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Best Lesson Plan Websites - Teachers, Free Lesson Plans

Updated on August 10, 2017
EdTecher profile image

Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and former teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.

Teacher Dianne Swanson and 2nd graders, courtesy of Western Growers Charitable Foundation,  CC
Teacher Dianne Swanson and 2nd graders, courtesy of Western Growers Charitable Foundation, CC | Source

Free Websites for Lesson Planning, Activities and Projects for Teachers

These 12 websites offer an incredible array of free lesson plans, unit plans and guided, project-based learning plans for elementary, middle and high school students. Be sure to take advantage of these well-organized lesson resources for both classroom teachers and homeschooling parents in all subjects!

You'll find much more here than planning ideas. Many of these sites are rich in primary sources, online interactives, graphic organizers, worksheets and assessments.

Source

HotChalk Lesson Plans

HotChalk's Lesson Plan page has an excellent search feature to help you zero in on the topic you're teaching. The results display a list of lessons, with their target grade levels and reviews from teachers who've used the plans. These features alone make HotChalk an excellent starting point.

As of this writing, their database has about 4,000 lessons. Many of the lessons are cross-curricular and include common core standards.

In addition, there are hundreds of helpful articles and advice from experts on topics such as dealing with confrontational parents and helping students create their own lesson plans.


Edutopia Lesson Resources
Edutopia Lesson Resources

Edutopia

Strength: Inspirational examples of how innovative lesson approaches are making a difference

Edutopia takes a different approach to lesson planning and design. Here you'll have the opportunity to see a variety of different lesson styles in action - to see what works in public education. The emphasis is on integrated studies, cooperative learning, and comprehensive assessment. Edutopia also has an extensive collection of resources on project-based learning, including videos illustrating lessons from across the country in action.

Integral to their approach is an intense awareness of individual learning styles and the multiple intelligences of the students, as well as the teacher's professional development.

Listen to George Lucas talk about the George Lucas Educational Foundation and the goals of Edutopia. I hope their articles, videos and resources can inspire you as they have me.

Curriki Lesson Plan Resources
Curriki Lesson Plan Resources | Source

Curriki

Strength: Collaborative lesson plans and units that incorporate technology

Another approach to lesson planning combines the lesson format with technology and collaboration in Curriki, a curriculum-centered wiki. The focus is on lessons in math, science, social studies, and English & language arts, but a broad range of subject areas is available.

The resources range from individual lesson plans to units and even open source textbooks, activities and videos. Browse the database of more than 20,000 resources. By using the advanced search feature, you can select top-rated sources by Curriki members and reviewers, media type and instruction type, as well as the more traditional subject and grade level search.

Curriki has many resource partners. Among them are Nortel LearniT TeachiT, EDC for global education, health and economics, Cool School for conflict resolution, Free High School Science Texts (FHSST) for science and math materials, as well as video content from Meet Me at the Corner, Next Vista for Learning, NewsHour Extra and the.News with Jim Lehrer, and several more.

With free registration, you can make your own contributions, collaborate on projects, review resources, and save your own collection of favorite resources from the site. Learn more about the full capabilities registered users have for collaboration on the Curriki Video Tutorial.

ALEX Lesson Plans
ALEX Lesson Plans

ALEX - Alabama Learning Exchange

Strength: Award-winning unique sample lesson planning resources

Most states have their own databases of lesson plans aligned with their state's standards. One that I particularly like for its ease of use and unique contents is ALEX, from the Alabama Department of Education.

The Alabama Learning Exchange has a database of lesson plans with a customizable search feature by any combination of grade and subject, as well as content areas in information literacy, character education, and counseling and guidance.

Beyond lesson plans, ALEX provides links for teachers and students to other Internet resources in the subject areas. And they provide a podcast treasure of short videos, most created in Alabama, in several subjects.

These features, as well as additional resources available to Alabama teachers, earned ALEX the 2009 Digital Education Achievement Award.

