Last-Minute Lesson Planning
Twitter, professional learning networks and other social media can often provide quick responses when you need lesson ideas right now. But the person with the great idea is not always available (or even awake!). If you want specific help at any hour, more traditional websites are still good places to look for complete lesson plans and add-on resources 24/7.
After sifting through many websites that offer free lesson resources, we’ve selected these as early go-to places if you like quick and simple searches and want multi-faceted lessons (in several content areas).
• The recently announced Share My Lesson from the American Federation of Teachers and Britain’s TES Connect is growing fast. In addition to finding thousands of EL and MS teaching resources by grade and content area, teachers can post lessons they want to share. SML Partners including Project Gutenberg and the Woodland Trust Nature Detectives also offer materials.
• The great thing about Thinkfinity for a teacher in a hurry is that the site, sponsored by the Verizon Foundation, searches several major government and association resources at once (you just click to include them in your search). Just about any content area will show up when you choose several options from among the Smithsonian’s History Explorer, NCTE’s ReadWriteThink, National Geographic, AAAS’s Science NetLinks, ARTSEDGE, and others Kids.gov also features lesson plans in many content areas, but the overall search does not reach into its many linked K-8 websites to find specific lesson.
• The free offerings at Scholastic go way beyond lesson plans searchable by grade and content. The quick, easy-to-use site also provides virtual field trips, age appropriate election coverage, and a team of K-12 classroom teachers blogging on content, tech, classroom management, and more.
• The Library of Congress has collected many resources for teachers on one page: lesson plans available by state standards, guides for using primary resources, and links to other LOC resources. For example, the Center for the Book, under ‘Additional Resources,” offers pages for teachers, teens, and children. Throughout the LOC, E/LA and social sciences resources dominate, but the arts and science are also represented.
We’d love to hear about your favorite lesson-plan sites. Tell us about them in the Comments!