDSITEment features resources relating to the Bill of Rights and presents information about the history and the content of this important, foundational document. Learn more about the Bill of Rights by visiting the EDSITEment lesson plans and EDSITEment-reviewed Web sites referenced on this page.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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