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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 - 11)
Title: History: It's All Around Me
Description: Most students are unaware of the historical significances that can be found in their immediate surroundings. This lesson plan sends students on a quest to seek out areas of historical significance that can be found within their local area. Once students find these hidden historical gems they will report their findings via photo story. This lesson plan has been made with Alabama historical places of reference in mind; you will need to adapt it for your own individual state.


Subject: Social Studies (10), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Who Will You Back? (The First American Political Parties)
Description: Students will produce an illustrated documentary on one of the first two American political parties.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (10), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: The Louisiana Purchase: An Offer We Couldn't Refuse
Description: This lesson explores the circumstances surrounding the United States' acquisition of the Louisiana Territory. To research these topics students will integrate a variety of print and technology resources. Students will apply the results of the research to produce a multimedia presentation supplemented by a brochure created through the application of desktop publishing software.


Subject: Social Studies (10), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Explore!
Description: The Manifest Destiny of the 1800's began with Thomas Jefferson's dramatic political foresight of arranging the Louisiana Purchase. The stories of courage and determination from these lands began with the Lewis and Clark expedition. In this lesson students will explore the fascinating people, places, and struggles of the expedition. Students will create from their study a brochure depicting at least five areas of information about the Lewis and Clark expedition.


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: 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: Reluctant Patriot " Francis Scott Key      Add Bookmark
Description: Francis Scott Key is recognized as one of the nation's great patriots despite the fact that he initially opposed America's entry into the War of 1812. This article from Smithsonian Magazine discusses several interesting aspects of the war, including: Key's anti-war sentiments, how the events at Fort McHenry changed his opinion, how the war helped to define American identity both internationally and domestically, and how Key's narrative poem became the national anthem.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Treasures of the Library of Congress: The Star-Spangled Banner      Add Bookmark
Description: This resource includes images of a rare, first print edition of the Star-Spangled Banner sheet music that combines words and music as well as a hand-written copy of the Star-Spangled Banner poem by Francis Scott Key. These primary sources are included in the Library of Congress' online exhibition entitled American Treasures of the Library of Congress .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine      Add Bookmark
Description: This website from the National Park Service is a helpful resource for anyone who is interested in visiting Fort McHenry or learning more about it. A photo gallery and brief historical essays describe the fort, its defenders and the various roles that Fort McHenry has played in different periods of American history, from its construction to the present day. Kids and teachers sections include lesson plans, field trip planning guides and suggested activities for visitors.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The War of 1812      Add Bookmark
Description: Website for the PBS film'' War of 1812'' . Includes short scholarly essays on the American, British, Canadian Native American perspectives on the war, the role of black sailors and soldiers, diplomatic maneuvers, James Madison's leadership, and the military campaigns. Multiple lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school levels.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Monroe Doctrine: A Close Reading      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students learn about the development of and undertake a close reading of the Monroe Doctrine. They learn about the events in United States and European foreign affairs to which the document refers and explore its primary purpose.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Monroe Doctrine: U.S. Foreign Affairs (circa 1782-1823) and James Monroe      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students learn about the development of the Monroe Doctrine. They create a timeline of significant events in U.S. foreign affairs before 1823, cite the roles played by James Monroe and his contributions to U.S. diplomacy before he became president, and make connections between diplomatic events and revolutionary movements, concerns over U.S. peace and safety, and U.S. expansion.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: War of 1812      Add Bookmark
Description: In 1812, America went to war against Great Britain to assert its rights as an independent, sovereign nation, and to attempt the conquest of Canada. The major events of the War of 1812 are discussed here, including the burning of Washington, and the battles of Fort McHenry and New Orleans. This section of the online exhibition entitled The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, uses images and objects from the museum's collections to shed light on the conflict that gave the country a new symbol, the Star-Spangled Banner, and a new hero, Andrew Jackson.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: American Experience Online      Add Bookmark
Description: This Web site, from the PBS '' American Experience'' series, includes over 75 feature sites. Categories include U.S. presidents, the American landscape, popular culture, American biographies, war, politics, and technology. This resource is featured 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: Arts, Social Studies
Title: America      Add Bookmark
Description: Discover the multicultural heritage and history of America through explorations of immigrant life, the lives legendary pioneers like Lewis and Clark, the modern political system, and significant works of American music, including our National Anthem.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: George Washington on the Sedition Act      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students examine the arguments used by George Washington in support of the Sedition Act. They focus on the role of partisan politics in the creation of and/or controversy over the Sedition Act.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Price of Freedom: Americans at War      Add Bookmark
Description: ' The Price of Freedom: Americans at War Timeline offers access to a unique blend of original objects, first person interpretations, video presentations, and interactive experiences organized by War. It gives visitors a comprehensive and memorable overview of America military experience and the central role it has played in our national life.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: President Madison's 1812 War Message: Answers Lead to More Questions      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students review passages they find troubling in President Madison's War Message. They read the War Message again, and, as they come to each of the identified sections, the class works together to determine whether the issues have been clarified.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Certain Crimes Against the United States: Consequences of the Sedition Act      Add Bookmark
