Best Free Resources for Teachers
Teachers know that engaging lessons are key in the classroom.
Teachers are incredibly inventive and creative; it’s basically part of our “teacher DNA”. Give us a classroom, 30 little minds to shape, and a whiteboard, and we’ll show you some real magic.
Regardless of how talented a teacher is, though, having fantastic resources to use with a lesson can make all the difference. I loved using short videos, art, and music in my lessons. Between what I wanted spent on supplies and books for my classroom, I could’ve easily gone home with nothing leftover from my paycheck at the end of the month.
I know I am not alone in that struggle. A teacher can easily spend hundreds of dollars on classroom resources, but I eventually learned there is really no need.
Save yourself time and money and check out this list of seven of the best free online educational resources we’ve found.
1. LeadershipYOU MOOC
This series of sixteen short videos teaches students about how to be a self-leader, or a self-starter. Not only are the videos free, but there are five different lesson plans teachers can download on the site.
The videos are 4-9 minutes long and can be used in a myriad of ways: watch one at the beginning of a lesson to get the students thinking about a topic, break students up have them jigsaw the content (speaking and listening standards… check!), or have the students watch the entire series.
The MOOC’s instructor is Dr. John Shufeldt, an incredibly inspiring educator, doctor, lawyer, pilot, and entrepreneur. His experiences in these different fields have given him some fantastic lessons to share with students. This fantastic teaching resource should not be missed.
This educational website is “dedicated to the plight of endangered species and the efforts to save them”. It’s been around for more than twenty years, and millions of students have benefitted from the vast amount of content on the site.
There is truly something for everyone on this site:
- Current press releases from around the world,
- A vast list of the countries around the world and the laws and protections they each have in place to protect animals and their habitats,
- Free lessons,
- Gorgeous photos of animals.
Although this site seems like it’d be a great resource for Science teachers (and it definitely is), teachers of other disciplines can find great benefit from the material as well.
3. Holocaust Memorial Museum
This incredible website has tons of resources to help educators teach about the holocaust, genocide, propaganda, and leadership. The website is updated frequently with new resources.
A few of my favorite resources from this website:
- Essay prompts,
- Group activities,
- Online encyclopedia
4. TED Talks
These fantastic videos are no longer than twenty minutes, and are filled with insight from some of the brightest minds throughout our world.
Have a lesson on setting goals to teach, but you need a gripping intro? I suggest Matt Cutts’ talk: “Try Something New for 30 Days”.
Teaching a novel with a strong-willed protagonist? Use Diana Nyad’s talk: “Never Give Up” and have students discuss the parallels between the character and Nyad.
Want to teach your students about the power of learning a foreign language? Show John McWhorter’s talk titled, “4 Reasons to Learn a New Language”.
The content of the talks are amazing, but what I loved more than anything was being able to expose my students to college-style lectures given by some of the most respected names in academia. The power of doing that for Title I students who primarily will be first-generation college students cannot be understated.
5. Teaching Tolerance
If you haven’t already signed up for their free magazine, go to http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/subscribe and do that now!
The magazine is full of fantastic articles and great content on current events.
My favorite free resource this site has available for teachers are the film kits. Teachers can order free films that come with free materials to use in the classroom.
They are engaging videos that can be used with a myriad of different lessons.
6. Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
This website is dedicated to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.”
The website has incredible resources for teachers to use when teaching about bullying. One of my favorite community-building activities I did with my students during the year was called “Concentric Circles”. This free lesson plan, along with many others I used in my classroom, came from the ADL’s A World of Difference program.
7. Teachers Pay Teachers
What I wouldn’t have given for Teachers Pay Teachers to be around during my first two years in the classroom. Seriously!
What many teachers might not know is that in order to create a seller’s account on Teachers Pay Teachers, one must upload a FREE resource.
There are thousands of incredible free resources for teachers on this educational website. From lesson plans to fun activities to professional development resources, you can most likely find it for free on this teacher website!
Here at Outliers Publishing, we have created a ton of free common-core aligned lesson plans for teachers as well. Check them out and let us know what you think.
We recently wrote a blog about other money-saving tips for teachers. Check out our list of 15 Teacher Hacks That Every Teacher Should Know.
We hope that you benefitted from this list of educational websites and that you’ll explore some of the resources. More than anything, thank you for doing what you do.
Download Our Free SMART Goal Setting Worksheet
Download our Free SMART Goal Setting Worksheet (PDF) to help you achieve your Leadership Goals