Professional Learning Podcast Treasury Lesson Plans Personal Workspace Site Search ALEXville Learning Assets Home Courses of Study

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.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Religion,Social Studies
Title: Retablo of El Santo Nino de Atoche      Add Bookmark
Description: The image shown here represents El Santo Nio de Atoche, a depiction of the Christ child common throughout Mexico and the American Southwest. Made by Rafael Aragn in Santa Fe, this particular image is from a retablo, a kind of Catholic devotional art...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Lincoln at 200      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, produced by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Chicago History Museum, is part of the bicentennial celebration of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. The site features 2 exhibitions about Lincoln and searchable database of objects. A Museums and the Web Best of the Web Award nominee, this site is an outstanding place for students to view background and primary source resources regarding Lincoln.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: Discovering Lewis and Clark      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, produced by The Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, is a comprehensive and fascinating history of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Ten engaging discovery paths, containing primary source documents, journal excerpts, brief essays and aerial photography, will help students learn about the Lewis and Clark expedition through the lenses of history, geography, natural history and anthropology.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Lewis and Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition      Add Bookmark
Description: This website, produced by the Missouri Historical Society, was produced to coincide with a traveling exhibition celebrating the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark exhibition. Students can explore the entire journey of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery through the use of an interactive map, thematic units and an image gallery. Primary source documents, objects, oral histories and historical quotes tell the story of this pivotal episode in America's history from the perspectives of those involved in the expedition as well as the people they encountered. Resources for teachers include classroom activities written for upper elementary, middle and high school students.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Storming of Chapultepec      Add Bookmark
Description: This print shows American forces attacking the fortress palace of Chapultepec on Sept. 13th, 1847. General Winfield Scott, depicted in the lower left on a white horse, led the southern division of the U.S. Army that successfully captured Mexico City during the Mexican American War.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site, from the Newberry Library, provides historically significant map documents for K-12 teachers and their students. Illustrating the geographical dimensions of American history, the maps are accompanied by lesson plans written for four grade levels and designed to support a variety of social studies, history and geography curricula.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Preparing for the Oath: The 1800s      Add Bookmark
Description: Explore the history of America in the 1800s through short videos, mini-activities, and practice questions in this segment of Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship. The eight questions included in this segment cover topics such as the Civil War, slavery, the Louisiana Purchase, and Susan B. Anthony.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: Conflicting Voices of the Mexican War      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson plan outlines topics for short research projects and classroom performances related to the Mexican War. Have students select individuals connected to the Mexican War, perform research, and then interview each other to showcase the disparate views on the motivations behind the War and perspectives on its outcomes. This lesson plan (which includes background information) 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: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Preparing for the Oath: A Growing Nation      Add Bookmark
Description: Explore the history of the peopling of America through short videos, mini-activities, and practice questions in this segment of Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship. The eight questions included in this segment cover topics such as American Indians, British colonists, slavery, westward expansion, and immigration.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 Mexican War      Add Bookmark
Description: America went to war to gain territory from Mexico and expand the nation's boundary from Texas to California. 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 the Mexican War by first examining its causes, Texas's struggle for independence and the controversial concept of Manifest Destiny. They will then learn about the war's major events and battles, and the results of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which the United States annexed all of the territory that would become the states of the Southwest.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Eastern Indian Wars      Add Bookmark
Description: Coveting what remained of the Indian lands in the Southeast and lower South, the United States forced tribes to cede their "rights of occupancy" and give up their ancestral homelands. Students will learn about the Creek Indian War and the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, and the policies that led to the Trail of Tears, one of the most tragic episodes in American history in this section of the online exhibition, Price of Freedom: Americans at War . A non-flash version of this page is available: http://americanhistory.si.edu/militaryhistory/printable/section.asp?id=3" Eastern Indian Wars .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Movement and Migration: The Gold Nugget That Launched the Gold Rush      Add Bookmark
Description: This teacher's resource challenges students to think about the gold nugget that began the California gold rush as a valuable resource for understanding westward expansion and the idea of Manifest Destiny. It includes a preliminary activity intended to introduce students to doing history with objects and 3 lesson plans focused on the Gold Rush experience. Also included are annotated links to other online resources that are related to western history and the California gold rush.This resource is included in The Object of History, a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and George Mason University's Center for History and New Media.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Sam Houston's Hunting Knife      Add Bookmark
Description: Sam Houston emerged as a prominent player in the affairs of Texas. Houston was elected commander in chief of the armies of Texas and took control of the Texas forces after the fall of the Alamo. On April 21, 1836, his force defeated Santa Anna and secured Texas independence. Houston was elected the first president of the Republic of Texas. After statehood in 1845, Houston was elected senator from Texas to the Congress of the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Mexican War Broadside      Add Bookmark
Description: Recruiting poster printed with "Volunteers for Mexico." Broadsides (single sheets of paper usually printed on one side) served as public announcements or advertisements soon after the beginning of printing.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Science,Social Studies
Title: History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark      Add Bookmark