Utah Education Network Lesson Plans
Utah Education Network Lesson Plans

UEN - Utah Educational Network

Strength: Sample lesson plans in PE, career and technical education

Another state website of lessons that has caught my eye is the Utah Educational Network, UEN, from the Utah State Office of Education and Utah System of Higher Education. Like ALEX, UEN provides an extensive database of lesson plans aligned with state standards.

Also like ALEX, the subject areas go beyond academic. UEN has a strong database of lessons in physical education, engineering, technology, life skills, career, critical workplace skills, and business.

Their lessons also take advantage of the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives, one of my favorite sets of interactives to help learn math skills. NLVM was designed and is hosted at Utah State University.

Buck Education Institute - BIE

BIE Project Based Learning Lessons
BIE Project Based Learning Lessons

Leading Project Based Learning Resource

Project-based learning (PBL) is a lesson planning approach advocated by a small but growing number of educators. It emphasizes learning in the context of real-world products and problem-solving. BIE is a leader in this area. It offers a plethora of tools and guidance to help you design your project, as well as a database of hundreds of projects you can use as-is, or that you can adapt to your needs and goals.

BIE also offers several FreeBIEs - tools and templates to help you construct and manage your own classroom projects.

Projects typically last several weeks or semester-long and encompass several content areas and presentation skills. Some projects call for students to conduct research and design a project that will be displayed in the community, or presented to students in younger grades. Many are engineering projects - students design a ramp, catapult, building or robot. Students may also present their projects to the school board or experts in their field of study for review, questioning and critique.

More PBL Resources

To learn more about project/problem-based learning, read my PBL Ideas & Resources article, I elaborate on project-based learning and provide links to hundreds of projects organized by subject and grade level, taken from dozens of sources.

neo K-12 Videos
neo K-12 Videos

NeoK12

Strengths: Large cataloged collection of kid-friendly educational videos

For video shorts, I love NeoK12 Educational Videos for Kids. The insightful teachers at NeoK12 have cataloged some of the best educational videos available on YouTube, MetaCafe, Flickr and other video sites. They've extracted the (sometimes inappropriate) comments and other "noise" to bring you videos in math, science, social studies and language arts for all grade levels.

These videos are conveniently categorized by subject area and topics such as gravitation, the civil rights movement, history and trigonometry. There are more than 2,600 videos in 140 topic area. All of the videos have been reviewed by K-12 teachers and are safe for kids.

With free registration, you can create a dashboard of your favorite videos. You can also take advantage of a new feature of the site - presentations. NeoK12 has a collection of creative common pictures in each topic area. Use the NeoK12 presentation tool and the pictures to create a presentation and save it to your dashboard. Some of the topics even include assessments.

Given what it has to offer, there's no wonder that NeoK12 was selected as one of the American Library Association's 2009 Great Websites for Kids.

Webquest.org Lesson Plans
Webquest.org Lesson Plans

WebQuest.org

Strength: Premier collection of WebQuest lessons

A popular lesson-planning tool in recent years is WebQuests. A WebQuest is designed to guide students through using online resources, as well as those available at school or home, to analyze and evaluate a topic being studied. Webquest.org by the designer of the WebQuest concept, Bernie Dodge of San Diego State University, has the largest collection of more than 2,500 WebQuests.

The site also offer valuable guidance and links to online tools you can use to build your own WebQuests.

Many WebQuests can turn into little more than a scavenger hunt for students to find and record information from the Internet. The best quests, though, provoke students to synthesize what they've learned into a new understanding of the topic.

Zunal WebQuest Maker
Zunal WebQuest Maker

Zunal WebQuest Maker and Lesson Directory

Easy Webquest making tool with extensive database of WebQuests

Another valuable WebQuest resources is Zunal WebQuest Maker, a fast and super simple tool to use for creating WebQuests.

In addition to the outstanding quest-making tool, Zunal has a directory of more than 80,000 WebQuests categorized by subject area and identifying targeted grade levels and cross-curriculum connections. You can also view most reviewed and latest published.

