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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 (11), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: News Flash: The End of the Cold War
Description: This lesson is an inquiry into events that occurred during the Cold War era. It is a technology-based project on one event that occurred during the Cold War(1945-1991). The Cold War describes the tense and hostile relationship between the Soviet Union and the U.S. between 1945 and 1992. The communist government of the Soviet Union wanted to convert other countries to communism. The U.S. pledged to support free countries so they could resist communism. Both countries had nuclear weapons and were capable of launching a nuclear war. Other countries took sides in this international conflict. Many Western European countries sided with the U.S. to form NATO (National Atlantic Treaty Organization) in 1949. Eastern European countries signed the Warsaw Pact and formed an alliance with the Soviet Union.


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: Satellite Lunch Box      Add Bookmark
Description: The Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite in late 1957 sparked interest in the United States in science education even among elementary school children.
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: Be a Movie Director      Add Bookmark
Description: In this interactive game, students develop research skills and explore the Museum's collections as they create a movie using images from an online image database. This interactive is included in the online exhibition entitled America on the Move, which focuses on transportation in US history.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Transportation Technology Videos      Add Bookmark
Description: Three short videos provide an overview of transportation technology in three eras: 1800-1900, 1900-1950, and 1950-2000. These videos are included in the online exhibition entitled America on the Move , which focuses on transportation in US history.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: The Korean War      Add Bookmark
Description: On June 25, 1950, the Cold War turned hot when armies from North Korea invaded into South Korea hoping to unify the Korean Peninsula under communism. Students will learn about the American involvement in the Korean Conflict in this section of the online exhibition entitled The Price of Freedom: Americans at War . President Harry Truman committed American troops and rallied support in the United Nations, establishing a coalition of sixteen nations to defend South Korea and contain Communist expansion. A non-flash version of this site is available: http://americanhistory.si.edu/militaryhistory/printable/section.asp?id=10" The Korean War .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Police Action'': The Korean War, 1950-1953      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students learn about the Korean War by reading the most important administration documents related to it. Students explore four major issues: Truman's decision to send troops to Korea; the decision to cross the 38th Parallel into North Korea, at the risk of a wider war with China; Truman's decision to fire General Douglas MacArthur; and the war's growing unpopularity in the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: America on the Move Exhibition - Section 16: On the Interstate      Add Bookmark
Description: In this online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will examine the Federal-Aid Highway Act, the resulting creation of the interstate highway system and profound impact the construction of these roads had on American, lives, commerce and the landscape.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Cuban Missile Crisis       Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, developed for the National Museum of American History's exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War , students will examine primary sources to determine the level of threat caused by the buildup of Soviet nuclear missiles and weapons sites in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis and will analyze President Kennedy's , , response.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Education      Add Bookmark
Description: Created by the Harry S. Truman Library, this webpage offers links to a panoply of programs and multimedia classroom resources for K-12 teachers and their students.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Sources of Discord, 1945-1946      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students examine the origins of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, with particular attention to the two countries disagreements regarding Germany and Eastern Europe. Students read excerpts from the agreements reached at Yalta and Potsdam and then, based on later documents, study how these arrangements unraveled.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Family Fallout Shelter      Add Bookmark
Description: The family fallout shelter represents the public policy assumptions of the atomic age, namely, that with enough preparation, the American family and with it the nation's social and political fabric would survive a nuclear attack. This free-standing, double-hulled steel shelter was installed beneath the front yard of Mr. and Mrs. Murland E. Anderson of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. 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 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: Social Studies
Title: Mobilizing Minds: Teaching Science and Math in the Age of Sputnik      Add Bookmark
Description: On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth. In order win the Space Race, the United States urgently needed both a select group of mathematicians, scientists, and engineers; and a general population of mathematically and scientifically informed citizens. In this online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn how fear of Soviet domination galvanized reform in science and math education during the 1950's and 60'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: Soviet Espionage in America      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students use recently declassified FBI documents to learn about the trial of convicted Soviet spies, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Students learn about the extent of the Soviet espionage network in America in the years following World War II.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Interactive: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz      Add Bookmark
