Teacher Tap


Online Lesson Plans

What resources are available for teachers?
I'm teaching a new unit, where can I go for ideas?
Where can I find good lessons that integrate technology?

man working at drawing boardWhy reinvent the wheel? Before you start a new unit, look for lesson plans that are already available on the Internet. You'll find on- and off- computer lessons and activities in all the content areas and grade levels. Remember that many of these websites do not evaluate the quality of the lessons being posted. You'll also notice that they use a wide variety of lesson planning formats ranging from entire units to simple activity pages.

Start with a search at the Thinkfinity website. This website has some of the best lesson plans on the Internet.

As you explore the following sites, notice that the star means quality indicates an exceptional quality resource.
The following sites contain lesson plans:

Awesome Library - Lesson Plans

Gateway, The star means quality
Use this as a search engine for lesson plans! Keep your search general.

Lesson Plans at The Learning Network, New York Times star means quality

Lesson Plans from Learn NC (North Carolina) star means quality

Lesson Plans Page from HotChalk

National Geographic Lesson Plans

PBS Teachers star means quality
Explore 4000+ lessons by subject and grade level

Teacher First Content Matrix

Teaching Ideas for Primary Classroom

Search by category

TeacherVision star means quality
Lesson plans by topic and theme.

Thinkfinity star means quality
Overall best choice for outstanding lesson plans.
Thinkfinity includes these consortium partners:
ArtsEdge http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/
EconEdLink http://www.econedlink.org/
EDSITEment http://edsitement.neh.gov/
Illuminations http://illuminations.nctm.org/
Literacy Network http://literacynetwork.verizon.org/TLN/
Read Write Think http://www.readwritethink.org/
Science NetLinks http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/
Smithsonian's History Explorer http://historyexplorer.americanhistory.si.edu/

Searching for Lesson Plans

Some websites search other websites for good resources. For example, The Gateway is a search engine for lesson plans.

eye means essentialTry a search using The Gateway and Thinkfinity.

If you can't find a lesson to fit your needs, try using the search engines to locate lessons. Use the keywords related to your content area plus the words "lesson plan", "student activity", "teacher's guide", or other related words as part of your search.

Explore Lesson Plans
Level of Detail. How much detail is provided in the lesson? Would you be able to use the lesson without further information? What additional details would you need? How would you modify the lesson to fit your needs?
Lesson Planning Format/Layout. What do you like and/or dislike about the lesson format and layout? Are there elements that you feel are missing? What would you add?
Technology and Teaching Strategies. Does the lesson make good use of the technology? Is technology viewed as a tool or an object of instruction? Do you think the teaching/learning strategies are effective? Is this lesson a good use of instructional time? If not, what would you change to make it more effective?
Planning. Compare the way the lesson planned for technology and how you plan for technology in your classroom. What elements do you think should be considered when developing a lesson and classroom management strategy for a technology-rich project?

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