ALEX Resources

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Lesson Plans (11) A detailed description of the instruction for teaching one or more concepts or skills. Multimedia (2) A program (audio or video) made available in digital format for playback or download over the Internet. Informational Materials (17) Textual information containing useful facts or information.
Interactives/Games (4) A learning object that requires a user's involvement.


ALEX Lesson Plans  
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Subject: Social Studies (11)
Title: Cells for Sale – Convict Leasing in Alabama
Description: Students will examine Alabama’s past practice of convict leasing, discussing the parties in favor of and against the work process. Students will analyze a persuasive pamphlet urging the end of convict leasing. This lesson was created as a part of the Alabama History Education Initiative, funded by a generous grant from the Malone Family Foundation in 2009. Author Information: April Miller (Cohort 1: 2009-2010) Jefferson County IB –Shades Valley High School; Jefferson County School System; Irondale, AL


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Subject: Social Studies (11)
Title: Alabama’s New South Era
Description: This lesson uses PowerPoint, multimedia resources, and primary sources (photographs and readings) to investigate the development of industry (mining, iron and steel, and textile manufacturing) in Alabama in the late 1800s. It is a companion lesson to the September lesson, “Alabama Tenant Farmers and Sharecroppers.” This lesson was created as a part of the Alabama History Education Initiative, funded by a generous grant from the Malone Family Foundation in 2009. Author Information: Vickie Looser (Cohort 1: 2009-2010); Lanett High School; Lanett City School System; Lanett, AL


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Subject: Social Studies (6 - 11)
Title: A Lifetime of Responsibilities: Child Labor in Alabama
Description: At the turn of the century, many children had to go to work to help pay the bills and feed the family. Were these children working legally? Were they fairly paid? Were they losing their childhoods? For this lesson, students will read part of a report written by the National Child Labor Committee in 1918 about the problems of monitoring and regulating child labor in the Alabama. In this excerpt, findings concerning children who were working in Birmingham, Mobile, and Montgomery were presented. The students will be asked to respond to their reading by writing an appropriate editorial to a newspaper about the problems of child labor at the turn of the century. This lesson was created as a part of the Alabama History Education Initiative, funded by a generous grant from the Malone Family Foundation in 2009. Author Information: Dr. Lesa H. Roberts (Cohort 1: 2009-2010) Hampton Cove Middle School; Huntsville City Schools; Huntsville, AL


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Subject: Social Studies (11)
Title: Gilded Age Dinner Party
Description: In this lesson, students will hold a Gilded Age dinner party for Jane Addams, Andrew Carnegie, Eugene V. Debs, J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Ida M. Tarbell, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Booker T. Washington. Students will read about these guests and take notes on their similarities using Venn diagrams. Finally, students will analyze their Venn diagrams to decide where to seat their guests.


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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.


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Subject: English Language Arts (11), or Social Studies (10 - 11), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: The Challenges and New Inventions of the Great Plains Farmer.
Description: Students will work in groups of four to create presentations using their research on a particular farming invention that was created from (1837-1867) and also research specific elements about life on the Great Plains. Each group's presentation will be merged into a final class presentation.


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Subject: Social Studies (11)
Title: Experiencing Ellis Island - An Interactive Immigration Project
Description: Make Ellis Island come alive for U.S. history students by processing younger students in a recreation of the immigration center. Recreate the uncertainty, fear, and confusion many immigrants experienced by arranging a variety of stations in a large open space.  Then open Ellis Island to visitors and allow time for reflection and discussion after all immigrants have been processed.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans  
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Subject: Science, Social Studies
Title: Immigration     
Description: In this lesson, students will explore some of the effects that immigration in the United States has had on immigrants and American society as a whole.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: United States Entry into World War I: Some Hypotheses About U.S. Entry     
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students explain what the most compelling reasons were for the U.S. to enter World War I. Students create a hypothetical justification for U.S. involvement in World War I, supported by specific evidence.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: History Now     
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



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Subject: Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - World History
Title: Migration Station: Should We Stay or Should We Go?     
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students take a virtual visit via the Migration Station, part of National Geographic's Xpedition Hall, to European countries that have been impacted by immigration or emigration. Students write and perform scenes in which a family member must convince others that it is time to migrate.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Thinkfinity Multimedia  
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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Transportation History Videos     
Description: Three short videos provide an overview of American transportation history in three different 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



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Transportation Infrastructure Videos     
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



Thinkfinity Informational Materials
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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Toy Fire Engine     
Description: Cast-iron toys are essentially American. Small foundries and factories were mass-producing them towards the close of the 19th century. These toys were sold in novelty stores, department stores, or mail order catalogs. One can follow along with shifts in technology by recognizing the changes in the different models of Sears toys...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Sheet Music-"The Battle of the Sewing Machines"     
Description: The Battle of the Sewing Machines" was composed and arranged by F. Hyde for the piano, and was published in 1874 by Wm. A. Pond Co. of 547 Broadway, N.Y., N.Y. The lithograph by R. Teller of 120 Wooster St., N.Y., N.Y., illustrates a "battle" of sewing machines. The Remington "army" is marching towards the fleeing Singer, Howe, Succor, Weed, and Willcox Gibbs sewing machines. The soldiers are riding the Remington treadle machines like horses and are carrying Remington rifles. The Remington No. 2 sewing machine had just come out to market in June 1874. The family treadle machine with a drop-leaf table and two drawers would have cost $75.00.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Making Sense of "Failed" Car Technology     
Description: Students can learn about the history of experimentation and innovation in the design of steam-powered, internal-combustion, electric, and solar-powered automobiles. This reference page 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