Description: In this online exhibition from the Smithsonian s National Museum of American History, students can explore the life of Celia Cruz, an enormous talent who had an impeccable sense of rhythm and an inimitable style. She became an influential and legendary musical figure both in her native country of Cuba, and the United States, her adopted country. Students will connect her life to a variety of subjects including immigration, history, geography, music theory, music history, and art.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Strategy of Containment, 1947-1948      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students examine the origins of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, with particular attention on the U.S. strategy of containment. Through the use of original documents, mostly from the Truman Presidential Library, students study what containment meant in theory and then examine the first two major instances of its application--the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: America on the Move Exhibition - Section 14: Suburban Strip      Add Bookmark
Description: In this online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will examine the origins and impact of the suburban strip mall. By moving commercial life out of the central business districts, suburban strips contributed to the economic decline of downtowns. As more people moved into the suburbs, the strips also became centers of social life. As more people moved into the suburbs, these shopping centers also became centers of social life.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Formation of the Western Alliance, 1948-1949      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students examine the origins of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, with particular attention on the Berlin blockade and airlift of 1948-49 and the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Students read original documents and view photographs of the period to learn why the Soviets sparked this crisis, how the United States responded and why the NATO alliance was formed.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Origins of the Cold War, 1945-1949      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of three lessons, from EDSITEment, students explore the origins of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Students study international relations just after World War II, with particular attention to the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences, the U.S. strategy of containment, the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Anticommunism in Postwar America, 1945-1954: Witch Hunt or Red Menace?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of three lessons, from EDSITEment, students learn about the Communist witch hunts led in the 1950s by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Students study the FBI investigation, the Venona project, the House Un-American Activities Committee, and the Alger Hiss case. Finally, students explore the opinions of McCarthy held by two American presidents--Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
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: Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - World History
Title: Submarines: Underway on Nuclear Power      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students consider the role of nuclear submarines during the Cold War. They explore the uses of nuclear submarines, the dangers faced by their crews, and the effect of the Cold War build-up. They look at incidents involving submarines both during and after the Cold War, including the K-19 disaster. Finally, students assemble their findings into a classroom presentation.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The President Has Many Roles      Add Bookmark
Description: On June 29, 1950, President Truman performed all seven presidential jobs. In this activity, students will learn about the Presidency by looking at an excerpt of the President's schedule from that day and match the events with the correct role of the president. They will then see if they can match the presidential roles with objects from the exhibition The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Cold War International History Project       Add Bookmark
Description: From the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Cold War International History Project disseminates new information and perspectives on the history of the Cold War, in particular new findings from previously inaccessible sources on '' the other side'' -- the former Communist world.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: America on the Move Exhibition - Section 11: Roadside Communities      Add Bookmark
Description: In this online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn about the new communities that grew up around America's rapidly expanding network of roads during the 1930s. Clusters of family-owned tourist cabins, restaurants, and gasoline stations kept long-distance motorists fed, rested, and ready to go.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Transportation Infrastructure Videos      Add Bookmark
Description: Three short videos provide an overview of the history of America's transportation infrastructure in three eras: 1800-1900, 1900-1950, and 1950-2000. These videos are included in the online exhibition entitled America on the Move , which focuses on transportation in US history.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: The House Un-American Activities Committee      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students examine the operations of the House Un-American Activities Committee in the late 1940s, with particular attention on the question of what constitutes an un-American activity. Students explore the question of whether some ideas are so dangerous that even their expression should be limited and whether certain professions--government service, entertainment and education--are so influential that the personal views of people in them should come under public scrutiny.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Museum of the Moving Image      Add Bookmark
Description: The Living Room Candidate, funded through a grant from the Verizon Foundation, contains a comprehensive online collection of political television advertisements from every Presidential election since 1952. It is a signature program of the Museum of the Moving Image, the only museum dedicated to the art and industry of all of screen culture, from the earliest silent films to today's video games.
Thinkfinity Partner: Verizon Thinkfinity
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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