Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Places To Find Free (And Good) Lesson Plans On The Internet

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'Lesson Planning Flow Chart' photo (c) 2011, VMFoliaki - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I’ve been less-than-impressed with a lot of lesson plans I see out there on the web. I decided to make a short “The Best…” list of sources for consistently good lesson ideas.

The lessons at these sites are not necessarily focused on English Language Learners.  Good teachers, of course,  can modify decent lesson ideas.

For resources on lessons plans specifically for English Language Learners, you might want to visit these two previous lists:

The Best Books For Teaching & Learning ESL/EFL

The Best Resource Sites For ESL/EFL Teachers

In addition to offering very good lesson plans free-of-charge (though some might offer a paid “premium” service, too), in order to make it on this list the sites also had to offer ones that promote higher-order thinking.  Another criteria is that they did not necessarily only have plans that required technology use or showing a particular video or DVD. The final criteria is that I have actually used a lesson plan or idea in my own class that I’ve found on the site.

I decided not to give a description of each site because they all are pretty similar in how they are set-up.

Here are my picks for The Best Places To Find Free (And Good) Lesson Plans On The Internet:

The New York Times Learning Network

Teaching Tolerance

Thinkfinity

Facing History

Oxfam Education

PBS Teachers

Teachable Moment

Read Write Think

FactCheckEd

The American Federation of Teachers has unveiled a new site where educators can upload lessons to share (and, of course, download them, too). It’s called Share A Lesson, and you can read more about it in the New York Times article, Teachers’ Union to Open Lesson-Sharing Web Site. Registration is certainly simple — it takes about ten seconds. It’s just beginning, so it doesn’t have a zillion resources, but I suspect it will grow quickly.

The PBS News Hour has completely redesigned their webpage providing teacher resources.

The National Education Association has just announced a Master Teacher Project/CC Better Lesson site where thousands of Common Core aligned lesson plans are freely available to educators.

Teach UNICEF is an excellent resource for lesson plans and materials on social topics. I haven’t quite figured out the exact way to navigate it — it has an organized collection here, and then they have “Global Citizen Brief” like this one on Syria that appear to be elsewhere on the site.

The lesson materials are top-notch and provide versions based on grade-levels. Some of the student questions in the lesson plans themselves seem a little too UNICEF oriented, so I suspect most teachers will modify them.

I really like how some of the lessons have specific photo and video-based supplements that are useful for all students, and especially for English Language Learners.

Here is how the organization describes itself:

TeachUNICEF is a portfolio of global education teacher resources designed and collected by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Education Department for teachers, afterschool instructors, and parents. The units, lesson plans, stories, videos and multimedia cover topics ranging from the Millennium Development Goals to poverty and water and sanitation.

Again, feel free to offer feedback and additional suggestions.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

6 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing these links. I like the plans offered on New York Times, Thinkfinity and PBS Teachers. I did not know about the other sites. I bookmarked them, so I could take a closer look and perhaps find something useful for my elementary students.

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  4. Hi Larry, just clicked on the link to this page. Here’s my suggestion: TES Lesson Plans they are free and the lesson plans have been uploaded by educators : )

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  6. looking forward to learn more!

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