New York Times Learning Network
New York Times Learning Network

NY Times Learning Network

Strength: Cross-curricular lessons plans on current events

Current events are a wonderful source of material to make learning relevant for your kids. The New York Times is a tremendous help here with their Daily Lesson Plan Archive. The NYT has partnered with Bank Street College of Education to produce the lesson plans.

The site has more than a database of more than 2,000 mostly cross-curricular lessons related to current events. Find lessons by subject area and grade level, targeted mainly to students in grades 6-12.

In addition to the search feature, the lessons are accessible from their Issues in Depth on topics such as "Hurricane Katrina: Storm and Crisis" and "Looking Back: September 11". These in-depth themes include relevant NYT articles and blogs and links to other resources.

TeachersFirst
TeachersFirst

TeachersFirst

Strength: Lesson plans that incorporate technology

Teachers are always looking for ways to incorporate technology into lessons. TeachersFirst by The Source for Learning, Inc, is a great place to go to for these types of lessons.

The materials in TeachersFirst are written by experienced, professional educators. They've created lessons and units that incorporate interactive learning with Internet resources. In addition, there are brain twisters for elementary and middle school students, and puzzles for all grade levels.

The interactive resources listed on TeachersFirst have comments from educators with suggestions for how to use them the in the classroom. The appropriate grade range is listed with each resource.

A terrific feature are the ready-to-go classroom activities and presentations for projection or whiteboards.

Another useful section of the site is the Professional Resources area, chock full of ideas for teachers "In the Trenches." These include bulletin board hang ups, first day activities, rubrics, handouts, ideas for substitutes, and technology tips and ideas for differentiating instruction.

Mr. Donn Social Studies Lessons
Mr. Donn Social Studies Lessons

MrDonn.org

Strength: Social Studies Lesson Plans, Presentations and Interactives

I'll close with one of my favorites for lessons, presentations, clipart, video resources, and activities - MrDonn.org by Don and Linn Donn.

As an elementary school teacher, I've greatly appreciated the readability and clarity of the Donns' resources in history, government and geography. On the Internet, their materials are the easiest I've found to help kids to understand these often complex topics.

While the strength of the site lies in their social studies lesson plan materials, MrDonn.org has material and links to resources in virtually every subject area. Most, but not all, is focused on kids in grades K-8. But I have talked to teachers who have used their material with high school students, especially for review.

Finally, the Donns have partnered with Phillip Martin, who has created a fantastic collection of clipart in all subjects. Martin's Clipart Collection is free for teachers, kids and non-profits to use.

LearningReviews Lesson Plans Listings
LearningReviews Lesson Plans Listings

LearningReviews.com

Dozens more free lesson plan resources

More than 50 free lesson plan websites are listed and reviewed for you in the LearningReviews.com directory. Many of these sites specialize in providing lesson plans in particular subjects, such as math, science, language arts, and PE.

Looking for templates or forms?

Check out a wide variety of free printable and online lesson plan templates. They range from simple fill-in-the-blank forms to more sophisticated Web 2.0 lesson templates with interactive help, state and national standards alignment, collaboration and planning calendars.


More Lesson Planning Websites

Education World Lesson Planning Channel

Theme lessons, printable worksheets, everyday edits, games and more.

Standards Toolbox - free to teachers

The Standards Toolbox provides one-click state standards alignment, curriculum mapping, materials storage and sharing, lesson planning, individualized instruction, teacher websites, and an educator community -- all from a single platform!

Lesson Plan Central - Thousands of Free Lesson Plans, Worksheets, WebQuests

Free Lesson Plans and clipart in Math, Social Studies, Art, Language, Arts, Music, PE, Reading, Writing, Geography, Science projects and Science lesson plans.

High Tech High - Project Based Learning

7 thoroughly documented PBL projects from High Tech High School in San Diego, CA.

eGFI Engineering, Science & Math

eGFI provides science and math lessons and activities to help students learn about engineering.

