30 Amazing Sources for Free Teacher Resources

Who doesn’t love free?

Teachers are always on the lookout for new inspiration and new ideas, but who’s got time to plow through the zillions of resources on the internet? Well, good news! We’ve done the research for you and here are 30 of our top sources for free teacher resources including lesson plans and activities created by fellow professional educators (marked with an asterisk). Happy hunting! 

1. Amazon Inspire*

Amazon Inspire is an open collaboration service that allows K-12 teachers to easily discover, gather, and share quality educational content with their community.

Sample Lessons: Career Spotlight: Kite Designer, Global Warming Integer Project, The Life Cycle of a Snowman and more.

2. Arts Edge

Sponsored by the Kennedy Center, Arts Edge provides arts-centered, standards-based resources for K-12.

Sample Lessons: Animal HabitatsFive Artists of the Mexican Revolution, Creating Comic Strips

3. Common Lit

Free collection of reading passages in all literary and non-fiction genres for grades 3-12. Passages come with text-dependent questions which help you track student progress.

Sample Lessons: Life Isn’t Fair- Deal With It, Who Was Anne Frank, Witchcraft in Salem and more.

4. Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media is a nonprofit dedicated to providing educators and students with resources to harness the power of technology for learning and life. Free lessons K-12

Sample Lessons: My Writing, My Peer and Me, The Three Billy Goats STEM Challenge, The Ants Go Marching and more.

5. Discovery Ed

Discovery Education offers a broad range of free classroom resources that complement and extend learning beyond the bell. In addition, DEN Educators is an online community that provides teacher-to-teacher shared ideas and resources.

Sample Lessons: Weather Maps, Understanding Probability, Understanding Stereotypes and more. 

6. Education World

Education World is a complete online resource for teachers, administrators and school staff to find high-quality and in-depth original content. They offer more than 1,000 free lessons.

Sample Lessons: Wacky Weather, What Would Oprah Say?, Changes in Habitat and more.

7. Jumpstart

Jumpstart offers free teaching materials (activities, worksheets, lesson plans) for K-5 teachers that have been designed by experts or tried and found useful by other teachers.

Sample Lessons: What a Wonderful World, Art of Recycling, Power Up math activity and more.

8. Library of Congress

The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library’s vast digital collections in their teaching.

Sample Lessons: Alexander Hamilton primary source set, Baseball Across a Changing Nation, Using Primary Sources and more. 

9. Literacy Design Collaborative*

LDC is a national community of educators which provides literacy-rich assignments and courses (organized by collection) across content areas.

Collections include:  K-6 Civics Collection (19 modules), National Writing Project, NBCT Authors and more.

10. NASA

Search hundreds of resources by subject, grade level, type and keyword. These lesson plans and teaching materials support K-12 STEM curriculum.

Sample Lessons: Moon Munchies, Bubble Rocket, Mars activities and more. 

11. National Gallery of Art

According to their website, the mission of the National Gallery of Art is to serve the USA in a national role by preserving, collecting, exhibiting, and fostering the understanding of works of art, at the highest possible museum and scholarly standards. 

Sample Lessons: Elements of Art: Shape, Rousseau in the Jungle, Gordon Parks Photography and more. 

12. National Geographic

Bring National Geographic to your classroom through lesson plans, maps and reference resource.

Sample lessons: Wild Horses of the Outer Banks, El Nino, Traces of Ancient Rome in the Modern World.

13. National Women’s History Museum

The mission of the National Women’s History Museum is to tell the stories of  women who transformed the history of our nation in pursuit of a a world “where women’s history inspires all people to have equal respect for everyone’s experiences and accomplishments and to see there are no obstacles to achieving their dreams.”  In addition to lesson plans, resources include National History Day projects, Electronic Field Trips, and The Suffrage Resource Center. 

Sample Lessons:  Songs of ProtestAfrican American Activists, Little Rock Nine and more. 

14. New York Times

Articles and questions, writing prompts and lesson plans that coordinate with The New York Times Learning Network for teens. 

Sample Lessons: Analyzing the Elements of Art: Five Ways to Think About Space, When School Gets Real: Teachers Connect Classroom Lessons to Current Events, Ten Ways to Teach Argument Writing and more. 

15. Newsela

Newsela is a database of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Indexed by broad theme (e.g. War and Peace, Arts, Science, Health, Law, Money), stories are both student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level.

Sample Texts: Giving Great Speeches, The Human Heart as a Work of Art, Helping Endangered Lemurs Hang On and more. 

