ALEX Lesson Plan Resources

ALEX Lesson Plans  
Subject: Literacy Standards (6-12) (6 - 8), or Social Studies (6)
Title: Remembering James Reese Europe: Leader in Battle and Music
Description: James Reese Europe was an "accomplished orchestra conductor, bandleader, and composer of popular songs, marches and dance music during the early twentieth century...Europe was an effective champion of African-American musical performers and composers and helped to gain acceptance for them in the United States and abroad." Born in Mobile, Alabama, Europe accomplished much in his brief lifetime and deserves a place in every study of World War I. Students will annotate a biography of James Reese Europe and analyze two photographs of the orchestra Reese led across France. Students will view a documentary film of Europe and his "Hellfighter" orchestra as they fought, performed, and received medals for their efforts during the war. As a culminating activity on the second day, students will write a eulogy for Europe detailing his role as a leader in Jazz and as an African American officer.   This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.


Subject: Literacy Standards (6-12) (6 - 8), or Social Studies (6)
Title: Reading Can Save a Soldier
Description: At the turn of the 20th century, illiteracy was common across the United States. Percentages ranged from 10-30%, depending on location. Rural Alabama suffered from a high illiteracy rate. During this lesson, students will read and analyze primary documents that focus on the importance of literacy for Alabamian soldiers - LIT2010 (6-8)(2 & 7). Students will create a propaganda poster that asks citizens to do their part [SS2010 (6)(3)] in changing the culture of Alabama illiteracy and for teaching  Alabama soldiers that literacy is a powerful weapon [SS2010 (6)(1)]. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6)
Title: The Flu Affects All Walks of Life in Alabama
Description: This lesson will include a study of several primary sources that detail the 1918 flu epidemic and how it affected a variety of people in Alabama (ELA2015(6)32). Students will work in small groups to study different primary sources and will complete graphic organizers specific to the type of primary source. Groups will then share their information with the class and discuss how the flu affected different populations of Alabama. The focus and outcomes of this lesson will meet the Social Studies standard (SS2010(6)) by allowing the students to describe civilian roles during WWI and recognizing the military bases in Alabama. This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.


Subject: Social Studies (4 - 6)
Title: Dear Father: A College Student’s Perspective on WWI
Description: This lesson will introduce students to an Alabama connection to World War I. The primary document that will be used is a letter to a father from a University of Alabama student, written on March 2, 1917, exactly one month before the United States declared war on Germany. The student discusses typical family topics before ending with his concerns about the possibility of war. 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 Roberts (Cohort 1: 2009-2010) Hampton Road Middle School; Huntsville City School System; Huntsville, AL