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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 painting of a side profile silhouette of a black woman with an afro in greens and blues with a bright background of pink, orange, yellow, and purple.

6 Teaching Tools for Black History Month

From interactive timelines and rich multimedia to lesson plans and study guides, find a variety of web resources that can help bring black history into the classroom.

20 3,940 107,935 views

Honoring Our Families' Immigrant Narratives

Two teachers' research and ELA unit explored students' own family immigrant stories while creating a storytelling experience as a vehicle for empathy, community, and great writing.

6 1,029 2,721 views
Six high school students, all in green shirts, are sitting in a row at individual desks looking towards the front of the class. One of them has their hand raised.

How and Why Intrinsic Motivation Works

Discover approaches for helping students feel personal autonomy, choice, and self-determination.

31 3,105 22,249 views
A group of students are sitting close together in chairs, smiling and goofing around. Two are flexing their arms, looking at the camera.

Use Humor to Teach Your Students About Careful Communication

Students analyze newspaper headline bloopers in this classroom activity and gain a greater understanding for clear communication.

4 2,931 18,616 views
Two teenagers are sitting at a table with a laptop, one is holding a cell phone charger and the other is holding a cell phone, connecting it to a white wire.

22 Powerful Closure Activities

Closure ends a lesson and creates a lasting impression, so make it fun. Students will better retain information reinforced with music, movement, art, or play.

9 17,200 185,484 views
Three women are sitting at desks, looking at the front of the classroom, smiling.

Performance-Based Assessment: Reviewing the Basics

Performance-based assessments share the key characteristic of accurately measuring one or more specific course standards. They are also complex, authentic, process/product-oriented, open-ended, and time-bound.

2,842 18,843 views
Graphic of an open padlock

Open Educational Resources (OER): Resource Roundup

Explore this educator's guide to open educational resources for information about online repositories, curriculum-sharing websites, sources for lesson plans and activities, and open alternatives to textbooks.

23 5,439 88,661 views



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.

437 60,809 views
A young boy wearing a striped blue and orange t-shirt is looking at a bubble in front of his forehead that is almost the size of his head. He's outside. Behind him is grass next to a brick floor with a basketball hoop and a tree fence.

How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships

In the first of five posts about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels offers strategies to help explore how joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust can help students.  

29 14,539 59,901 views

Using Project-Based Learning to Teach World Languages

World Languages community discussion group facilitator Don Doehla uses project-based learning to teach foreign language and meet state standards. He supplies three lessons as examples.

36 913 57,179 views
Graphic of "We Can Do It" poster

Women's History Month: 6 Lesson Plan Resources for Teachers

Matt Davis highlights free and easy-to-implement classroom resources to celebrate Women's History Month in March.

6 1,951 53,548 views

5 Ways to Give Your Students More Voice and Choice

Edutopia blogger Rebecca Alber offers up five ways to inspire more student-centered learning in your classroom.

6 6,098 52,414 views

Back to School: Goal Setting With Your Students

Blogger Maurice Elias explores 12 virtues for teachers to use when goal setting with students.

7 1,069 52,414 views

5 Ways to Empower Students

Teacher, student and blogger Adora Svitak explains how teachers can give students a more empowering role in their own education.

14 485 48,812 views