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Arizona Experience Store

Lesson Plan Contest—Imagine Arizona

Congratulations, Winners!

The Arizona Experience Teachers’ Center challenged teachers to build and share lesson plans as part of our Imagine Arizona Lesson Plan Contest.

The contest objective is to construct a multi-day lesson plan unit that incorporates content from The Arizona Experience multimedia materials and accommodate state education standards in two content areas and result in a lesson plan unit deployed in the classroom over three to seven days.

The Arizona Experience is proud to announce six winning entries. Congratulations to the individuals and teams who created these dynamic original lesson plans. We are so proud to see Arizona Experience material put to great use.

Niki Tilicki (left, in orange), Lisa Boyer (right, in white) and their class.First Prize

Team Entry: Protecting, Preserving and Promoting Arizona's Precious Resources

Created by: Lisa Boyer and Nicki Tilicki

Grade Level: 4

Our unit focuses on discovering the renewable and nonrenewable resources found in our great state of Arizona. The growing population has taken a toll on our non-renewable resources. Arizona has a wealth of renewable resources that we must begin to take advantage of so that we can continue to thrive as a state.

Our lesson was taught to two classes over a seven day period. Students were very engaged and hadn’t heard of more than solar energy. While they see hydro and wind power around the state, students didn’t know what it was really used for. The most profound outcome of our lesson was the fact that students felt empowered to change the way we power our state, making Arizona better than great!

Lesson Plan Coming Soon!

Kristie KayIndividual Entry: Native American Culture

Created by: Kristie Kay

Grade Level: 6

With Arizona having the second largest Native American population in the United States, I believe that it is extremely important to inform today’s youth of the fascinating history of Arizona’s Native American tribes.  In this era of digital media, it is essential to bring the technology available on The Arizona Experience into the classroom, and I was able to do just that.My unit plan was extremely effective in the classroom because it created an engaging and interactive learning experience.  My unit plan is cross-curricular as it incorporates Social Studies, Reading, Writing, and Art.  It can be used at any school throughout the state of Arizona.  This unit plan was designed for sixth graders, but can easily be adapted for both the elementary or secondary levels.

 Lesson Plan Coming Soon!

Second Prize

Team Entry: Solar EnergyShannon Wold (left) and Karen Brown

Created by: Karen Brown and Shannon Wold

Grade Level: 9

The use of renewable energy in Arizona is paramount to a sustainable future. Students will conduct research on the Internet and make presentations regarding their findings, using technology to prepare their audio-visual materials.

Individual Entry: Exploring the Diversity of Arizona Land and Wildlife

Marty NolandCreated by: Marty Noland

Grade Level: 4

Each school hear, I attempt to teach diversity to my students in order to acquaint them with the differences within our classroom and each other. Using the content areas of Geography, Reading, and Writing, I attempted to introduce diversity through classroom text. I constantly look for ways to connect literature with core content subjects. Finding the Arizona Experience website was extremely helpful in building this lesson. The amount of resources contained underneath the tabs was a bit mind boggling, but navigating to the maps and topics was fairly pain free. Using the literature story by Brooke Bessesen and the website created, in my opinion, a strong, creative learning experience for the students that incorporated more than just map skills. I believe the students found maps a bit more engaging than before and understood more clearly the idea of diversity among themselves. 

Third Prize

Team Entry: Reinventing the Five Cs of ArizonaErika Rutz and Tonya Rauch

Created by: Erika Rutz and Tonya Rauch

Grade Level: 4

This seven-day lesson plan has students research the 5C’s of Arizona, as taught throughout the elementary years, and “reinvent” these concepts in a 21st century world. Cotton, cattle, copper, citrus and climate are still very important to our state, as demonstrated by the Arizona Experience website.  However, their importance is different in our new, modern world. We will focus on language arts and social studies Arizona education standards but the project can easily be adapted for grade and content area. Our incorporation of technology is a unique aspect of our project.

Individual Entry: Arizona Stands For

Created by: Ramon Gutierrez

Grade Level: Special Education Department (Self-Contained Classroom)

The lesson plan focuses in the concept of listening. It is designed for students in a self-contained classroom. Students will listen the texts. They also will listen stories and videos from the Arizona Experience website. Students will be asses by answering questions to verify understanding.Students enjoyed the videos and stories. They interact actively during the development of the lesson, and they mastered the listening goals.

About the Contest


The contest is open to full-time Arizona teachers of grades 4 through 12 at any accredited public, private, charter, alternative, or tribal school.

Entries will be judged in two categories: individual teachers and teacher teams. Lesson plans can pertain to any subject approved by the Arizona Board of Education. Entries are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

Contest Objectives

The contest objective is to construct a multi-day lesson plan unit that incorporates content from The Arizona Experience. 

Material developed for the contest should accommodate state education standards, include two content areas (e.g., English language arts and biology), and result in a lesson plan unit deployed in the classroom over three to seven days. Teams are urged to adopt a cross-disciplinary approach leading to a broader, multi-dimensional lesson plan

Subject matter is solely at the discretion of the teacher but is expected to conform to state education standards.

