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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 (10 - 12)
Title: Circling The Bill of Rights
Description: This is a hands-on, inquiry project to create a 3-D graphic organizer for the research and study of the Bill of Rights. It may be a stand-alone activity or may be included as part of a unit of study on the Constitution. Students will also use the Internet to research content.


Subject: Social Studies (10 - 12), or Technology Education (K - 5)
Title: Constitution Lives
Description: As part of the study of the Constitution, students will do research on and create a Constitutional scrapbook and multimedia presentation on the Bill of Rights. Students will use various media print resources as well as the Internet to acquire news articles which demonstrate any aspect of the Constitution. Students will then summarize the articles making sure to include their opinion to demonstrate working knowledge of the Constitution and its protections.


Subject: Social Studies (10 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Happy Constitution Day
Description: Students work in groups to create presentations answering who, what, when, where, why, and how questions concerning the U.S. Constitution. Presentations will be used to create digital Constitution Day Program.


Subject: Social Studies (10 - 12)
Title: Interpreting Documents on the AHSGE
Description: Students will explore the documents that were used in shaping the United States, before, during, and after its creation. While studying these documents, students will use reading skills to interpret and analyze documents. By the end of the unit, students should be able to describe, explain the historical significance of, and explain the impact of documents. Through modeling, the teacher will identify the three types of historical documents (those used in the creation of American documents, American documents created during the founding of the nation, and those created after the birth of America). In addition, students will be guided through reading and interpreting a document, as well as determining its historical significance. Students should also be able to identify a few key documents by examining a small excerpt. By creating a document brochure from library and internet research, students will be able to summarize the main ideas of the documents.


