ALEX Lesson Plan Resources

ALEX Lesson Plans  
Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4)
Title: Fascinating Fossils
Description: Students will explore how changes in rocks and land formations over time explain the large number of aquatic fossils that can be found across the state of Alabama. They will model volcanic eruptions and fossil formation through a hands-on activity using baking soda, vinegar, and playdough.  Then they will read a news article to determine that Alabama was underwater at one time, which explains how aquatic fossils are found across the state.  Finally, they will write and illustrate an explanation that shows how layers and fossils found in rock are evidence that these rocks changed over time. This lesson results from the ALEX Resource Gap Project.


Subject: English Language Arts (4)
Title: Five Paragraph Expository Essay: What was the Social, Political, and Economic Impact of the Great Depression on the Lives of Alabamians?
Description: Students will work in collaborative groups to analyze and interpret research information from their previous reading assignment on the social, political, and economic impact of the Great Depression on the lives of Alabamians. Next, students will use a graphic organizer to collect information needed to develop and write a five paragraph expository essay on the social, political, and economic impact of the Great Depression on the lives of Alabamians. Finally, students will present their expository essay to the class. This unit was created as part of the ALEX Interdisciplinary Resource Development Summit.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4)
Title: Slavery: The Act of Buying, Selling, and Gifting Humans
Description: Through this lesson, students will explore primary sources related to the buying and selling of human beings for the purpose of slavery. Students will analyze receipts from stores and discuss what they demonstrate about modern society.  Students will then analyze the language and iconography used in bills of sale pertaining to the buying and selling of slaves in the 19th century. The students will write a paragraph to compare and contrast the items from both eras. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4)
Title: We, the People...
Description: In 1819 the Constitutional Convention met in Huntsville, Alabama in order to write our state's constitution. In this lesson, students will learn what a preamble is, as well as, read both the United States' Preamble to the Constitution and the preamble to Alabama's Constitution. Students will examine similarities between both preambles and discuss possible reasons for such similarities. Fifth-grade teachers could also utilize this lesson to examine and compare both preambles and their purposes.  This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or Science (4)
Title: Greeting Card Dissection
Description: Engage students in testing their knowledge of circuits in this delightful dissection. Students will apply science practices and content knowledge while conducting hands-on and digital/print research and writing. The actual "dissection" does not take very long, but the writing components can be extended if desired.  This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.


Subject: Digital Literacy and Computer Science (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4)
Title: Alabama Biographies of the 20th Century
Description: In this lesson, students will recognize and examine the lives of Alabamians who have impacted the lives of others and the history of the state with their notable contributions during the first half and last half of the twentieth century. This interdisciplinary lesson relates social studies, language arts and reading. Through this inquiry study, students will choose one of the famous Alabamians, research the person's contributions, write a short biographical summary, and as an extension, create a 3-D scan picture relating to the life and times of the individual.