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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or Social Studies (7 - 12)
Title: Famous Failures
Description: The students are shown a video of "Famous Failures" which provides examples of famous people who failed many times prior to becoming successful. The students are encouraged to discuss the different people in the video and are asked to think about the famous person's contributions. Was Walt Disney's impact greater than Henry Ford's? The students then (teacher facilitated) list the ten famous people they would put on a “Top 10 list." This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: Social Studies (7 - 12)
Title: America’s Family Reunion – A Patriotic Celebration of Veterans
Description: Students will gain an understanding of the significance and meaning of National Veterans Day, the unique founder of the organization and the history created in Birmingham, Alabama for veterans across America.  Students will recognize the contributions of ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things by practicing the character education traits of America’s veterans. Specifically lesson activities will focus on citizenship, patriotism, courage, loyalty and respect for others.  The lesson will culminate with students conducting a class or school assembly, a recognition program, or an event for their school honoring veterans in their community. 


Subject: Social Studies (7 - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: So You Think You Are a Citizen?
Description: Students will learn about the status of citizenship in the United States.  Using a graphic organizer and interactive game, students will decide what it means to be a citizen and how can citizenship be obtained.


Subject: Social Studies (K - 11)
Title: African American Honorees in Alabama History
Description: Students will create a PowerPoint slide show presentation and brochure on a famous African American icon from the Alabama Calendar. Students may select famous African Americans from Alabama such as Rosa Parks, Vonetta Flowers, Dr. Mae Jemison, Joe Louis, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Rosa Parks, Hank Aaron, Dr. Regina Benjamin, Dr. Ethel Hall, Judge Oscar Adams, Billie Jean Young, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This lesson was created to accompany the Alabama African American History Calendar Project.


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), 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: Elephant or Donkey? Examining the Republican or Democratic Party Platform
Description: Students will visit the websites for the National Republican and National Democratic Party.  Students will choose topics of interest to them and compare the positions of both parties on the topic. Students will complete a graphic organizer to take notes on the party position and then use those notes to write about which party's position they personally most closely align.


Subject: Social Studies (7 - 12)
Title: "I'm Just a Bill": Reading and Writing Legislation for a Congressional Simulation
Description: Students will examine current and recently introduced Congressional legislation using the Thomas search engine. After reading legislation, students will write and post their proposed legislation for peer editing and comment. This lesson is part of a larger Congressional Simulation but may be used independently if necessary.


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: Fact vs. Opinion
Description: This lesson is a hands-on way for students to learn how to discern between fact and opinion. This is an important skill for citizenship in that citizens should be informed about what is happening in their communities and should take credible information with them into the voting booth. This lesson overlaps with the seventh grade English curriculum, offering students a chance to write a persuasive paragraph.


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.


