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Lesson Plans (25) A detailed description of the instruction for teaching one or more concepts or skills. Unit Plans (1)
Learning Activities (5)


ALEX Lesson Plans  
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Subject: English Language Arts (4)
Title: Save the Elephants
Description: The students will evaluate the threat to elephants due to the illegal ivory trade. They will read an article, watch a video, and create a public service announcement to help end the threat to elephants. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (4)
Title: Alabama's Five Capitals and First Governors
Description: Students will research the five sites of Alabama's capital and the first governors of the state. They will create a presentation including the physical location of each site and the political and geographic reasons the site was chosen and abandoned, if applicable. The presentation will also include information about the (or a) governor that served while the capital was at the specific location they are researching.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4)
Title: It Happened to Me: Eruption of Mount St. Helens
Description: During this lesson, students navigate different websites to become familiar with volcanoes. Students then describe a volcanic eruption by creating their own stories about what it was like during the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.


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Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 8)
Title: Lou Gehrig and Character Education
Description: After reading book or short story about Lou Gehrig, students conduct online research to learn more about him. Using the material they gather about his life and character, students create a flyer/poster. Students then participate in a virtual field trip from the Baseball Hall of Fame entitled "Lou Gehrig: The Iron Horse."


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Using Vivid Adjectives
Description: This upper elementary lesson focuses on the use of vivid adjectives to enhance student writing. Students will explore vivid adjectives in a variety of activities including thesaurus use and story development software.


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Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Creating State Brochures
Description: Students will work in pairs to research online and/or in print a chosen state and create a travel brochure incorporating the information gathered.


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Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Producing Multimedia Products in Grades 3-5
Description: In this lesson, students, working individually or in groups, will combine two or more media elements to produce projects or presentations. Various elements the teacher and students will consider using are; text, digital cameras, scanners, sound, and video.


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Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: How a Bill Becomes a Law
Description: This lesson will focus on how bills become laws. This interdisciplinary lesson combines social studies, language arts and reading skills and concepts. Students will research the topic through the Internet and other digital resources and then present information gathered orally and visually.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans  
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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Alaska Native Stories: Using Narrative to Introduce Expository Text     
Description: Tradition and technology come together in this lesson in which students learn about Alaskan animals through Native American tales and their own online research.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Demonstrating Comprehension Through Journal Writing     
Description: Students demonstrate comprehension by responding to open-ended questions based on the Newbery Honor book Mr. Popper's Penguins, and then draw from the text and their personal experiences to create journals.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Webcams in the Classroom: Animal Inquiry and Observation     
Description: Students observe animals using one of the many webcams broadcasting from zoos and aquariums around the United States and the world, with a focus on observation, discussion, questioning, and research.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts,Mathematics
Title: A Tale of Two Stories     
Description: This unit of two lessons, from Illuminations, focuses on on developing the process of classification, especially an awareness of similarities and differences. The activities use The Three Little Pigs and Cinderella to motivate students to think and reason mathematically.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts,Mathematics
Title: Pigging Out     
Description: This lesson plan, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, is inspired by children s natural curiosity about fantasy and fairy tales and focuses on the process of classification, especially an awareness of similarities and differences. The activity uses The Three Little Pigs to motivate students to think and reason mathematically.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Research Building Blocks: Organize This!      
Description: In this minilesson, students organize information they compile while doing research for a written report on a selected topic.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Q is for Duck: Using Alphabet Books With Struggling Writers     
Description: A is for zoo? Q is for duck? The alphabet as students know it is transformed when students create a class book that contains clever associations for each letter of the alphabet.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Research Building Blocks: Notes, Quotes, and Fact Fragments     
Description: Students are guided through the process of taking notes while reading factual information, then turning those notes into new sentences and paragraphs written in their own words.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Acquiring New Vocabulary Through Book Discussion Groups     
Description: This lesson employs direct instruction and small-group discussion to help students learn new vocabulary skills while reading Patricia Polacco's Pink and Say.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Science Texts to Teach the Organizational Features of Nonfiction     
Description: Students explore organizational features of nonfiction science. Students then work together to create a two-page spread using those features to present information about their local environment.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Vote for Me! Developing, Writing, and Evaluating Persuasive Speeches     
Description: This lesson encourages students in grades 4 and 5 to think critically and write persuasively by focusing on preparing, presenting, and evaluating mock campaign speeches.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Slave Narratives: Constructing U.S. History Through Analyzing Primary Sources     
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students research narratives from the Federal Writers Project and describe the lives of former African slaves in the U.S., both before and after Emancipation. From varied stories, students sample the breadth of individual experiences, make generalizations about the effects of slavery and Reconstruction on African Americans, and evaluate primary source documents.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts - Journalism - Social Studies - Comparative Political Systems - Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - World History
Title: Submarines: The Journey of K-19     
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students study the ill-fated first mission of K-19, the Soviet Union's first nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine. Students learn about the Cold War and locate the key points of K-19's journey on a map. They consider the actions of crew members who risked their lives so that others might survive and contemplate the reasons why the story was kept secret until the end of the Cold War. Students conclude by writing a newspaper article about the accident at sea.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Exploring World Cultures Through Folk Tales     
Description: Journey around the world with students as they read a Japanese, African, or Welsh folk tale, create a visual depiction of the tale, research the tale's culture, and present findings.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Historical Fiction to Learn About the Civil War     
Description: Students in grades 4 and 5 discuss inferential comprehension and visualization as they use a think-aloud questioning strategy to develop a deeper understanding of a historical novel.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Science
Title: 'Leap, plashless'': Emily Dickinson and Poetic Imagination     
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students read and explore one of Emily Dickinson's nature poems, A Bird came down the Walk--through interaction with other art forms. First, they listen to clips of a hymn to help them hear Dickinson's meter. Then, they view 19th-century bird images and describe what they see, just as a poet would. They observe how a poet plays with language and imagery to create a scene by acting out verse lines. Finally, they write a brief poem of their own, using what they have learned and their own observations.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Literature as a Jumping Off Point for Nonfiction Inquiry     
Description: Students use text sets to research a topic inspired by a fiction book they have read. A text set is a collection of multiple text genres with a single focus.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



