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As a teacher, you don’t get a lot of free time, despite finishing your work day at 3:30 and having summers off. There’s always something else to do — assignments to grade, activities to create, paperwork to file, and lesson plans to prepare. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
The best way to earn back some much-needed rest and relaxation is by using premade lessons created by credible institutions and educators. These often have all the resources you need to deliver a great lesson with less prep work.
However, these resources can get expensive, especially when your teacher’s salary already feels stretched too thin. To help you regain your time and save your wallet, we’ve rounded up some of the best sources with free lesson plans for teachers.
Share My Lesson is an excellent resource for any educator, with lessons available for toddlers through higher education. Established in 2012 by the American Federation of Teachers, it recently reached 2 million subscribers and 15 million downloads from its library of over 420,000 resources. You can search by grade level, content area, or keyword to narrow down your results.
When you need fun and engaging English language arts content, this is your go-to website created by educators for educators. The website is easy to navigate, with a sidebar filter to search by grade level, learning objectives, and topics. You can also access mini-lessons, lessons, or even complete units of study.
National Geographic has a plethora of lessons on geography and ecosystems. These units are highly interactive, with maps, articles, videos, and hands-on activities you can spend a couple of classes on or a full week. Additionally, it breaks lessons up by topic and ideas for students of different abilities or grade levels.
EDSITEment is a free website created by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Trust for the Humanities. Every lesson and resource listed on the site has been reviewed by professionals in the humanities and deemed appropriate for school-age students and instruction. They currently have 555 lessons for grades K-12, with a filter option to view topics in the sidebar.
NCTM Illuminations has a wealth of free lesson plans for teachers specifically targeted at math education. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics maintains the website and its content, which is aligned with their standards as well as the state Common Core. You’ll find over 700 lessons and 50 activities across all grade levels to share with your students and get them excited to learn.
The brainchild of Stanford University faculty, doctoral students, and visiting scholars, this website is a wealth of knowledge for any history classroom. Teach your students how to examine primary sources to gather facts and form opinions in the “Read Like a Historian Lessons.” These lessons cover all of American history and many topics in world history as well.
Additionally, a free online curriculum called “Civic Online Reasoning” can assist you in teaching students how to analyze what they read online and determine if it’s factual or not.
Common Sense Media created a free online curriculum on digital citizenship. With the help of these lessons, you can teach students the essential skills of internet safety and information validation. Over 1.1 million teachers currently use the curriculum, and over 70% of schools in the nation have adopted it. You’ll find videos, activities, and a lesson plan for each topic. No matter the grade level you teach, you’ll discover practical resources and lessons for every grade K-12.
Take Advantage of Free Lesson Plans for Teachers
Save your money and rely instead on free lesson plans for teachers. The internet is a wealth of resources if you know where to look. Any of these options will offer you the materials you need to pull off a great lesson. Find several you like and tuck them away for a rainy day. Then you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way, like an extended illness or a fun activity for your rowdy class the day before a school break.