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: Freedom Riders      Add Bookmark
Description: Join the courageous band of students and civil rights activists called Freedom Riders in 1961 as they challenged segregation in the American South. An NEH-funded website from American Experience with video clips of the participants, interactive time lines, and interactive maps. A series of lesson plans are included.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Mathematics,Physical Education,Science,Social Studies,Geography
Title: Great Websites for Kids      Add Bookmark
Description: Created by the American Library Association, this portal website helps parents and children find age appropriate educational materials on the Internet.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Geographic Culture Clues      Add Bookmark
Description: In this student interactive, from Xpeditions, students explore satellite images of three different cities and take notes on what the landscapes reveal about the culture and geography of the region.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies, Health & PE
Title: Teen Maps Contaminants from a Coal Plant      Add Bookmark
Description: In this video adapted from Earth Island Institute, meet a high school student who educated her community about how a coal-burning power plant was contributing to asthma and other health problems there.
Thinkfinity Partner: Teachers's Domain
Grade Span: 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: The Disability Rights Movement      Add Bookmark
Description: This website includes information and objects that will help students gain perspective on civil rights, public involvement and the power of protest in the United States through the lens of the disability rights movement.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: 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: 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: History of the Electoral College      Add Bookmark
Description: This website about the United States Electoral College from the National Archives is an excellent resource for both students and teachers. It is divided into sections that include: answers to frequently asked questions about the Electoral College; historical election results, state by state electoral information, and an Electoral College calculator for younger students. Also included is an entire section devoted solely to teaching resources.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Youth Town Hall with the Greensboro Civil Rights Pioneers: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Woolworth Lunch Counter Student Sit-In (Lecture Video)      Add Bookmark
Description: During this 98-minute archived webcast, hear three members of the Greensboro Four reflect on their experiences as nonviolent protesters during the civil rights movement. The three surviving members of the Greensboro Four, Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair, Jr.), Franklin McCain, and Joseph McNeil participated in an oral history. Their bold action ignited student involvement in the Civil Rights Movement when they staged a sit-in at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1, 1960.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Join the Student Sit-Ins Classroom Videos      Add Bookmark
Description: In this series of five short videos, students can watch a museum theater presentation. During the presentation, a fictional composite character from 1960 is conducting a training session for people interested in joining a student sit-in to protest racial segregation. The student speaks about the recent protests in Greensboro, North Carolina, and coaches members of the audience in the philosophy and tactics of non-violent direct action.
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: Stand Up For Your Rights - U.S. History for Kids      Add Bookmark
Description: This PBSkids website, part of the WayBack series from the American Experience, focuses on an interactive approach to teach about civil rights. Students can complete a mock interview, evaluate and comment on an image related to school desegregation, take an online quiz, and play a matching game. The website also features brief essays regarding the school desegregation, women and the vote, and religious freedom.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Teatro Campesino Poster      Add Bookmark
Description: The Teatro Campesino was founded by Luis Valdez in 1965 to energize the political message of the United Farmer Workers of America using song, music, and drama. Modern, bicultural, and socially aware, the street theater of the Teatro Campesino is a touchstone of Chicano art. At first taking their performances to the fields, Teatro Campesino actors and writers used the language and stories of working men and women to advance the civil rights of Mexican Americans and to celebrate and reengage with their history and popular traditions. Like many Chicano art forms...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Tierra o Muerte Poster      Add Bookmark
Description: Following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the annexation of Texas, the land claims of many Mexican families were not respected, either by the new English-speaking settlers or by the U.S. government. Dispossession from family- and community-owned lands dealt a severe economic blow to the livelihood of generations of Mexican Americans. The issue of land evokes especially bitter memories in New Mexico. In 1967, the year this poster was made with the slogan Tierra o Muerte, meaning Land or Death, a Hispanic land rights organization called La Alianza, led by Reies Lpez Tijerina, raided the Rio Arriba County courthouse in Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico. In addition to reclaiming land from the government of New Mexico, the goals of the raid were to free imprisoned Alianza members and to arrest the district attorney who was prosecuting them as communists and outside agitators. The raid on the courthouse was ultimately unsuccessful and Tijerina served time in a federal prison. Although seen by some as a divisive figure, Reies Lpez Tijerina was as recognizable as Cesar Chavez to many Chicano activists of the late 1960s. Mirroring similar political tensions in the African American community, Chicano civil rights activists were torn between leaders such as Chavez, who advocated nonviolence, and leaders like Tijerina, whose political strategy was decidedly more militant.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Health,Social Studies
Title: AIDS Memorial Quilt      Add Bookmark
Description: This panel from the AIDS Memorial Quilt honors activist Roger Lyon, who died of AIDS in 1984. Shortly before his death, Lyon testified before Congress to appeal for funding to combat the growing epidemic.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
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: Science - Biological and Life Sciences - Social Studies - Anthropology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: It Takes a Rookery      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions activity, students explore the notion ofcommunity. They first study emperor penguin and other animal communities then apply what they have learned to determine how they can better participate in their own communities.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Podcast: Ashok Gadgil's thirst to save lives (Part 1)      Add Bookmark
Description: In this podcast from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students learn how Ashok Gadgil's invention can save thousands of lives by purifying water quickly and cheaply.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Professional Development,Social Studies
Title: Civics Online      Add Bookmark
Description: Civics Online is a collaborative, online project providing a rich array of primary sources, professional development tools, and interactive activities to facilitate the teaching of civics.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,P,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: U.S. Electoral College      Add Bookmark
Description: From this web page, found on the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Web site, users can access a wealth of information and statistics relating to presidential elections and the Electoral College. This includes answers to frequently-asked questions and links to relevant Web sites.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - World History
Title: Through the Eyes of a Refugee      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions student activity, students play detective and try to locate a refugee whose photograph was first taken almost twenty years ago. Working with their families, students brainstorm a plan on how to find a missing person. They develop a list of people who might know the girl and create a list of questions to ask these people. Older students can discuss how the girl might have changed physically over time and make predictions about how she might appear today.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Japanese-Americans and the U.S. Constitution: Topic 2 - Removal      Add Bookmark
Description: In this section of "A More Perfect Union,'' an online exhibition from the Smithsonian s National Museum of American History, students will learn how the attack on Pearl Harbor led to Executive Order 9066, which was the first step in a program that uprooted Japanese Americans from their West Coast communities and placed them under armed guard for up to four years. This section uses artifacts from the Museum s collections, primary source documents, photographs and oral histories to discuss the early stages of this traumatic period, from the initial reactions and policies brought about by the attack on Pearl Harbor to the temporary assembly centers that were the first stop for Japanese American internees. "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: August - 2008 - Electing America's President      Add Bookmark
Description: October marks the last full month of campaigning before America elects a new president.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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