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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 (9 - 11)
Title: Mock Treaty of Versailles
Description: This project is designed to conclude a World War I Unit. In this unit, students will have examined the causes, events, and consequences of World War One.  After investigating the causes  and events of the war, students will participate as delegates  to a mock Treaty of Versailles. In the mock Treaty, students will be divided into collaborative groups and will be assigned roles within these groups.  The group as a whole will be assigned the role of a country that was integral to the negotiation of the the actual treaty. 


Subject: Arts Education (6 - 12), or Social Studies (11), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: The Roaring Twenties
Description: This activity involves comparing turn of the century music with the music from the Jazz Age. Students will listen to musical selections and analyze how the change in the music reflects the change in cultural attitudes. They will also work in groups to create their own radio shows.


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: Explore PA History      Add Bookmark
Description: Demonstrates the rich historical importance of Pennsylvania via maps, timelines, essays, primary documents, and lesson plans.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10



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: Blog Post: WWI Women in Uniform      Add Bookmark
Description: In this post, students will learn about the thousands of American women who volunteered in World War I through their uniforms. Most of the women's uniforms in the Museum's collections from WWI belong to civilian relief and welfare organizations, like the Salvation Army, not to the armed forces, and represent the participation of tens of thousands of American women in the Great War. This post, written by Bart Hacker, Senior Curator of Armed Forces History, 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
Title: Manpack Global Positioning System (GPS) Receiver      Add Bookmark
Description: The Global Positioning System (GPS) consists of NAVSTAR satellites in earth orbit that send signals to receivers on land, sea, or in the air. The system became operational in 1978. Its military usefulness was demonstrated during Operation Desert Storm (1991), when coalition troops with receivers were able to navigate quickly and with great precision in the relatively featureless desert, thus having a significant tactical advantage over Iraqi forces.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Louis Armstrong Education Kit      Add Bookmark
Description: This kit of guided listening activities and streaming music offers an engaging way of introducing students to jazz. It traces Louis Armstrong's career as a musician, from influences in African rhythms and New Orleans marches through performances in the 1960's and 70's. It could also be used as an introduction to using music and sound recordings as primary sources.Although the PDFs of the guide refer to an audio CD, the same music is made available online as streaming media.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Join America at Play      Add Bookmark
Description: Discover America's favorite pastimes, sports and hobbies through the use of brief articles, images, video and audio clips, trivia questions and an interactive game entitled "Batter Up." Students will gain a unique perspective of American history by using this resource from the Library of Congress. Explore the history of some of America's most popular activities with sections on dance, baseball, vacationing, quilting and patriotic celebrations.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Folklore in Zora Neale Hurston's ''Their Eyes Were Watching God''      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore the way African-American author Zora Neale Hurston makes use of closely observed black folk life in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Students read the novel, research Hurston's own life and ethnography, listen to her WPA recordings of folksongs and folktales, and compare transcribed folk narrative texts with the novel itself.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Great Composers      Add Bookmark
Description: Get inside the mind of a composer-- from a popular song, to a Broadway musical, to a symphony, how does a composer write music?
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Understanding the Context of Modernist Poetry      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students explore the rise of cities; profound technological changes in transportation, architecture, and engineering; a rising population that engendered crowds and chaos in public spaces; factory life; and the aftermath of WWI. Students begin to understand how these influential factors contributed to making individuals feel less unique and more alienated, fragmented, and at a loss in their daily lives and larger worlds.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Religion,Science,Social Studies,Geography
Title: Encyclopedia of Alabama      Add Bookmark
Description: A free, authoritative source information about the history, politics, geography, and culture of the state of Alabama; updated regularly to ensure that the content is 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: C1,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: 1920s Industrial America Classroom Activity Guide      Add Bookmark
Description: In these classroom activities developed for the exhibition America on the Move , students will use visual, analytical, and interpretive skills to examine primary sources including historical maps and answer questions about them to learn more about railroads, transportation, racism, Jim Crow, travel in industrial America in the 1920s, as well as the impact of the Great Migration (1915-1940) and changes in transportation had on their own communities. The activities helps students develop and strengthen map-reading skills, provide opportunities for historical analysis, interpretation, evaluation, analyzing cause/effect relationships, understanding multiple points of view, performing original research, debating and persuasive writing, and help students identify issues and problems in the past and connect the past to the present.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: April - 2009 - JAM: Jazz Appreciation Month      Add Bookmark
Description: April 2009 marks the 8th annual celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). In partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as several other national organizations, the Smithsonian will sponsor a number of programs to promote jazz, including concerts, lectures, educational materials, and an exhibition.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Educational Technology,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: African Americans After World War I: Had Race Relations Changed?       Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, explores the state of race relations in the U.S. before, during, and after World War I. Students consider the discrimination African-American volunteers faced at home and in the military and, after conducting research using an online database, they take a stand on the state of race relations at this time.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Ken Burns: Prohibition      Add Bookmark
Description: Web site for the Ken Burns documentary that tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed. Includes lesson plans and interactives.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn: Jazz Composers      Add Bookmark
