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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: Let's Talk Socratically That Is, About the Fact of Women Being Equal to Men.
Description: For this lesson you will be using the Socratic Seminar Instructional Method. The Socratic Seminar is a great way to get students involved. Socratic seminars are useful in that they teach students to make a point through using the text for support, listen to and respect other students' opinions, and encourages students to think independently and cooperatively. Students will be given The Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments as the text for the seminar.


Subject: Social Studies (10), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Spice up the Nineteenth Century!
Description: Students will make interactive outlines using the Internet of the reform movements, literature, trails, religion or technology of the early nineteenth century.


Subject: Social Studies (9 - 11)
Title: Three Principles of Civil Disobedience: Thoreau, Gandhi, and King
Description: Both Mahatmas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. were influenced by Henry David Thoreau's essay, "Civil Disobedience." Have students research and read, using the Internet, the first part of Thoreau's essay. Then have students write an essay analyzing how Thoreau's writing influenced Gandhi and King. Have them include in their essay the following:1. What is the focal point of "Civil Disobedience?"2. Did Gandhi and King agree with everything in Thoreau's essay?3. How did Thoreau's philosophies influence Gandhi and King?4. How did Gandhi influence King? This lesson was created to accompany the Alabama African American History Calendar Project.


Subject: Social Studies (10), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: A Monumental Idea
Description: This is a small-group project utilizing web research, cooperation, creativity and hands-on production in order to fully understand the impact of social reformers of the 19th century. Students will be responsible for building a monument in tribute to a social reformer. Monuments will be displayed in the library. A one-page typed summary will be turned in with the monument which explains the reformer's relevance and accomplishments, as well as why the group chose that person to memorialize. There must be an inscription identifying the monument.


Subject: Social Studies (10 - 11)
Title: Notable American Female Social Reformers (Mid 1850s-Early 1900s)
Description: This lesson will utilize the Internet to explore some of the more notable female social reformers in the United States from the mid-1850s to the early 1900s. Ideas for this lesson could include individual, group, or peer-to-peer investigation. The selection of the more notable women was choosen from Passing the New Alabama High School Graduation Examination in Social Studies (American Book Company).


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: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: American Writers      Add Bookmark
Description: A permanent archive for educators, researchers, and everyone interested in the writers featured in the C-SPAN series.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Mercury fuming box for daguerreotypes used by Samuel F. B. Morse      Add Bookmark
Description: This Mercury fuming box for developing daguerreotypes is certainly among the earliest photographic equipment used in America, dating 1839-1840. Working closely with Dr. J.W. Draper in New York, Morse was instrumental in promoting photography in America, furthering experimentation, and producing early examples of the daguerreotypes...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Battle Over Reconstruction      Add Bookmark
Description: This curriculum unit of three lessons examines the social, political and economic conditions of the southern states in the aftermath of the Civil War and shows how these factors helped to shape the Reconstruction debate as well as the subsequent history of American race relations.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Preparing for the Oath: Famous Citizens      Add Bookmark
Description: This segment of Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship teaches about famous citizens of the United States through short videos, mini-activities, and practice questions. The eight questions in this segment cover individuals including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: E Pluribus Unum      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment-reviewed Web site, from Assumption College, focuses on three key decades during which Americans found it challenging to determine the meaning of the country's defining concept of '' e pluribus unum'' -- '' one from many.'' In addition to being arranged by period (the 1770s, the 1850s and the 1920s), resources on this site are also arranged in topical clusters. The site includes introductory essays, resources (including e-texts, digitized artifacts, and links) to facilitate online research, sample student exhibits and questions for discussion, writing and research.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: John Brown's Legacy      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, students will examine primary sources to understand John Brown's actions in Harpers Ferry and will develop a creative project on his legacy. This resource 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: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Women in World History      Add Bookmark
Description: Reflects emphasis on comparative issues, a focus on contacts among different societies, and an attentiveness to global forces. (Center for History New Media, George Mason University)
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Women's Declaration of Independence, July 1848      Add Bookmark
Description: This page from EDSITEment features resources relating to women's rights, and presents information about the Seneca Falls Convention and women's suffrage. Learn more about the history of the women's suffrage movement 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: 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: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: At Home in the Heartland Online      Add Bookmark
Description: This site, an EDSITEment-reviewed Blue Ribbon resource, contains in-depth materials on the history, culture, and family life in Illinois from 1700 to the present. Designed as a classroom resource for teachers and students, the site provides a unique educational experience through the use of objects, stories, and activities relating to the people who have settled in the nation's heartland over the last 300 years. The site provides information and comparison of various facets of Illinois history, including French settlers, African slaves, and Native Americans.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Religion,Social Studies
Title: Religion in 18th Century America      Add Bookmark
Description: This curriculum unit from EDSITEment will, through the use of primary documents, introduce students to the First Great Awakening, the most significant religious development of 18th century America. In addition, students learn the ways in which religious-based arguments were used both in support of and against the American Revolution.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Treasures of American History: American Identity      Add Bookmark
Description: Many of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's treasures give insight into what it has meant to be an American. In this section of the online exhibition entitled "Treasures of American History'' , students will explore the diverse roots of American culture as well as common experiences shared across lines of race, ethnicity, and region. They will learn how culturally, Americans have defined themselves in many ways; through artistic expression, ethnic traditions, work and play, and home and community life. A Spanish version of the exhibition is available on the exhibition's homepage.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: The Campaign of 1840: The Whigs, the Democrats, and the Issues      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, introduces students to the personalities and issues behind the 1840 American presidential campaign, called the first modern campaign. Students investigate the differences between the Whigs and Democrats and consider arguments for and against the contenders, Martin Van Buren and William Henry Harrison.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Family and Community      Add Bookmark
Description: Explore the lives of immigrants and pioneers in early America. Then, drive along US-90 along the Gulf Coast or take a stroll down U Street in Washington, D.C.-- either place you'll be guided by the voices of the musicians who defined the culture of their community.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Golden Legends      Add Bookmark
Description: Some legendary coins represent the passionate quest for gold on the American frontier. This section of the online exhibition entitled "Legendary Coins and Currency'' teaches students how the discovery of gold, both in the southeastern United States, and later in the West, had a major effect on American ideas about the creation and use of money. This highly interactive resource, from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, allows students to rotate and zoom in on objects for detailed examination. A glossary linked to the exhibition will help students learn challenging vocabulary.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: American Masters      Add Bookmark
Description: An ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of America's most outstanding cultural artists.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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