Description: This is the final lesson in the five-lesson EDSITEment curriculum unit titled Certain Crimes Against the United States: The Sedition Act. In this lesson, students explore some applications and consequences of the Sedition Act. They consider the problems governments face in balancing security needs and personal freedoms.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Monroe Doctrine: President Monroe and the Independence Movement in South America      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students learn about the development of the Monroe Doctrine. They explore how conditions in Europe related to the independence movements in South America and reflect on the reasons President Monroe gave for recognizing the movements.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Star-Spangled Banner: The Flag that Inspired the National Anthem Homepage      Add Bookmark
Description: On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore's Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812. The sight of those "broad stripes and bright stars'' inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United States national anthem. In this online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will explore the story of the Star-Spangled Banner by learning about: the War of 1812 and the Battle of Baltimore; Mary Pickersgill and the making of the flag; Francis Scott Key and the song that became the national anthem; the legacy of the flag and its use as a patriotic symbol; and the efforts undertaken to preserve the flag as a national treasure. This resource includes interactive activities and educational resources that can be used to further enhance this exploration of the flag that inspired the national anthem.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: President Madison's 1812 War Message: A Documentary Review      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, consists of a series of activities designed to share pertinent examples of primary documents (and some secondary accounts) that illuminate key points in President Madison's War Message. The lesson identifies 10 statements in the message about which students are likely to have questions, and it provides relevant materials for analysis.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: The Story Behind the Song: The Star-Spangled Banner      Add Bookmark
Description: In this story, find out how a captured poet penned the song that became the country s national anthem.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: President Madison's 1812 War Message: A Brief Overview      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students read a message from President Madison announcing to Congress the United States entry into war with Great Britain. Students are provided the opportunity to raise questions about the contents of the message, and encouraged to hypothesize about documents that would be helpful in clarifying questions about the issue.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Interactive Star-Spangled Banner      Add Bookmark
Description: Explore features of the Star-Spangled Banner using this interactive flag included in the online exhibition entitled The Star-Spangled Banner: The Flag that Inspired the National Anthem. Using this interactive tool from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students can click on hotspots and learn something new about the flag each time they click. They can also zoom in on the image of the flag in order to see incredible detail. 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: The Monroe Doctrine: Origin and Early American Foreign Policy      Add Bookmark
Description: In this four-lesson unit from EDSITEment, students learn about the development of the Monroe Doctrine. They review the Monroe Doctrine against a background of United States foreign relations in the early years of the republic. In particular, they examine Monroe's involvement in American diplomacy while serving in a variety of positions before he was elected president. They become familiar with Monroe's beliefs in an expanded United States as well as an expanded role for the United States in the Americas. Students also read primary source material reflecting the independence movement in South America, which served as the direct impetus for the Monroe Doctrine. Finally, small groups analyze some documentary evidence of Adams's role and Jefferson's advice regarding the Monroe Doctrine. The class then debates how credit for the Doctrine should be allocated.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 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 Monroe Doctrine: Whose Doctrine Was It?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students learn about the contributions of John Quincy Adams and Thomas Jefferson to the development of the Monroe Doctrine.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Maritime Nation 1800-1850      Add Bookmark
Description: The maritime history of the United States during the first half of the nineteenth century is the focus of this section of On the Water: Stories from Maritime America, an online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Students will learn how shipbuilders, mariners, and maritime merchants helped the new nation defend itself and grow. Topics covered are the roles that privateers played during the American Revolution and the War of 1812, immigration, early steam travel and coastal shipping in the Atlantic Ocean, the California Gold Rush, and the life-saving technology that was used to rescue the victims of shipwrecks. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Thomas Jefferson on the Sedition Act      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students examine arguments put forth by Thomas Jefferson and others in opposition to the Sedition Act. They discuss Jefferson's opinion on how constitutional questions about the Sedition Act could be resolved.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 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: President Madison's 1812 War Message      Add Bookmark
Description: This curriculum unit, from EDSITEment, consists of three lessons. In the first lesson, students read a message from President Madison announcing to Congress the United States entry into war with Great Britain. Students are provided the opportunity to raise questions about the contents of what came to be called the War Message. In the second part, the teacher--in a series of optional mini-lessons--shares pertinent examples of primary source documents (and some secondary accounts) that illuminate key points in the letter. Opportunities for independent research are also provided. In the final lesson, students return to the War Message, review its contents, and consider what documents might be useful in making further analyses of the text.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 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



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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