16. NSTA

National Science Teachers Association promotes excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. This site gives teachers access to NSTA magazine, books and resources and NSTA free resources

Sample Lessons: 14 writing strategies, The Greenhouse Effect, Toothbrush Design: Is There a Better Bristle? and more. 

17. PBS Learning Media

Free, standards-aligned PK-12 instructional resources including lesson plans, videos, inter-actives and more.

Sample Lessons: What Happens When a Language Dies?The Origami Revolution, The Spread of Disease and more. 

18. ReadWriteThink

Sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English, ReadWriteThink provides educators with access to the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering the very best in free materials.

Sample Lessons: Color Poems-Using the Five Sense to Guide Pre-Writing, Teaching About Story Structure Using Fairy Tales, A Blast From the Past With Nuclear Chemistry and more. 

19. Scholastic Teachers

Free teaching resources by grade including the categories Lessons and Ideas, Books and Authors, Top Teaching blog, Teacher’s Tool Kit and Student Activities.  

Sample Lessons: Ideas for starting the school day in Daily Starters, children’s book Discussion Guides, and educational Videos.

20. Share My Lesson*

Associated with AFT, Share My Lesson houses over 420,000 free lesson plans and activities including curated collections for early childhood through high school. Lessons are organized by grade and topic.

Sample Lessons: Who Wants to be a Millionaire Stories, Coordinates and Straight Line Graphs, The Effect of the Population Explosion

21. Smithsonian’s History Explorer

Smithsonian’s History Explorer was developed by the National Museum of American History in partnership with the Verizon Foundation to offer hundreds of free, innovative online resources for teaching and learning K-12 American history.

Sample Lessons: The Suffragist, Winning WWII, Many Voices, One Nation and more. 

22. Storyline Online

This award-winning children’s literacy website streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.

Sample books: Arnie the Doughnut, Enemy Pie, My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother and more. 

23. Teacher.org*

Teacher.org offers a wide range of free teacher tools and resources including standards-aligned cross curricular lessons which have been created by K-12 teachers from all over the United States.

Sample Lessons: Chinese New Year, Camouflage and Environment, Menus to Save the Earth and more. 

24. Teacher Created Resources* 

Free standards-aligned lessons and interactive whiteboard activities products created by teachers for teachers.

Sample Lessons: A Tale of Two Towns, Making Decisions with Probability, Translating Confucius and more. 

25. Teacher Vision

For more than 15 years, Teacher Vision has equipped a community of over one million educators with certified, expertly curated teaching resources designed to help their students succeed.

Sample Lessons: Polar Powers: Animal Adaptations, Star Chart: Autumn Sky, The Rights of Bike Riders and more. 

26. Teachers Pay Teachers

Claiming to be the world’s most popular marketplace for teachers, TPT not only provides thousands of resources, it allows teacher to share their knowledge with their colleagues and make money doing it.

Sample Lessons: Hopscotch Coding, Gumball Sight Words, Money I Have, Who Has Game and more. 

27. Teaching Tolerance

Teaching Tolerance provides free resources that emphasize social justice and anti-bias to K-12 educators.

Sample Lessons: Lessons from Goldilocks, Singing for Peace, Making Cents of Privilege and more. 

28. TES (Times Educational Supplement) *

TES is a British website that houses over 700K free resources for K-12 teachers. Made by teachers for teachers. 

Sample Lessons: Toy Store Money Problems, Persuasive Writing Travel Brochures, Tissues and Organs and more. 

29. USA.gov

USA.gov provides a wide variety of American government lesson plans, activities and worksheets- free for your classroom.

Sample Lessons: Explaining Taxes to Kids, How a Bill Becomes a Law, Field Trip to the Money Factory and more. 

30. WeAreTeachers

In addition to lesson plans and classroom ideas, our very own website has thousands of resources including free printables, career advice for teachers, life and well-being, and deals for teachers. 

Sample Lessons: Recycling Lesson Plans, 12 Cause and Effect Lesson Plans You’ll Love, 10 Fairy Tale Lesson Plans and more. 

What are your favorite sources for free teacher resources? Come share on our our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook. 

Also, check out 9 Surprising Amazon Perks for Teachers!

30 Amazing Sources for Free Teacher Resources

Posted by Elizabeth Mulvahill

Elizabeth Mulvahill is a passionate teacher, writer and mom who loves learning new things, traveling the globe and everything Zen.

Leave a reply