The Jigsaw Classroom: A Cooperative Learning Technique

The jigsaw technique is a cooperative learning approach that reduces conflict among school children, promotes better learning, improves student motivation, and increases enjoyment of the learning experience.

Aesthetic Computing for Math Teachers

Aesthetic computing approach encourages students to express equations as pictures or stories. Make abstract ideas or algebraic formulas "real" through drawings, sculptures or computer graphics - the way concepts in geometry, for example, can come to life in the plans for a house.

Lesson Plans 4 Teachers: Lesson Plan Templates

Tools allowing users to search for over 120,000 original lesson plans found on hundreds of different sites throughout the web.

Haring Kids Lesson Plans

Lesson plans for all ages and subjects gathered from education departments at museums that have hosted Keith Haring exhibitions.

Gooru

Gooru is a free tool with thousands of lesson plans, resources, and opportunities to connect with other teachers.

Awesome Science Teacher Resources

Biology and Chemistry lesson resources for middle and high school science teachers, including worksheets, labs and test reviews.

Teaching That Makes Sense

Teaching That Makes Sense offers tools, training, and technology support for K-12 schools in reading, writing, math, test preparation, and assessment.

Using Technology in Education | Free iBook

This iBooks 2 textbook helps teachers explore various technologies that are currently used in K-12 and higher education. The chapters in this textbook are rich with photos, video, as well as researched information that pertains to the modern educator. It was created by nine graduate students at Georgia College.

Your Lesson Plan Library

How do you most often add to your library of lesson plans?

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Do you use online lesson plans?

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    • profile image

      Jacob 2 years ago

      Things today has taught me:1/ Anything worth hainvg has to be earned. Today I must decide how badly I really want it, and then its up to me to go get it.2/ My children remind me on a daily basis what is truly important. Being a parent really helps me to keep things in perspective.3/ Take time to enjoy the good in your life, and make sure you enjoy it at 100%. Life gives you enough challenges without even trying, but its the good stuff that makes all the rest worth while. So take the time to enjoy it.Today has been one of the toughest days I can remember and there is no guarrentee tomorrow will be better. But today has given me these lessons to ensure I keep up the fight with a smile on my face. They can take everything else but they will never get my smile. Take careWarrick

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 3 years ago from Guatemala

      I currently use Time4Learning with my 3rd Grader and assorted lessons for my 2nd Grader. Great resources! I'm going to feature this lens on my Happy Homeschooler Facebook page. :)

    • Normyo Yonormyo profile image

      Normyo Yonormyo 4 years ago

      What a great resource lens for educational resources.

    • Teddi14 LM profile image

      Teddi14 LM 4 years ago

      I am interviewing for a job in a New Tech high school and this will be a great resource for me if I get the job. Thanks!!!

    • jayavi profile image

      jayavi 4 years ago

      Like this lens. Thanks for the information.

    • profile image

      RetireAt57 4 years ago

      Thanks for the great info.

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      What a wonderful resource!

    • katy Hall profile image

      Katy Hall 5 years ago from UK

      Yes, and I've found a great resource from this fabulous lens!

      Bookmarked!

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 5 years ago

      I do. Some really useful sites here. Thank you.

    • jimconrad2 profile image

      jimconrad2 5 years ago

      My principal really likes the Jigsaw method.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Please check my 21st century classroom out! http://www.squidoo.com/creating-the-most-effective...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Loving the information on this lens :)

    • ConnieGreen LM profile image

      ConnieGreen LM 5 years ago

      Great resources here - I'm a former K-12 teacher and I'll be sure to share this lens with everyone I know

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      Great lens! A plethora of resources!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was here a little over a year ago and returning with a little angel dust for this excellence!

    • craftycollector profile image

      craftycollector 5 years ago

      I never used online lesson plans myself - but I used to write them. It is really interesting to see how different things are in the US from the way they are done in the UK. Thanks for the insight

    • MatijaB LM profile image

      MatijaB LM 5 years ago

      Great job. Thank for sharing info.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      This is an excellent lens with an lots of helpful information, thank you for sharing.