Description: This online exhibition, from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, examines two jazz standards, each one its author's most-recorded piece: Caravan, written in 1936 by Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol, and Take the A Train, composed in 1941 by Billy Strayhorn. Through brief biographies of the composers, primary source documents, and media clips, students will learn about the collaboration of these two great jazz composers and the process involved in writing and recording two of the most celebrated jazz pieces ever written. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Pearl S. Buck: ''On Discovering America''      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson from EDSITEment, students explore American attitudes toward immigration in the 1930s through Pearl S. Buck's essay, On Discovering America. They explore the meaning of the term American in this context and look at how the media portrayed immigrants.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Transportation in America Classroom Activity Guide      Add Bookmark
Description: This activity guide accompanies the exhibition America on the Move . It delivers a variety of historical primary source materials from the exhibition directly to your classroom. Through these documents and activities, students can build a deeper understanding of how transportation shaped American commerce, communities, landscapes, and population migrations. It is one of the many resources connected to the online exhibition entitled America on the Move , which focuses on transportation in US history.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Blues Journey: Page to Stage      Add Bookmark
Description: Join playwright Jerome Hairson and director Scot Reese as they bring the story of Blues Journey from page to stage, developing the original book of blues lyrics into a fully realized play, rich with musical performances. Blues Journey follows the life of a blues performer as he learns to play, finds fame, and witnesses the blues evolve into rock-and-roll in this world premiere Kennedy Center original production based on the children's book by Walter Dean Myers.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Blues Journey      Add Bookmark
Description: Out of the hardships of Black Americans at the turn of the 20th century came the blues, a music that helped ease their suffering.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Podcast: Norma Miller swings at the Savoy      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, Norma Miller talks firsthand about the beginnings of the Lindy-hop, an innovative swing dance that originated in Harlem's Savoy Ballroom.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: Texas Blues: Marcia Ball      Add Bookmark
Description:
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Winning the Vote for Women      Add Bookmark
Description: For more than a century, women in the United States struggled to obtain the right to vote. In 1920, the suffrage movement finally achieved victory with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. By using this OurStory module from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, children and adults can enjoy exploring the history of the women's suffrage movement and women's role in civic life today. Focused on actively reading Mama Went to Jail for the Vote, a historical fiction picture book about the women's suffrage movement, this module also includes links to a hands-on activity, field trip, object-based learning experience, and technology exploration. 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: 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: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Groovin' to Jazz 12-15      Add Bookmark
Description: In this music activity, students will learn how to listen to and appreciate authentic jazz recordings by listening to fifteen recordings by jazz greats and reading brief introductions that discuss the relevance of the songs as well as how to listen to them.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: America on the Move Exhibition - Section 5: People on the Move      Add Bookmark
Description: In this online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will discover how American History was shaped by the journeys of people who immigrated to the United States, migrated within its boundaries, and even by those who returned to their native lands. Travel changed their lives and influenced communities and culture.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Jailed for Freedom Pin      Add Bookmark
Description: Protesting the government's failure to pass a constitutional amendment enfranchising women, National Women's Party members, led by Alice Paul, began picketing the White House in January 1917. In June of that year, the D.C. police began arresting picketers for obstructing sidewalk traffic. In December, 1917, at a meeting in their honor, the picketers who had been jailed were presented with small silver pins in the shape of prison doors with heart-shaped locks. 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 - 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: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Learning the Blues      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, introduces students to the blues, one of the most distinctive and influential elements of African-American musical tradition. Students take a virtual field trip to Memphis, Tennessee, one of the prominent centers of blues activities, and explore the history of the blues in the work of W. C. Handy and a variety of country blues singers whose music preserves the folk origins of this unique American art form.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: From Ellis Island to Orchard Street      Add Bookmark
Description: This online exhibition, produced by the Tenement Museum, allows students to play the role of an immigrant to New York City in the early twentieth century. Students will learn about the immigration experience by creating an indentity and making decisions about making a living and making a living in the Lower East Side. Video clips of an an actress playing the role of an immigrant add context and give students helpful advice. Panoramic photographs of rooms in a tenement apartment give students a unique perspective into the lives of immigrants in the early twentieth century. This website was a 2009 Museums and the Web Best of the Web Award nominee.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Cross-Disciplinary,Geography,Social Studies
Title: Filipino Hip-Hop      Add Bookmark
Description: Article. An article on contemporary music in the Filipino-American community.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: C1,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Cultural Change      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson from EDSITEment, students examine some of the arguments used to win the vote for American women and explore the cultural dimension of these arguments as reflected in their characterization of men and women. In addition, students weigh the rhetorical impact these arguments had in their time by writing counter-arguments from several standpoints, and think critically about the relationship between political ideas and cultural attitudes.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: China Poblana Dress      Add Bookmark
Description: Originally from the state of Jalisco, mariachi music transformed itself from a regional to a national music between the 1930s and 1950s. Its accompanying attire is the fancy charro costume for men and the china poblana dress (like the one pictured here) for women. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Jazz and World War II: A Rally to Resistance, a Catalyst for Victory      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment lesson helps students understand the effects that World War II had on jazz music and the contributions that jazz musicians made to the war effort. Students explore the role of jazz in American society and the ways that jazz functioned as an export of American culture and a means of resistance to the Nazis. Gathering together excerpts of important works by both jazz historians and jazz musicians, the culminating activity helps students develop a broader historical perspective on the effects that World War II had on the course of jazz music.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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