Lesson Plans and Unit Idea Websites
When teachers set out to align classroom and computer lab activities to specific state standards, it is sometimes difficult to design from scratch, new ways to engage students. If you don't know what's possible, than how can you design fresh learning experiences for your students? Although it is easy to consider that high quality lesson plans and activities can be found on the web, teacher would be best served with lesson plan databases where the activities are collected and evaluated by other educators. In other words, rather than "googling" lesson plans for your particular content area, start with a couple of these high quality databases. Each is sponsored by organizations, networks, and individuals who have expertise, passion, and the desire to provide student with learning experiences that take advantage of the rich and powerful capabilities of the Internet. There are an overwhelming number available, so take some time to get to know which ones serve you the best.
Thinkfinity - Start here when looking for lesson plans, activities, and learning resources
CurriculumWiki - "CurriculumWiki provides a free collaborative environment for educators to contribute and continuously improve online activities for preK-12 students."
Gateway to 21st Century Schools - sponsored by NEA, this is a gateway to high quality lesson plans and resources for all areas of teaching and learning, lesson plans come from a number of teacher resources
New York Times Learning Network - based on current events, these free lesson plans, strong in Social Studies and Writing content are engaging because they relate to real-world issues and actual article from the New York Times.
BBC Schools - includes online activities - learning resources for home and school, look for interactive activities - this site provides lesson plans with learning objectives and assessment
PBS Teacher Source - "PBS Teachers is PBS' national web destination for high-quality preK-12 educational resources. Here you'll find classroom materials suitable for a wide range of subjects and grade levels. We provide thousands of lesson plans, teaching activities, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations. These resources are correlated to state and national educational standards and are tied to PBS' award-winning on-air and online programming like NOVA, Nature, Cyberchase, Between the Lions and more."
Scholastic Teacher Site - One of the most comprehensive sites on the Internet. Find lesson plans, tools for teachers, printables, teaching ideas, and access to many high quality activities for students
National Science Digital Library - "access to high quality resources and tools that support innovations in teaching and learning at all levels of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education"
Edutopia – George Lucas Foundation teacher resources for best practices in educational technology, online publication that provides high quality information about technology integration
Internet for Classrooms – Helping teachers use the Internet effectively, look for interactive activities organized by grade level, subject matter, and learning objective, including skill builders by grade, subject, and standard. All websites have been evaluated by two educators who have been collecting these resources for over 10 years.
Smithsonian Educator Resources - The best feature is the ability to search by state standards for recommendations of activities
The Exploratorium – the Museum of Science, Art, and Human Perception, "a collage of hundreds of science, art, and human perception exhibits. The Exploratorium is a leader in the movement to promote museums as informal education centers." Online Activities and Online Exhibitions
National Geographic Lesson Plans