      Iâm pinning this on Pinterest, facebooking and, tweeting it so I can find it again and to share it with others. Thanks for sharing this valuable information. **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • GregKuhn profile image

      GregKuhn 5 years ago

      Hello Ira, thank you for this amazing resource which I will share with my teachers. Online lesson plans are a great way to share and learn (building community among teachers). I also have a lens for teachers - about learning great classroom management skills. I'd love it if you gave it a read and let me know what you think about it. Either way, thank you again for this cool lens!

    • profile image

      lucia1990 5 years ago

      Very Informative lens .......... Great job

    • profile image

      lucia1990 5 years ago

      Very Informative lens .......... Great job

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My mom was a public school teacher. How I wish there were online facilities such as in this lens during her time. She wrote lesson plans by hand and used lots of reference books to make them.

    • jenniferteacher1 profile image

      jenniferteacher1 5 years ago

      I haven't before, but I will see what I can find! Thanks for such a useful resource!

    • profile image

      glowchick 5 years ago

      Lots of great resources~ thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It is good information!And I used this plans!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      enjoyed my visit on your article today.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      If I was a teacher I'd make good use of these. With the introduction of more and more technology into the classroom, it's not a bad idea.

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Definitely! What a great resource! I love using many of the websites you mentioned. Blessed and liked.

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great resources. Thanks for taking the time to compile the information.

    • profile image

      Buchamar 6 years ago

      No I feature educational app

      Great lens!

    • castellucci lm profile image

      castellucci lm 6 years ago

      Superb lens! I featured it on my lens for substitute teachers.

    • AngelDey profile image

      AngelDey 6 years ago

      I take ideas from online lesson plans often. Great lens; very helpful. Thanks.

    • profile image

      crstnblue 6 years ago

      First of all - answering to the question - No, but I enjoy reading and learning different things to break the routine.

      Secondly - good lens!

    • Lee Nitus profile image

      Lee Nitus 6 years ago

      Wow, you really did your homework. Excellent job on delivering such a fantastic resource for teachers. I'll certainly be sending my teacher visitors your way. Thanks!

    • profile image

      gosmart 6 years ago

      Very useful. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this fantastic lens. Kudos! Squid-liked it.

    • profile image

      gosmart 6 years ago

      helpful resources

    • profile image

      gosmart 6 years ago

      helpful resources

    • profile image

      anilsaini 6 years ago

      good collection

    • profile image

      Catsinger 6 years ago

      What a wonderful resource

    • profilesincolor profile image

      profilesincolor 6 years ago

      Wow, Wonderful Resource! :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love that you don't only provide great sites for lesson plans but also provide a personal review of each one.

    • JackNimble profile image

      JackNimble 6 years ago

      I am always open to others ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Great lists! This goes to my favourites:)

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      Your lens have a lot of useful information and lesson plan for homeschooling. Kudos!

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 6 years ago

      Nice job and great resource! ** BLESSED ** and featured on Blessed by Tandemonimom!

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 6 years ago

      I don't but the information you've provided on the Lens is really useful for school going kids. Good job!

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 7 years ago

      Great list of resources. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      projectcreate 7 years ago

      Wonderful lens added here.It is a really good information. I love to use websites lesson plan.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      demandproj 7 years ago

      Wow!!! What nice plan you have supplied to the lens. I like to use online lesson plan.

      Really great information. Thank you very much.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great list! Have you tried:

      http://www.everydayteaching.com

      Daily WakeUP activities, journal prompts, Web treks, and newsletters.

      Currently featuring advent calendar resources.

    • SpellOutloud profile image

      SpellOutloud 8 years ago

      Nice collection---many sites I've never been to. I'll have to check them out.

    • VladimirCat profile image

      Vladimir 8 years ago from Australia

      Nice lens. Good work :)