Lesson Plans and Resources

These online resources are grouped by subject, so just click to expand the subject you’re interested in.

American History
ResourceDescription
Stanford History Education Group (SHEG)Looking for history materials for distance learning? Explore our Reading Like a Historian curriculum for over 150 free document-based lessons!
C-SPAN ClassroomFree video-based materials for social studies teachers
California History-Social Science ProjectIn response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve put together an admittedly incomplete collection of lesson plans and primary source collections that we think might be useful for teachers and / or parents working with their own K-12 children.
Zoom In U.S. History LessonsZoom In is a free, Web-based platform that helps students build literacy and historical thinking skills through “deep dives” into primary and secondary sources.
America in ClassThe National Humanities Center presents America in Class®: primary and secondary resources, webinars, and lessons for history and literature teachers.
The Gilder Lehrman InstituteAt the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.
Civil Rights SourcesSelma Online is more than a history lesson. It’s a call to action to learn about
democracy, civil rights, and the need to safeguard voting equality in every generation.
PBS Learning MediaExplore the past and learn about the present with resources on government, history, economics, and more.
PBS Ken Burns in the ClassroomKen Burns and his collaborators have been creating historical documentary films for more than forty years. Known for a signature style that brings primary source documents, images, and archival video footage to life on screen, these films present the opportunity to pose thought-provoking questions for students, and introduce new ideas, perspectives, and primary sources.
PBS The American ExperienceAMERICAN EXPERIENCE, the award-winning PBS series from WGBH Boston, brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America's past and present. Discover this country's rich history in this collection of media-based resources from the series.
PBS Spanish VersionLos maestros, los estudiantes y las familias se están preparando con el cierre de escuelas, y el equipo creador de las lecciones y los educadores de PBS LearningMedia se han unido para seleccionar una colección especial de recursos organizados por grado y materia. En la colección, hay videos, planes y actividades que apoyan el aprendizaje en el hogar. Regístrese con una cuenta gratis para guardar y organizar sus selecciones.
National Women’s History MuseumExplore all of the resources the National Women’s History Museum has created. There are lesson plans, biographies, posters, primary sources, and more. You can search by topic, theme, or resource type.
National WWI MuseumA searchable database of primary source documents, lesson plans, articles, videos, and more from institutions including the National Archives, Library of Congress, Stanford History Education Group, HISTORY®, and many others.
National WWII MuseumRegister for FREE to access lesson plans, essays, and multimedia resources from The National WWII Museum
Put the Museum's innovative exhibits and extensive collection of artifacts to work in your classroom with the all-new ww2classroom.org. Registration is easy, free, and helps us serve you better!
The Ronald Reagan Presidential LibraryOf great importance to an educator are the resources available to support not only the function of teaching students, but for the continuous learning of the instructors themselves. Intended as a comprehensive national resource center for U.S. History, civics, and social studies teachers, the information provided within this site encompasses student curriculum, programming for educators and students alike, and nationwide professional development opportunities.
New York Historical SocietyExplore all the New-York Historical Society-created curriculum materials, which align with New York State Learning Standards and contain lesson plans and primary sources (documents, photos, maps and more). Materials are available digitally and/or for purchase in hard copy, as indicated in the list below.
Smithsonian American History MuseumThe museum's History Explorer website offers many standards-based online resources for K-12 learners.

Distance learning resources from the Smithsonian include online activities tied to national learning standards and support for teachers and parents.
Historical Scene InvestigationThe Historical Scene Investigation Project (HSI) was designed for social studies teachers who need a strong pedagogical mechanism for bringing primary sources into their classroom. With the advent and accessibility of the internet, many libraries, universities and government agencies are housing their historical documents online. Simultaneously, there has been a push in K-12 history education to give students experiences that more closely resemble the work of a real historian.
Students of HistoryThis free set of resources is designed specifically to be shared with students while they are out of school. The majority of materials are videos, Google Docs, and printable resources. Therefore, you will need a Google account to make the most of the materials.
CertellForever free social studies content.
Created by teachers, for teachers.
Trusted, standards-based, media rich, digitally delivered content at your fingertips. Any device. Any time. Anywhere.
Library of CongressThe Library's doors may be closed, but we are still here for you. On this page you'll find ways to engage with authors you love and ways to connect to the Library’s resources from anywhere in the world.
DocTeachAccess thousands of primary sources — letters, photographs, speeches, posters, maps, videos, and other document types — spanning the course of American history. We're always adding more!

Borrow from an ever-expanding collection of document-based activities created by the National Archives, and teachers around the world. Copy and modify activities for your students.