ALEX Learning Activities  
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Title: Digital Breakout Safari for Grades 3-5
Digital Tool: Google Sites/ Digital Breakout Edu
Digital Tool Description: This Digital Breakout is a perfect way to enhance a unit of study with animals standards for grades 3-5. It can be used before or after a unit a study or field trip to the Birmingham Zoo. Students will work creatively and collaboratively to solve academic puzzles to unlock an answer. Academic puzzles are centered around a variety of Course of Study standards that engage students through the Breakout process. This activity can be done as a whole group for students that are not familiar with the Digital Breakout process. This activity can be done in small groups grades 2-5 in small groups for students that are familiar with the Digital Breakout process.   This Learning Activity was created in partnership with the Birmingham Zoo. 

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Title: Setting the Stage
Digital Tool: Spiderscribe.net
Digital Tool Description: SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool. It lets you organize your ideas by connecting notes, files, calendar events, etc. in free-form maps. You can collaborate and share those maps online.

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Title: Birmingham was Bombed
Digital Tool: Wonderopolis- Write a TV Script
Digital Tool Description: Wonderopolis is a tool for engaging students using wonder about the world around them. Daily "wonders" create exploratory learning. The "How Do You Write a TV Script" wonder will be used to help students as they prepare to write their own mock newscast based on the event of the Birmingham Sixteenth Street Church bombing in 1963, as read about in the novel by Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons go to Birmingham, 1963. After reading the novel and exploring information about life in the 1960s, students will imagine what a news report from that day would have looked like. They will view this resource to understand the important components of a script before getting into small groups to write their own newscasts. The teacher will combine the scripts and students will create a short film either independently or with teacher assistance and present their newscast during Black History Month. 

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Title: Who's who in Alabama history?
Digital Tool: BioCube graphic organizer
Digital Tool Description: The BioCube graphic organizer contains questions that can be used to guide students as they research information about influential Alabamians.

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Title: Penguin Dialogue: Learning to Use Dialogue Tags
Digital Tool: Penguin Dialogue Video
Digital Tool Description: The Read Write Think Lesson could be used to teach the concepts of dialogue tags. There is a dialogue tag interactive that helps explain the concepts. The penguin video could be used as an extension to this lesson or help teach a collaborative lesson on dialogue tags. Students could pair up and watch the video without the sound. Instruct students to imagine what the penguins are saying to each other. Then turn the sound up and play the video. Ask students, "Did you predict what the penguins were saying to each other?" As a class activity on a board, have the students help find and write the dialogue using dialogue tags. (Examples include Sally shouted, Sue cried, etc.) Students could then pair up or get in groups of four to write a script and record a new movie using the penguins clip.


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Thinkfinity Learning Activities  
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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Find favorite book picks in the Children's Choices.     
Description: Students create lists of their favorite books and then the class creates a '' Top Picks'' class booklist. Students can use the Book Cover Creator to create a book jacket for their favorite book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6