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: 1880s Agricultural Nation Classroom Activity Guide     
Description: In this set of 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 to answer questions about farming, transportation, immigration, and racism in the 1880s, and will answer questions about the history and impact of railroads on 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 and help students develop and strengthen map-reading skills and the ability to 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



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Subject: Arts,Cross-Disciplinary,Social Studies
Title: The Chicago Fire of 1871 and the 'Great Rebuilding'     
Description: Article. Article on the 140th anniversary of the Chicago Fire focusing on city planning and the '' Great Rebuilding.''
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: C1,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Lighting a Revolution     
Description: In this online resource from the Smithsonian students will explore the process of invention and compare Thomas Edison's well-known work on the electric light bulb a century ago with several modern lighting inventions. They will look at the process of innovation as a sequence of five steps: preconditions, invention, promotion, competition and consequences. A guest lounge and library include 2 photo galleries, scripts and curator notes for the exhibition, a mystery object, technical reference and historical overviews.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Transportation in America Classroom Activity Guide     
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



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution: Immigration     
Description: Students will learn about the experience of Issei, the first generation of Japanese immigrants to the United States, through the use of artifacts from the Museum's collections, primary source documents, photographs, and oral histories. This section of the http://americanhistory.si.edu/perfectunion/experience/" A More Perfect Union , an online exhibition, discusses how Japanese Immigrants to Hawaii and mainland United States faced severe racial prejudice and the restrictive laws that specifically limited the rights of Asian immigrants to own property and to become citizens. Oral history transcripts are available in the subsections http://americanhistory.si.edu/perfectunion/non-flash/immigration_issei.html" Issei: First Generation and http://americanhistory.si.edu/perfectunion/non-flash/immigration_mainland.html" U.S. Mainland .
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: History Now     
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



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: At Home in the Heartland Online     
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



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: FDR and Polio     
Description: When Franklin Roosevelt contracted polio in 1921, at age thirty-nine, it inspired his interest in medical philanthropy. Students will learn about his efforts in the fight against polio including the founding of the Warm Springs Foundation in Warm Springs, Georgia and the Birthday Ball fundraisers that later became the March of Dimes philanthropy. FDR and Polio is part of the online exhibition, http://americanhistory.si.edu/polio/" Whatever Happened to Polio?
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: America on the Move Exhibition - Section 5: People on the Move     
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



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Subject: Social Studies,Geography
Title: Women of the West Museum     
Description: Online exhibits about the experiences of women in the American west.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: C1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Teatro Campesino Poster     
Description: The Teatro Campesino was founded by Luis Valdez in 1965 to energize the political message of the United Farmer Workers of America using song, music, and drama. Modern, bicultural, and socially aware, the street theater of the Teatro Campesino is a touchstone of Chicano art. At first taking their performances to the fields, Teatro Campesino actors and writers used the language and stories of working men and women to advance the civil rights of Mexican Americans and to celebrate and reengage with their history and popular traditions. Like many Chicano art forms...
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: West Virginia Encyclopedia (The)     
Description: This collection of free, authoritative source information about the history, politics, geography, and culture of the state of West Virginia is updated regularly to ensure that its contents are 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: C1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Adam Stephen's Waistcoat and Gorget     
Description: Uniform waistcoat worn by Lieutenant Colonel Adam Stephen during the French and Indian War. Stephen was George Washington's second-in-command of the Virginia Regiment. A gorget is part of the full dress uniform. It is a vestige of plate armor, symbolizing rank and authority. National Museum of American History
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: American Masters     
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



Thinkfinity Interactive Games
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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Creating Stories Activity Kit     
Description: In this activity kit, students will use primary and secondary sources, and conduct oral history interviews to construct a family immigration or migration story. The kit contains step-by-step instructions, sample interview questions, and research guidance. The kit can be used in conjunction with a 28 minute streaming video called http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthemove/learning/AOTM_education_2.wvx" Creating Stories: America on the Move Electronic Field Part 2 . It is included in 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



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: Cuban Missile Crisis     
Description: In this lesson plan 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. style="mso-spacerun: yes;" 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



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: The Feather Trade and the American Conservation Movement     
Description: The 19th-century vogue for feathers as fashion adornments threatened many bird species with extinction, and socially prominent Bostonians began a campaign for tough new laws to preserve the nation's wildlife. Through this online resource, from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, students will learn how the popularity of birds and their feathers as fashion accessories led to the creation of conservation societies, such as the Audobon society, as well as the passage of laws intended to prevent certain species of birds from extinction due to the tastes of America's upper class.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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Subject: Social Studies
Title: History Now     
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