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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies (7)
Title: How Powerful is the President?
Description: Students will use a variety of resources to learn about the powers of the President and how these powers are limited.  Additionally, students will discover how the three branches of government work together.


Subject: Social Studies (7 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: The Impact of Political Debates in the Television Age
Description: This technology-based lesson encourages active engagement in the state elections process as part of a unit to prepare for debates to be held in the Fall of 2010.  The lesson may also be adapted for use as a stand alone lesson. Student groups research television debates from 1960-2008 and collaborate on a wiki to present an overview of each debate and analyze the impact of these political debates on elections. Other lessons in this unit are Why Vote?, How Do You Vote:What Do You Need to Know to Vote in Alabama?, and Analyzing Gubernatorial Debates: The 2010 Election.


Subject: Social Studies (7 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Let's Vote! What Do You Need to Know to Vote In Alabama?
Description: Registering to vote, gathering information about the candidates, and casting a vote at the polls are vital parts of the process of selecting elected officials. Students will understand how the registration process works and how to cast their votes in Alabama, thus fulfilling their responsibilities as citizens in the electorate.


Subject: Social Studies (7 - 12)
Title: What does the President of the United States do?
Description: Students will create a wiki page that reflects the President of the United States fulfilling five of his formal or informal roles.  Students will use the Internet to visit the White House Photo Gallery and capture shapshots of the President of the United States fulfilling his roles.  Students will create a Wiki page on which they display pictures of the President fulfilling his roles and identify the role being fulfilled.


Subject: Social Studies (7 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Analyzing Gubernatorial Debates: The 2010 Election  
Description: This technology-based lesson encourages active engagement in the state electoral process. Students collaborate on a wiki designed to aid in analyzing candidates' responses in a gubernatorial debate.  Pre-debate and post-debate activties are included and may be adapted for use in either 7th Grade Civics or 12th Grade United States Government. The 2010 Gubernatorial Debates will be held on September 16th at the University of Alabama and October 19th at Auburn University.  The debates will be televised and are Co-sponsored by the Student Government Associations of The University of Alabama and Auburn University, Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, and the League of Women Voters of Alabama, Greater Tuscaloosa, and East Alabama.


Subject: Social Studies (7 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Why Vote?
Description: Students will complete a web quest that includes reading material on the expansion of voting rights, viewing video on historical events related to suffrage, and completing a multimedia project (public service announcement). An extension poster project is included.


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: Liberty!      Add Bookmark
Description: The web site of the PBS series about the birth of the American Republic and the struggle of a loosely connected group of states to become a nation. Newspaper accounts, interactive games, dramatizations, and a chronology of the Revolution.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10



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: American Writers      Add Bookmark
Description: A permanent archive for educators, researchers, and everyone interested in the writers featured in the C-SPAN series.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11



Subject: Social Studies
Title: George Washington: The Precedent President       Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students look at important developments that occurred during George Washington's tenure as the first President of the United States. They explore how that tenure affected the future of the U.S. and the office of President. Students list some of the precedents set during George Washington's term in office and match an action of a President with a power or responsibility of the Chief Executive.
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: Social Studies
Title: Revolutionary Tea Parties and the Reasons for Revolution      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, contains five activities for students exploring the context and significance of the Boston Tea Party of 1774. The activities involve a study of the tea parties staged in other colonial cities, analysis of the colonists key objections to the Tea Act, a close study of several primary sources, and the creation of a cause-and-effect ladder that illustrates the Tea Act's significance in the subsequent Revolutionary War.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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 Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy      Add Bookmark
Description: This website is an invaluable resource for teachers and students who are interested in locating, reading and researching important primary source documents in their entirety. The Avalon Project is committed to digitizing important documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government that have influenced American history and political thought. The collection is not limited to American documents, but also includes important documents from ancient and modern world history. It has been divided into chronological sections ranging from Pre-18 sup th sup Century documents to 21 sup st sup Century documents.
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: 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: Social Studies
Title: Defining the Presidency      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will learn about the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the election of our first president, George Washington in this section of the online exhibition, The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden . Students will also explore President Washington's role in establishing the roles, traditions and expectations for future presidents.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: C-SPAN Classroom      Add Bookmark
Description: Video clips on the three branches of government and the constitution, accompanied by discussion questions for the classroom.
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: National Endowment for the Humanities Constitution Day Portal      Add Bookmark
Description: This website from EDSITEment and the National Endowment for the Humanities provides documents, background essays, and a bibliography to help educators celebrate Constitution Day, and deepen their understanding of the United States Constitution.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,C1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies,Arts
Title: EDSITEment      Add Bookmark
Description: The National Endowment for the Humanities' EDSITEment Web site offers the best of the humanities on the Web. The site includes subject-based access to top humanities sites, EDSITEment lesson plans and at-home activities, and additional learning activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Coming of the American Revolution      Add Bookmark
Description: By investigating the lives and events recorded in newspapers, official documents and personal correspondence from this collection, students will immerse themselves in the past and discover the fears, friction and turmoil that shaped these tumultuous times.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 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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