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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: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Who's who in our Government?
Description: Students will do Internet research to identify key government officials. Each student will create an animated character to introduce a key official to the class.


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 - 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)
Title: The United States Supreme Court:  Published Opinions
Description: Students will read and analyze published opinions of the United States Supreme Court to determine the type of opinions issued by the court. Students will select a justice and attempt to determine that justice's ideology as they read the opinions.  Students will utilize the Cornell University Law Library via the Internet to conduct their research.


Subject: Social Studies (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Congress: Requirements for Office, Members Currently Serving in the United States Congress, and Characteristics and Experiences Needed for Election to Public Office
Description: The students will research and present a computer slide-show on the requirements of office of the Senate and the House of Representatives and a special focus on the two Senators and a House member from one selected state. The students will create an election brochure in which they themselves will run for one of the above offices.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: US Presidential Election Process and the Campaign Trail      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will create an original political campaign song for a fictional presidential candidate.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Political Cartoons as Part of the Election Process      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will organize the information they researched on the U.S. presidential election process and constitutional rights.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Federalist Debates: Balancing Power Between State and Federal Governments      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, introduces students to one of the most hotly debated issues during the formation of the American government--how much power the federal government should have--or alternatively, how much liberty states and citizens should have.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies
Title: PBS American Experience: The Presidents      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, related to the award-winning broadcasts of Presidential biographies, provides a wealth of excellent material related to Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan and George H. W. bush. Students can view individual chapters from each documentary and listen to podcasts that discuss the presidency in depth. Teacher's materials related to the documentary films are also available.
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 Supreme Court: The Judicial Power of the United States      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment lesson provides an introduction to the Supreme Court. Students learn basic facts about the Supreme Court by examining the United States Constitution and one of the landmark cases decided by that court. The lesson is designed to help students understand how the Supreme Court operates.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies,Language Arts
Title: Women in the White House      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the role and impact of recent First Ladies through research and family interviews, and then work in groups to present a documentary portrait to the class.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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: Lost Hero: The ''To Do List'' of the Continental Congress      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students explore how the role of President was defined in the Articles of Confederation. They also learn about the weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation regarding the role of the President.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Lost Hero: Starting a Government from Scratch      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students look at the role of President as defined in the Articles of Confederation. They come to understand the role of the government and the President in establishing a new country, and describe some of the actions the government bodies would probably take to ensure order and security.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies
Title: iCivics      Add Bookmark
Description: This collection of seven interactive student games encourages close examination of civics and American government. The activities present modern and historical situations which students must navigate using their knowledge of the branches of government, the Constitution, and the court system. iCivics games run from 15 to 60 minutes and appeal to students from grades six through twelve.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: Before and Beyond the Constitution: What Should a President Do?      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of three lessons, from EDSITEment, focuses on the role of the President under the U.S. Constitution. Students look at the role of President as defined in the Constitution and consider the precedent-setting accomplishments of George Washington. The three lessons can be taught as stand alone lessons or as part of the complete unit.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Limits of Presidential Power      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will explore the importance of the system of checks and balances, Congress, the Supreme Court, impeachment, public opinion and the press in restricting the power of the president in this section of the online exhibition The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden .
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: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Voting in Congress: More than '' Yea'' or '' Nay''       Add Bookmark
Description: Students learn what factors members of Congress consider when deciding whether to vote for a bill. These including the powers given to Congress by the Constitution, members' personal opinions, political party support, and what voters think. During the first day of the lesson, students find out about each of these factors. During the second day, students get to try their hand at weighing the factors by considering hypothetical bills.
Thinkfinity Partner: Verizon Thinkfinity
Grade Span: 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: Blaming the Hero      Add Bookmark
Description: The Science Update, '' Blaming the Hero'' podcast from Science NetLinks, describes how victims are much more likely to be excused for bad behavior than heroes.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Communicating the Presidency      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will learn how mass media, the entertainment industry and consumer products are all used to conduct a national dialogue between the president and his constituents in this section of The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden , an online exhibition.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Oyez: Supreme Court Multimedia      Add Bookmark
Description: This is the home page for the Oyez Web site. This site provides extensive information about the United States Supreme Court including biographies of Supreme Court justices, audio files of arguments made in key constitutional cases, and a virtual tour of the Supreme Court building. This resource is referenced in the EDSITEment curriculum unit overview titled '' Certain Crimes Against the United States: The Sedition Act.''
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Social Studies
Title: Life and Death in the White House      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will learn about the public, private and official uses of the presidential mansion, the White House, and the realities of life for the President of the United States in this section of the online exhibition entitled The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden . In addition, the death of presidents and life after office are discussed.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: U.S. Senate      Add Bookmark
Description: This is the home page for the United States Senate Web site. This site provides information about current senators and their activities, including recent bills, committee membership, floor schedules, and voting records. There is extensive information about the Capitol building itself, including a virtual tour of art and sculpture. In addition, users can also access historical documents via an online archive.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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