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Lesson Plans

Want the nuts and bolts of how other teachers are presenting material? Find Edutopia-curated downloadable and linked resources here.

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Academic Sponge Activities

A "sponge activity" is a lesson soaking up precious time that would otherwise be lost. Hint: it should be fun as well as educational.

Five-Minute Film Festival: 10 Sources for Free Lesson Plans

Exploring free lesson planning resources can be overwhelming. Some are extremely useful, and others not so much. Here, VideoAmy shares a list of 10 of her favorite lesson planning tools available, as well as a playlist of videos to help teachers utilize them.

A Lesson About Cesar Chavez and Civil Rights

Check out this engaging lesson on Cesar Chavez that uses primary sources and discussion to inspire critical thinking and empathy.


A photo of the arm and hand of a high school male, writing in his notebook.

Approaching Racial and Cultural Sensitivity

When approaching issues of racial and cultural tension, teachers must begin by recognizing their own personal discomfort -- because it does translate into their practice.

3 284 6,109 views
A photo of a middle-school student working on a tablet.

4 Best Practices in Implementing GBL

For successful gamification, build the excitement, use the data you collect, make the game fun for all students, and never underestimate the value of play.

3 1,856 8,605 views
A colorful illustration of a New Year's Eve noisemaker.

Your Possible Year: Resolutions, Reflections, Risks - and Laughs

January 1 is the middle of the school year, but it's also an ideal moment for teachers to reset the clock and refresh their expectations.

456 2,715 views
a photo of a group of high school students sitting on the floor in a discussion with their teacher.

Cracking the "Ice-Breaker Project" Jinx

Through teaching their classmates, reflecting on the experience, and refining their presentations, students learn how to create authentic, meaningful work.

3 747 12,002 views

Word Up: The Must Dos of Vocabulary Instruction

Do you display words and use those words daily in class? Check out these five must dos for teaching vocabulary.

9 7,518 44,822 views

Still Can't Remember All Their Names?

How using multiple modalities to teach can help you remember student names -- and the activities are Common Core aligned.

3 920 5,430 views

Igniting Student Writer Voice With Writing Process Strategies

Different strategies can motivate different kinds of writers. Try free writing or journaling for the prewrite, and the RAFT model or window activity for the draft.

3 3,958 39,404 views


Three young boys are sitting on a couch in their classroom, reading.

12 Ways to Nurture a Love of Reading

Nurturing a love for reading begins with providing reasons for reading and getting students excited about books.

11 7,219 25,589 views

Common Core in Action: Teaching Critical Thinking and Questioning

Edutopia blogger Heather Wolpert-Gawron outlines how project-based learning, with a focus on the common core, and iPads engaged her students in critical thinking and questioning.

6 1,550 25,136 views

To Teach Facts, Start With Feelings

Students are more likely to engage in learning if you present the material in the context of a story conveying emotions that they can understand.

6 10,368 24,230 views
Head shot of woman smiling

Resources and Lesson Plans for Financial Literacy

Educators from Ariel Community Academy, in Chicago, have provided lesson plans and web resources to help you get started.

3 274 24,004 views

New Teachers: How to Use Classroom Data to Inform Instruction

One of the greatest challenges for new teachers is collecting classroom data and figuring out ways to use it. Here's some helpful suggestions for taking on this task.

2 2,918 23,777 views
Three boys sitting together at a table in class smiling at the camera

Resources and Downloads for SEL Classroom Management

Educators from Mount Desert Elementary School in Northeast Harbor, Maine, have shared a some social and emotional learning tools, and we've gathered some of our favorite resources as well.

192 23,777 views
A boy and two girls sitting together talking about the project they're working on
Schools That Work

"I Wonder" Questions: Harnessing the Power of Inquiry

By encouraging students' wonder and recording their "I Wonder" questions, teachers can view those questions holistically and use them to develop lessons and projects that will harness student curiosity.

4 4,330 23,551 views