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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 (K - 11)
Title: African American Honorees in Alabama History
Description: Students will create a PowerPoint slide show presentation and brochure on a famous African American icon from the Alabama Calendar. Students may select famous African Americans from Alabama such as Rosa Parks, Vonetta Flowers, Dr. Mae Jemison, Joe Louis, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Rosa Parks, Hank Aaron, Dr. Regina Benjamin, Dr. Ethel Hall, Judge Oscar Adams, Billie Jean Young, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This lesson was created to accompany the Alabama African American History Calendar Project.


Subject: Social Studies (11), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: The 1960s: A Time of Contrast, Change, and Controversy
Description: This lesson explores the 1960s and the contrasts, changes, and controversies that occurred during the period. The teacher will present an overview of the cultural and social aspects of the period. Students will choose a person, event, or area involved in the decade. Each student will research his/her topic and present the research in a brochure, flyer, newsletter, or powerpoint presentation using the appropriate technology.


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: History Explorer Podcast: Harlem Globetrotters and Early Professional Basketball      Add Bookmark
Description: In this episode of the History Explorer podcast series, curator Eric Jentsch discusses the history of the Harlem Globetrotters, an all-African American basketball team that barnstormed through segregated America to become the world's most recognizable sports team.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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: 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: 1970s-2000 Global Economy 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 a historical map and answer questions about them to learn more about global consumption, production, and transportation and the impact of globalization in their own communities. The activities provide opportunities for historical analysis, interpretation, evaluation, analyzing cause/effect relationships, understanding multiple points of view, performing original research, debating and persuasive writing will help students develop and strengthen map-reading skills and 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: 1950s and 1960s Suburban 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 a historical map and answer questions about them to learn more about the expansion of transportation systems and the impact on their own communities, city planning, the rise of suburban life, and culture in 1950s America. The activities 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 develop and strengthen map-reading skills, 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: Diner's Club Credit Card      Add Bookmark
Description: Diner's Club was one of the earliest issuers of credit cards beginning in 1950. The convenience and security they came to represent transformed payment methods and later blossomed into one of the primary mechanisms for purchasing goods and services for customers. They also became a device for tracking spending patterns for consumers interested in managing their personal finances. 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: Greensboro Lunch Counter      Add Bookmark
Description: On February 1, 1960, four African American college students--Ezell A. Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil, and David L. Richmond--sat down at this "whites only'' lunch counter at the Woolworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina, and politely asked for service. Their request was refused, and when asked to leave, the students remained in their seats in protest. Their peaceful sit-down was a watershed event in the struggle for civil rights and helped ignite a youth-led movement to challenge racial inequality throughout the South. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Health,Social Studies
Title: Polio, Families and Individuals      Add Bookmark
Description: Polio epidemics caused widespread panic in communities across the United States during the Twentieth Century. In this section of "Whatever Happened to Polio?'' , an online exhibition from the Smithsonian s National Museum of American History, students will learn about the fear aroused by polio, as well as its psychological effect on the families and individuals who suffered through long periods of forced separation and isolation during outbreaks.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Cesar Chavez's Union Jacket      Add Bookmark
Description: Cesar Chavez inspired a nation to seek justice for the poorest of America's laborers. A migrant worker since childhood, Cesar Chavez pledged his life to improving the lives of his fellow workers. It was not until Cesar Chavez began organizing the predominately Latino-Californian migrant farm workers in 1962 that the first effective farmers' union was established. 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: Social Studies
Title: Voting: Punch Card Democracy      Add Bookmark
Description: The impacts on voting due to social and technological advancements in the United States during the second half of the twentieth century are addressed in this section of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's online exhibition Vote: The Machinery of Democracy . Students will learn how reforms, such as the Voting Rights Act and the 26th Amendment, led to vote recording systems that could tap the processing power of computers. New technologies marketed to improve and accelerate the reporting of election results.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Educational Technology,Social Studies
Title: Revolution '67      Add Bookmark
Description: Revolution '67 is a documentaryaccount of events too often relegated to footnotes in U.S. history the black urban rebellions of the 1960s. Focusing on the six-day Newark, N.J., outbreak in mid-July, Revolution 67 reveals how the disturbances began as spontaneous revolts against poverty and police brutality and ended as fateful milestones in America's struggles over race and economic justice. Voices from across the spectrum activists Tom Hayden and Amiri Baraka, journalist Bob Herbert, Mayor Sharpe James, and other officials, National Guardsmen and Newark citizens recall lessons as hard-earned then as they have been easy to neglect since. Video clips and curriculum included.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts, Social Studies
Title: The Story Behind the Song: God Bless America      Add Bookmark
Description: In 1938, composer Irving Berlin dusted off an old piece of music to create a new national hit.
Thinkfinity Partner: ArtsEdge
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Three Mile Island: The Inside Story      Add Bookmark
Description: America's worst accident at a civilian nuclear power plant occurred on March 28, 1979. Unbeknown to anyone, half the fuel melted in one of two nuclear reactors on Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pa. Large quantities of radioactivity leaked from the reactor, but most of it was contained. This online exhibition, from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, provides information about the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, the course of the accident there and the steps-extending over almost 15 years-through which the nature and extent of the damage were gradually revealed. 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: Photographing History: Fred J. Maroon and the Nixon Years, 1970-1974      Add Bookmark
Description: The images included in this online resource from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History offer a powerful record of an unsettling time in American History. Photographer Fred Maroon was granted unusual access to the Nixon White House to document the 1970 reelection campaign as well as the major events of the Watergate controversy. Students will learn about Nixon's presidency as well as the importance of photojournalism through the use of behind-the-scenes photographs and oral history interviews with Fred Maroon. A timeline of events covering the years 1968-1974 is also included.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964      Add Bookmark
Description: In 1942, facing labor shortages caused by World War II, the United States initiated a series of agreements with Mexico to recruit Mexican men to work on U.S. farms and railroads. These agreements became known as the bracero program. Presented in English and Spanish, this online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, will help students learn about a little-known chapter of American history in which an estimated two million Mexican men came to the United States on short-term labor contracts. The experiences of these men are brought to life through photographs and quotes from oral history interviews.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: America on the Move Exhibition - Section 10: The People's Highway      Add Bookmark
Description: In this online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will examine the impact of highways on American life in the 1920s and 1930s.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: America on the Move Collection Object Search      Add Bookmark
Description: The National Museum of American History's online transportation collection includes more than a thousand artifacts and photographs. Browse the collection by selecting multiple categories, eras, and regions.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 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
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