Description: This short essay provides an overview of the 1814 book, edited by Paul Allen, '' History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark.'' The essay describes the writing, mapping, and observations generated by Lewis and Clark during their expedition and Allen's subsequent work in editing the published volume. The essay is featured on the University of Virginia's '' Exploring the West from Monticello'' Web project.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies,Geography
Title: Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition      Add Bookmark
Description: Annotated journals of Lewis and Clark during their expedition. Images, maps, and audio readings of scholarship on Lewis and Clark.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Gateway to the 19th Century: The William Steinway Diary Homepage      Add Bookmark
Description: Beginning eight days after the first shots of the American Civil War were fired and three days before his wedding, William Steinway's remarkable diary bears witness to one of the most dynamic periods in American history. This website examines the life of William Steinway and the display of his diary at the Smithsonian.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: First Person Account: Juan Bautista Vigil y Alarid      Add Bookmark
Description: Juan Bautista Vigil y Alarid, acting governor of New Mexico, expresses the pain of changing loyalty from Mexico to the United States.This video is part of the Price of Freedom learning resources package for use with the Conflicting Voices of the Mexican War lesson plan. It was produced to accompany the exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War , by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: Mexican Guerrilleros      Add Bookmark
Description: This lithograph illustrates the chaos and conflict engulfing northern Mexico during the years of the Mexican-American War from 1846-1848. In these years the United States organized an Army of Occupation, initially led by General Zachary Taylor, to capture cities like Monterrey in preparation for a later assault on the Mexican heartland. The figure on horseback is a Mexican guerilla fighter.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Mississippi Rifle      Add Bookmark
Description: This gun derives its nickname of the "Mississippi rifle" from the Mississippi Riflemen led by Jefferson Davis. The Mexican-American War began in 1846. Davis looked favorably upon the war as the United States stood to acquire considerable land south of the Missouri Compromise line. It was an area in which Southern institutions could expand. Davis resigned his House seat in June and rejoined the army. On July 18, 1846 he was elected colonel of the First Regiment of Mississippi Riflemen. In September of the same year, he participated in the successful siege of Monterrey, Mexico. In June, the army offered him an appointment as brigadier general of a militia unit, but he declined. In traditional Southern style, he believed the appointment was unconstitutional. The United States Constitution, he argued, gives the power of appointing militia officers to the states, not to the federal government.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: U.S. Civil War Colored Troops Medal      Add Bookmark
Description: During the American Civil War, General Benjamin Butler so appreciated the heroic actions of African American soldiers under his command at the 1864 battles of Fort Harrison and Fort Gilmer that he commissioned a special medal for them. Designed by Anthony C. Paquet and realized in silver by Tiffany, the U.S. Colored Troops medal had no official status. After General Butler was relieved of his command in 1865, the 300 U.S. Colored Troops who had received the medals were forbidden to wear them on their uniforms.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: United States, 2 1/2 Dollars, 1848      Add Bookmark
Description: In 1848, the largest single gold rush in history was just getting under way in California. The event triggered a mass migration of fortune hunters from around the world. The territory has only recently passed into American hands as an outcome of U.S. victory in the Mexican War. The new California military governor Col. R.B. Mason sent 230 ounces of native bullion to the Secretary of War, who in turn passed the gold on to the Mint.Much of this first shipment went into large, honorific medals Congress authorized for the winning American generals in the war, Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. Scott's medal is in the Smithsonian Collection. The rest of the gold was used to make "quarter eagles," or 2½ dollar gold pieces. These became some of the most legendary coins in American numismatic history. The basic design was standard: the head of Liberty was on one side, a somewhat bellicose eagle on the other. The mint had been striking quarter eagles with these designs for nearly a decade. But closer scrutiny showed that these coins had one odd feature: above the eagle on the reverse, the initials "CAL." These were added by means of a punch. Precisely 1,389 quarter eagles marked with the CAL stamp were made. Less than 200 still exist. They bear poignant witness to the colorful history of the American West.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Gunston Hall      Add Bookmark
Description: Gunston Hall's website is an excellent resource to help students and teachers research the life of George Mason. The resources included are a virtual tour of Gunston Hall and its surrounding grounds, timelines demonstrating George Mason's role in the American Revolution and the Constitutional Convention of 1787, an extensive online artifacts collection search and downloadable primary source documents written by George Mason. A section for educators provides classroom resources for teachers.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Life on the Great Plains      Add Bookmark
Description: In this four-part EDSITEment lesson, students examine the concept of geographic region by exploring the history of the Great Plains. They explore the concept of region and learn how culture and experience influence the perception of regions, investigate the relationships between physical geography and human systems of culture and settlement, trace the history and character of a region as reflected in literature and art, and examine factors that influenced westward expansion in the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - United States History
Title: A Look at the Population Density of the United States      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson from Xpeditions, students learn to '' '' see the world in spatial terms'' '' by analyzing population density at all levels and plotting the information on maps. Population density refers to the number of individuals occupying a specified area. The population density is derived by dividing the number of people by the area they occupy.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Handbook of Texas Online      Add Bookmark
Description: This collection of free, authoritative source information about the history, politics, geography, and culture of the state of Texas is updated regularly to ensure that its contents are accurate and accessible. The editors are continually adding new entries, photographs, and maps so check back frequently to see what's new.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: 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 - Geography - Social Studies - United States History
Title: The Great Plains: A Harsh Welcome to Settlers      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students consider the experiences of settlers on the American Great Plains in the late 1800s. They explore the ways in which humans use technology to overcome obstacles in the physical environment.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
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

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
Thinkfinity
Thinkfinity
Best of the Web

Web Design by: Digital Mason LLC