Subject: English Language Arts (10 - 12), or Social Studies (10 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Constitution or Articles? the Question or the Millennium
Description: In this lesson,students will observe the political climate at the time of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and read the writings of the delegates who refused to sign the proposed Constitution,as well as, those who supported it. Taking on the role of Mason, Gerry, Randolph and others, students will work together to create a modern-day document - a press release, advertisement, bill ,or declaration on PowerPoint that summarizes their objections or support of the proposed constitution. Students will be asked to quickly communicate thier position to the majority of state legislatures and to the citizenry.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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: The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden Resources      Add Bookmark
Description: A list of the presidents, a time line of presidential candidates, a summary of the military service of presidents as well as a bibliography and web sites related to the presidency are the resources included in the online exhibition entitled The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Nation at the Crossroads: The Great New York Debate over the Constitution, 1787-88      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, produced by the New York Historical Society, focuses on the debate in New York regarding the ratification of the Constitution. This online exhibition takes the form of a timeline features primary source documents, newspapers, broadsides, portraits and objects, allowing students to follow the course of the debates in chronological order. Video clips with printable transcripts and a searchable image gallery add more depth to the content. This website was a recent Museums and the Web Best of the Web Award nominee.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Digital History      Add Bookmark
Description: This website is a comprehensive set of web based resources and activities suitable for students at every grade level. Produced through a collaborative partnership including the National Park Service, the University of Houston, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the Chicago Historical Society, t he site features a digital textbook with hypertext links, virtual exhibits featuring letters, artwork and artifacts, an interactive timeline, a collection of e-lectures, inquiry based learning units, and an extensive collection of online resources like maps, charts, and primary sources.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Preparing for the Oath: Rights      Add Bookmark
Description: Learn more about the rights of Americans through short videos, mini-activities, and practice questions in this segment of Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship. The nine questions included in this segment cover topics such as freedoms in the Constitution, the Civil Rights Movement, and rights to participate in government.This site was designed with the needs of recent immigrants in mind. It is written at a low-intermediate ESL level.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Preparing for the Oath: Writing the Constitution      Add Bookmark
Description: Explore Constitutional history through short videos, mini-activities, and practice questions in this segment of Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship. The six questions included in this segment cover topics such as the Constitutional Convention, the Bill of Rights, and amendments to the Constitution.This site was designed with the needs of recent immigrants in mind. It is written at a low-intermediate ESL level.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Preparing for the Oath: Government Basics      Add Bookmark
Description: Use short videos, mini-activities, and practice questions to explore the basic elements of the United States government in this segment of Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship. The ten questions included in this segment cover topics such as federalism, the Constitution, and checks and balances.This site was designed with the needs of recent immigrants in mind. It is written at a low-intermediate ESL level.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Gear & Lever Voting Machine      Add Bookmark
Description: Gear and Lever voting, meant to ensure the confidentiality and efficiency of the election process, is the focus of this section of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's online exhibition entitled Vote: The Machinery of Democracy . Students will learn about the connection between the 19th Amendment, the suffrage movement and improved voting technology.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: James Madison: From Father of the Constitution to President      Add Bookmark
Description: In this four-lesson unit, from EDSITEment, students list reasons why Madison is called the Father of the Constitution, summarize significant issues during Madison's presidency that raised constitutional questions, and explain the constitutional questions raised by these events.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Papers of George Washington      Add Bookmark
Description: Digital library from the George Washington Archives, including historical materials on Washington's life and times, as well as a selection of Washington's papers.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: 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: Arts,Social Studies
Title: From '' Picturing America'' : Norman Rockwell, Freedom of Speech-Know It When You See It      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from an EDSITEment lesson plan, allows students to explore Norman Rockwell s painting, '' Freedom of Speech'' . The lesson plan teaches students about freedom of speech and what it means in their community, state, nation, and world.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Social Studies,Science,Mathematics
Title: Learner.org      Add Bookmark
Description: This is the main page of the Annenberg Media Learner.org Web site. It contains workshops, courses, pedagogical aids, interactive exhibits, and much more.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: This Constitution: A Bicentennial Chronicle      Add Bookmark
Description: Devoted to research and scholarly exchanges on the Constitution. Through the sites activities and those of others, students will come to a greater awareness and comprehension of the American Constitution.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Founders Constitution      Add Bookmark
Description: This unique anthology funded by the National Endowment for the Humanties 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 rich and varied 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
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Lesson 2: The Federalist Defense of Diversity and Extending the Sphere       Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson involves a detailed analysis of Alexander Hamilton's and James Madison's arguments in favor of the extended republic in The Federalist Nos. 9, 10 and 51.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: James Madison: Madison Was There      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students list reasons why James Madison is called the Father of the Constitution. They also come to appreciate Madison's position as a president embroiled in disputes over the meaning of the document he had inspired.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: September - 2009 - The Constitution of the United States of America      Add Bookmark
Description: Sept. 17 is Constitution Day, commemorating the day in 1787 when the framers signed one of America's most important documents.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: History Now      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site, from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, is a quarterly online journal for teachers and students. The site features lesson plans, reflections from leading historians, multimedia interactive resources such as audio clips and slideshows and an '' Ask the Archivist'' section where teachers and students can send questions and see the answers posted on the site. Users can find information on Abraham Lincoln, national holidays, elections, voting rights, immigration, the American West, slavery, abolitionism and the Civil Rights Movement.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Debate in Congress on the Sedition Act      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students examine the provisions in the U.S. Constitution that are relevant to the debate over the Sedition Act. They explore the arguments offered in Congress for and against the Sedition Act.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, examines a critical episode in George Washington's second administration, when federal efforts to collect an excise tax on liquor sparked armed resistance in the frontier communities of western Pennsylvania. Students focus on answering the question: When is the federal government justified in using force against American citizens?
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: George Washington's Farewell Address Candle Stand      Add Bookmark
Description: After two terms as president, George Washington chose not to serve a third term but instead to retire to Mount Vernon. In September 1796 he presented his Farewell Address to the country he had served for more than 20 years. According to family tradition, President Washington worked on his Farewell Address by the light of this brass candle stand. The reflector magnifies the light of the candles in adjustable candlesticks. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Lesson 1: Anti-federalist Arguments Against A Complete Consolidation       Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson focuses on the chief objections of the Anti-federalists, especially The Federal Farmer (Richard Henry Lee), Centinel, and Brutus, regarding the extended republic.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Presidential Campaign Trail      Add Bookmark
Description: Presidential campaigns, inaugurations and the expansion of voting rights are the topics covered in this section of the online exhibition The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden . Campaign items and posters will help students learn about methods and strategies that have been used by candidates to win election. They will also see how inaugurations have become public holidays when Americans celebrate their democratic customs. Finally, they will explore how minorities, women, the poor, and young adults fought to obtain the right to vote.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Podcast: Walter Isaacson explores Benjamin Franklin's legacy      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, author Walter Isaacson discusses Benjamin Franklin's contribution to the interplay of technology and democracy in American society.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Mathematics,Science,Social Studies,Geography
Title: The Internet Public Library       Add Bookmark
Description: The Internet Public Library, and EDSITEment-reviewed Blue Ribbon resource, offers a collection of online resources in a variety of subject areas. IPL provides dictionaries, atlases, other basic reference resources, online exhibits, texts of classic literature, links to newspapers and serials, and other resources for both adults and children. IPL also offers two ask-a-librarian services, where users can submit questions via e-mail on virtually any topic.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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



Subject: Social Studies
Title: 300 Years of Benjamin Franklin      Add Bookmark
Description: This page from EDSITEment features resources relating to Benjamin Franklin, and presents information about Franklin's contributions to colonial America, his life story, his involvement in politics, and more. Learn more about Franklin 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: The President s Job      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will review the roles of the presidency in this section of the online exhibition "The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden'' from the Smithsonian s National Museum of American History. Objects, images, and documents are used to teach students about 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: The Electoral College      Add Bookmark
Description: This page from EDSITEment features resources relating to the Electoral College, and presents information about the Hayes-Tilden crisis. Learn more about how American presidents are elected by visiting the 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: Exploring Constitutional Law      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, provides documents and information related to issues and controversies surrounding the United States Constitution. Users can find resources on the history of the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as material about important cases that have faced the justices.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Federalist and Anti-federalist Debates on Diversity and the Extended Republic      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit, students examine some of the most important arguments of those opposing or supporting the Constitution.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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