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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (7), or Social Studies (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: So, You Want to be a Citizen?
Description: Students work in groups to create a slide presentation in presentation software aimed at informing immigrants of the qualifications and steps in naturalization as well as the rights, responsibilities, and duties of citizens. Lesson is an interdisciplinary unit teaching publishing software.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies
Title: Blog Post: Essential Questions for Teaching September 11      Add Bookmark
Description: This post helps teachers understand how to both memorialize September 11 and contextualize the history of the day through five essential questions. Targeted toward secondary students, the questions can help teachers and students compare aspects of September 11 to other events in American history and teach them throughout the year. Written by Joan Brodsky Schur, a panelist for the Smithsonian's September 11: Teaching Contemporary History forum, this post 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, 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: 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: 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: Launchpad: A Guided Exploration of the Events of 9/11      Add Bookmark
Description: This launchpad takes students through the events of 9/11. There are resources to learn about the National 9/11 Memorial, as well as an examination of the day's many heroes. Student activities focus on exploring heroism and memorial tributes, and these activities are supplemented by lesson plans on heroes and heroism.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8



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: 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: The President's Job      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will review the roles of the presidency by using objects, images, and documents in this section of the online exhibition The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden . Students will explore the complex duties of the president and how they have helped to determine their actions and policies.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Guidelines for Discussion about 9/11      Add Bookmark
Description: This guide from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum offers suggestions for teachers on how to prepare for and structure conversations about 9/11 with students of all ages.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Inaugural Words 1789-Present (Word Cloud)      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, from the New York Times, allows students to read the texts of every American president's inauguration speech. The site creators clarify each address by highlighting words that appear the most often in each president's speech. The site also includes related multimedia from President Obama's inauguration and links to news items from the event.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Students Response to 9/11: A Documentary Report      Add Bookmark
Description: Have students document the national response to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 using polls, comment cards from teenagers, and their own recollections. 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: 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: New American Roles      Add Bookmark
Description: With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war in 1989, the United States stood alone as a military superpower. Americans struggled to define the roles they should play in the community of nations and fought to defend their interests against threats at home as well as abroad. In this section of The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, an online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn about American involvement in the Persian Gulf War, the global war on terrorism that began with the attacks on September 11, 2001 and the invasion of Iraq.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: 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 - 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: Arts,Social Studies
Title: A Nation Goes to War      Add Bookmark
Description: Video. On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by a terrorist group known as al Qaeda. Al Qaeda's members are based primarily in the region known as the Middle East, or West Asia, which typically includes the countries between Egypt and Afghanistan.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: C1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Geography,Science,Social Studies
Title: Responsibility and Leadership      Add Bookmark
Description: Video.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: C1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Teaching 9/11      Add Bookmark
Description: This site from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum provides links to all of the educational materials from the museum, including commemorative materials for students in upper elementary grades through high school, which focus on ways people chose to respond to 9/11 through art; two short films, 9/11 Stories of Survival and Loss and The Spirit of Volunteerism: 9/11 and Beyond; guidelines for discussing 9/11 in the classroom; and a teaching guide with lesson plans on conducting oral history and learning from objects and memorials.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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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