Many teachers, especially newer ones, struggle with creating new and exciting lesson plans for their classes. It’s definitely hard to be innovative and creative all the time, but if you ask me, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel for every single lesson you teach in a school year.
That’s why today I want to show you some free lesson plans in each major subject. As it turns out, one of the Department of Education’s side projects is a website called Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE). The site is basically a giant warehouse of free lesson plans and classroom activities that educators across the country can use and alter as needed.
Free Lesson Plans from FREE.Ed.Gov
Art and Music
I’d be remiss here if I didn’t mention one of my favorite things to learn about, early American “roots” music, folk songs, and the blues. FREE has quite a few resources in this area, most of which include recordings of the music itself and other content besides.
This category also contains a bunch of links on the visual arts as well. Painting, architecture, photography, and more are all well-represented. Log Cabins in America, for example, explains how and why the log cabin came to be such an icon of American history. It even includes explanations and sketches of how long cabins were constructed!
Language arts covers so many possible topics that it’s hard to just pick a few examples out of all the resources FREE has listed. One of the best, however, is the Reporting America at War series, which examines the role that the media, reporters, and other journalists had (and continue to have) in international conflict. They even have a handful of lessons plans already built out for you.
On the softer side is a website dedicated to Mark Twain’s life and times on the Mississippi River. The “Teacher’s Pilothouse” section has 10 whole lesson plans that you can use to show students how the Mighty Mississippi helped expand American trade and culture. Also be sure to check out the interactive map!
The nice thing about mathematics is that it’s involved in pretty much every area of life, so FREE’s math resources are pretty varied. One of my personal favorites is the From Stargazers to Starships page from NASA. It is a “self-contained book-on-the-web course on basic astronomy, Newtonian mechanics, the sun, spaceflight, and spacecraft.”
Another good Math resource is Teaching with Data Simulations. This site helps your students visualize things that otherwise might not be very intuitive: gathering, refining, and displaying statistical information. On this section of the site, they have listed some examples of activities related to data visualization that are a great way of engaging with your class.
Ahh science! One of my favorite subjects back when I was in school! Nothing beats learning about all the new and exciting things being done on the forefront on human knowledge. One of the better science sites on FREE is the Ocean Explorer page from the NOAA. You want lesson plans? There’s more than 160 available on every aspect of the oceans you could dream of.
Another all-encompassing science site is the National Science Digital Library.
With over 9,000 lesson plans and other resources besides, you could almost plan your entire year using just this site and its materials. You can even pick the educational standards your school uses and find resources specific to that.
Are you using FREE in your classroom?What free lesson plans have you found in the vast collection? Let us know in the comments below!