This “Best” list is going to a very popular one that’s starting off short, but it’s going to be getting longer as time goes on.

I thought it would be useful to me, and to others, to gather links to the best free downloadable student hand-outs that are simple and useful.

Here is my criteria. They need to be:

* Fairly generic. By “generic,” I mean that they can be used more than one time during the year and, ideally, be applicable in a number of different lessons. I think you’ll get a clearer idea of what I mean after you see the ones I start off with in this post.

* Promote some degree of higher-order thinking. You won’t find downloads to a basic reading comprehension sheet on this list.

* Free-of-charge, and not requiring even site registration in order to access it.

This is just a beginning list I wanted to put out there.  I have previously shared many free downloadable forms that I and others have created, but it will take me a while to revisit all of them to see which are appropriate for this post. Please leave additional suggestions that meet the criteria and, if I agree that they do, I’ll add them to the list and, of course, give you credit for suggesting it.

Here goes:

You might want to start at Not “The Best,” But “A List” Of Mindmapping, Flow Chart Tools, & Graphic Organizers.

The Best Scaffolded Writing Frames For Students

Teaching and Learning with Science Media is from KQED and shares some hand-outs that can be very useful in all subjects, not just in science.

The New York Times Learning Network has a great collection of these kinds of “reusable activity sheets.” Their excellent Text To Text series offers ideas on how to use them. Here’s another more recent link to them, but I’m not sure if it includes just the same ones or has new hand-outs, too.

Here’s a Critical Reading Study Guide.

Document Analysis Worksheets are very useful student handouts from The National Archives.

All of the student hand-outs, and there are a lot of them, from my last several books are available for free download. You can get the ones from my student motivation books here and from my teaching English Language Learners book here (click on “Bonus Web Content”).

Jossey-Bass is making all the lesson plans and student hand-outs from our Navigating The Common Core With ELLs book available for free online – you don’t even have to register to get them! Just go to our page on the publisher’s site and download away!

You might also find The Best Sites For Free ESL/EFL Hand-Outs & Worksheets useful.

You’ll find multiple versions of forms my students use to evaluate me and our class at My Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers).

Smithsonian’s “Our Story” Is A Valuable Resource For Teachers & Parents (nice forms to use on field trips to any museum)

Read Write Think has lots of great interactives. I recently learned, though, that they also have PDF versions of many of them.

Brainpop has some nice graphic resources on their Printable Resources page.

The National Archives has a collection of eighteen different sheets that can be used by students for analyzing primary sources, including versions specifically made for use with ELLs. The worksheets could also be used with non-primary sources, and include ones targeting maps, documents and photos.

The Critical Thinking Consortium has a lot of free materials, including this photo analysis sheet. If you pay $40 per year, you also gain access to many more resources.

Again, this is just the beginning.  Suggest away!