Let’s face it, you could spend hours and hours on lesson planning. It’s hard to know when to call it “good enough.” But teachers who have a good work life balance, know how to find free resources that make lesson planning and creating a snap. Locating free options takes a bit more effort up front, but once you know what’s available, it will save you loads of time in the long term.
What It Does For You
- Saves time formatting your own worksheets.
- Provides new ideas or ways to present a lesson.
- Allows you to help other teachers locate helpful resources.
Where Are The Free Resources?
All Ages And Subjects:
- CommonLit : This website provides interesting and leveled reading passages across an array of subject areas.
- PBS Learning Media : Lesson plans for PreK – 12.
- Scholastic : Provides free lesson plans, print-ables, and lexile levels for many novels.
- National Women’s History Museum : Provides resources focusing on the history of women’s rights.
- Library of Congress : Provides lesson plans and access to primary sources for the classroom.
- Newsela : Provides a wide range of reading topics and levels. These also come with comprehension questions.
- We Are Teachers : Provides support for K-12 and in all subject areas.
- Education.com : Provides free printable worksheets. These are primarily geared for elementary kids.
- Teacher Planet : Organized printable worksheets.
- SoftSchools.com : Free printables in tons of different subjects!
ELA Specific Resources:
- Read Write Think : Gives high quality lesson plans for exactly that – reading, writing, and thinking.
- New York Times Learning Network : This site provides articles and writing prompts for teenagers.
- California Casualty : This website has an article listing 6 free websites that offer leveled reading passages.
- Reading Is Fundamental : Another leveled reading website.
STEM Specific Resources:
- Discovery Education : Provides lesson plans, videos, and teaching resources.
- Common Core Sheets : Very organized math worksheets for elementary level. Gives practical ideas on how to teach and test different common core standards.
- National Science Teaching Association : Free books, resources, and lesson plans focusing on science subjects.
- NASA : Provides support in STEM related lesson plan ideas!
- K5Learning : Math and reading printable worksheets.
- Khan Academy : I personally swear by this website. It has fantastic videos and then practice problems. FANTASTIC.
- Teacher Education Network – Discovery Science Foundation : Specifically science related lesson planning and resources.
- Free Math Worksheets : Tons of resources on this site!
History Specific Resources:
- Smithsonian’s History Explorer : Resources for teaching American history!
- USA.gov : Emphasizes lesson plans on government.
- edTechTeacher – Best of History Websites : Thousands of history websites to cover almost every topic.
Teacher Lesson Plan Collaboration Websites:
- Teachers Pay Teachers : This website is not entirely free, but there are free materials. Buying these materials directly help other teachers.
- Teacher Created Resources
- Amazon Inspire
- Share My Lesson
- Literacy Design Collaborative
Wrapping It Up
I have checked out all of these websites and there are unique things on each. My only advice is to not spend hours pouring over each website. That would make this tool less valuable to you and way more than 5% more effort. Think of what you need to plan, then look up two or three websites that fits those needs best. I personally try not to spend more than 1 hour a week “researching” ideas.
All right, that’s it! Let me know if I missed any great ones!