View the Sample Lesson Plan for a rough idea of what you can do.

Getting Started

The best place to find educational material is right here at the Teachers' Center. The Student Resources page provides a handy list of our top educational pages. But we offer more than that! Look around the site and determine the material that works for YOU! There are no restrictions on the maps, images, videos, or articles on the site that can be used to build your lesson plan.

Use of outside resources, including citizen science data or building on state or national events such as the Arizona Science Technology Festival, is encouraged. You can also find a list of lesson plan ideas and activities on the Teacher Resources page.

Participants can choose from any of the hundreds of The Arizona Experience images, videos, interviews, interactive maps, historic time lines, and oral histories to use individually or in juxtaposition. Ideally, contestants will use data visualization software such as Microsoft Research’s Layerscape (Worldwide Telescope) to add visualization or maps to the learning unit.

Entry Requirements

Each entry should include a one-page description of subject, content matter, and how The Arizona Experience content was incorporated. Lesson plans should strive to present an engaging and interactive learning experience that involves students in creative and analytical thinking through inquiry, investigation, and exploration of content.

Lesson plans must be classroom-tested prior to submission to the contest. Only one entry per teacher is permitted, either individually or as a team.

Download Entry form.

Each entry should include the following:

  • Name of teacher(s)
  • School(s)/Department(s)
  • Project title
  • Grade level(s)
  • Subjects
  • Statement of the objective, scope and strengths of the proposed lesson plan
  • Statement of how and which Arizona Experience content is incorporated into the lesson plan
  • Reflection paragraph about the effectiveness of the lesson in your classroom.
  • Detailed description of the lesson plan
    • Lesson description—describe the objective(s) and procedure to accomplish the objective(s)
    • Content standards—note which of Arizona state standards are addressed in the lesson plan
    • Concepts—identify the concepts engaged by the lesson plan
    • Objectives—student-oriented, observable, measurable and descriptive of a learning outcome
    • Materials—worksheets, student activity forms, assignments, assessment tool(s), and other materials used in the lesson plan
    • Time—In-class time required to complete the lesson

Nominations must be received by 5:00 pm on Sunday, March 10, 2013. The entry must comply with the guidelines outlined on the application form. The Imagine Arizona Selection Committee reserves the right to disqualify entries that do not comply with the guidelines.

Judging Criteria

Entries will be judged by a Selection Committee including Arizona Experience team members and individuals from the education community. Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • 25 points—Incorporating The Arizona Experience materials (e.g., publications, Web site, multimedia resources, etc.)
  • 15 points—Arizona standard-based education approach
  • 15 points—Evidence of exemplary teaching methods and effectiveness
  • 15 points—Lesson originality and creativity
  • 15 points—Ease of replication or adaptation (across curriculum, age groups, and schools)
  • All decisions of the Selection Committee are final and are not subject to appeal.

Prize Details

Cash prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize in both the individual and team category and for honorable mention(s).

This contest appears on GetEdFunding.com, a free site that lists funding opportunities for educators in Arizona.

Individual Category   Team Category
(2 or more individuals)
First Prize $3,000 First Prize $6,000
Second Prize $1,500 Second Prize $4,500
Third Prize $1,000 Third Prize $2,000
Honorable Mention $250    

Conditions and Limitations

  • The Arizona Experience is not responsible for lost, late, or misdirected entries, including problems arising from network failure
  • Participants retain copyright ownership of submitted lesson plans; however, as a condition of this contest, participants must agree to release the material according to the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. (This allows submissions to be revised and republished while acknowledging the original author(s).)
  • Awardees grant The Arizona Experience the right to publicize and broadcast their name, voice, and likeness, the fact that they won, and all matters incidental thereto.
  • An entrant is not a winner unless and until entrant’s eligibility has been verified and entrant has been notified that verification is complete. In the event that a winner is determined to be ineligible, his or her prize will be forfeited and The Arizona Experience reserves the right to select an alternate winner from among remaining eligible entries.

Site Background

Conceived to commemorate one hundred years of statehood, it celebrates Arizona’s past, present, and future. Students, residents, and tourists will find compelling stories and practical information presented with the latest technology and web applications. Learn more about the Arizona Experience.

Biotic Communities and Physiographic Regions

The Arizona Experience team includes experienced digital cartographers, information specialists, and meticulous researchers. Scientists and computer programmers in The Arizona Experience content management team offer expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methods. These skills have guided evaluation of content from hundreds of entities and presentation of information to create an original narrative about Arizona’s land, people, institutions, companies, and agencies.

Whether the topic is mining, agriculture, biosciences, renewable energy, space exploration, high technology or preparing the twenty-first century workforce, Arizonans are working to sustain and improve the state, its resources, and its quality of life for future generations. Engaged and tech savvy students will make this future possible.