It is a blessing for busy educators that online sources for free curriculum are about as numerous as online weight loss advertisements.
The Federal Registry for Educational Excellence, for example, is a great resource — so great that it offers over 2,000 online teaching resources for arts and music education, over 11,000 on U.S. history topics and more than 62,000 relating to science.
If you happen to have the time to browse these listings, you are both lucky and quite extraordinary. If, on the other hand, you are like most of us and have limited time to dedicate to your curriculum search, here are some top picks to get you started.
There are many free curriculum resources available for teachers. The list below is a useful place to begin.
Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons
OER Commons is a digital library of open educational resources that teachers can use to find and share educational content. It includes everything from lesson plans to full courses.
Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that provides free educational videos and interactive exercises on a wide range of subjects, including math, science, history, and more.
CK-12 Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides free, customizable educational content in the form of digital textbooks, videos, and interactive exercises.
PBS LearningMedia offers free digital resources for teachers, including videos, lesson plans, and interactive activities, covering a wide range of subjects and grade levels.
Smithsonian Learning Lab
The Smithsonian Learning Lab offers free digital resources, including lesson plans, activities, and interactive exhibits, based on the collections and expertise of the Smithsonian museums and research centers.
TeAchnology offers free curriculum sources for teachers, including thousands of lesson plans, But its best features are its additional resources for teachers. ‘Teacher Helpers’ include summaries of subject matter ranging from Colonial America to common disabilities seen in schools to information about where English speakers can learn African languages. Particularly helpful is its “Teacher Timesavers” section, which includes templates for all the forms you could possibly need.
Published by the University of Rhode Island, this site offers terrific K-12 lesson plans designed to build media literacy and other critical thinking skills. Topics include digital and media literacy, copyright and fair use, and critical analysis of non-fiction TV. Available for purchase, but too cool not to mention, is its media literacy smartphone, a paper card that helps students learn to critically analyze any media text, using the visual of a smartphone.
iCivics was founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in order to encourage civic knowledge and participation. This site offers one of the most user-friendly search features out there for finding curriculum: You can select standards-aligned curriculum by state, topic and grade-level. Subjects include civics and citizenship, culture, economics, geography, government, history and more.
Engaging students in engineering and other math and science skills is eGFI’s raison d’etre. K-12 lesson plans include fun, hands-on projects and offer numerous ways to enliven the classroom. Another great feature of this site is its link to outreach activities, including competition information, and motivational features to encourage interest in the sciences, particularly among young women.
What are the best sources for free curriuclum for teachers?