Create your own activities using the online tools. It’s as simple as: (1) selecting a tool, (2) choosing your primary sources, and (3) customizing instructions.
Teaching American HistoryTeachingAmericanHistory.org and the Ashbrook Center offer a variety of resources and programs to homeschool parents and students, just as we do for traditional school teachers and their classes. All our web-based resources are free to use by anyone, and access to our graduate, undergraduate, and high school programs are open to anyone who would like to apply. Below are some resources that we believe are particularly useful to homeschoolers.
C3 Teachers (NCSS)The Inquiry Design Model (IDM) is a distinctive approach to creating curriculum and instructional materials that honors teachers’ knowledge and expertise, avoids overprescription, and focuses on the main elements of the instructional design process as envisioned in the Inquiry Arc of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for State Social Studies Standards (2013). Unique to the IDM is the blueprint, a one-page representation of the questions, tasks, and sources that define a curricular inquiry.
National Park ServiceTake your students on a "virtual field trip" where they can talk with a ranger or go behind the scenes at a park.
New VisionsNew Visions for Public Schools has developed full scope and sequence curricular frameworks designed for the Global History and Geography I and II courses and the U.S. History course. The curriculum integrates rich primary and secondary texts, maps, images, videos, and other reputable online sources into materials that meet the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework’s objectives and provide students an opportunity to improve literacy skills by focusing on thinking critically while reading, writing, and speaking like historians.
The American YawpThe American Yawp: A Massively Collaborative Open U.S. History Textbook
World History
ResourceDescription
Big History/World History ProjectThe current global circumstances have forced many of us to step out of our ordinary routines. We’re at home. Some of us are teaching at a distance for the very first time. Others are looking for resources and activities our students can do while at home To help, the OER Project is introducing two new projects aimed at supporting teachers and students alike. The most important thing to remember, as you dive into the materials below, is that you don’t have to do this alone. Big History Project and World History Project are, above all else, communities of teachers, faculty and scholars focused on teaching history. Join us. We can do this together.
United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumThese Museum websites provide a variety of ways to learn and teach about the Holocaust and other genocides and mass atrocities. Resources include the Holocaust Encyclopedia, Experiencing History, and History Unfolded.
Jewish Partisan Educational FoundationMost people have never heard of the 20,000-30,000 Jews who fought back against the Nazis as Jewish partisans. These Jews were responsible for blowing up thousands of armored convoys and thwarting the Nazi war machine in countless ways. This information has the power to transform people's perception of the Jewish experience during the Holocaust.
Amnesty Human Rights AcademyWelcome to Amnesty's Human Rights Academy! Training a new generation of human rights defenders - strengthening the human rights movement through action oriented education.
CertellForever free social studies content.
Created by teachers, for teachers.
Trusted, standards-based, media rich, digitally delivered content at your fingertips. Any device. Any time. Anywhere.
World History for Us AllWorld History for Us All is a national collaboration of K-12 teachers, collegiate instructors, and educational technology specialists. It is a project of the National Center for History in the Schools, a division of the Public History Iniative, Department of History, UCLA.
Teach It HistoryTeachit History allows teachers to share resources with each other to avoid reinventing the wheel! You’ll find varied and interesting approaches to teaching History at KS3-5 including work sheets, source packs, role plays, interactive resources and games all carefully crafted and edited by History teachers. We’d love you to be a part of it!
Council on Foreign RelationsFrom essays and discussion questions to glossaries and up-to-date reading lists, World101 provides comprehensive teaching resources for each of our modules.
New VisionsNew Visions for Public Schools has developed full scope and sequence curricular frameworks designed for the Global History and Geography I and II courses and the U.S. History course. The curriculum integrates rich primary and secondary texts, maps, images, videos, and other reputable online sources into materials that meet the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework’s objectives and provide students an opportunity to improve literacy skills by focusing on thinking critically while reading, writing, and speaking like historians.
National WWI MuseumA searchable database of primary source documents, lesson plans, articles, videos, and more from institutions including the National Archives, Library of Congress, Stanford History Education Group, HISTORY®, and many others.
National WWII MuseumRegister for FREE to access lesson plans, essays, and multimedia resources from The National WWII Museum
Put the Museum's innovative exhibits and extensive collection of artifacts to work in your classroom with the all-new ww2classroom.org. Registration is easy, free, and helps us serve you better!
AramconWorld Magazine (Islamic World)We produce AramcoWorld to increase cross-cultural understanding by broadening knowledge of the histories, cultures and geography of the Arab and Muslim worlds and their global interconnections, past and present.
U of A Center for Middle Eastern Studies' lesson plansFrom this page, you can access the the many resources we have for K-14 educators to use. Our Outreach Library is currently undergoing some improvements to make it easier for you to access the 300+ books, videos, and other materials in our collection.
U of A Center for Middle Eastern Studies' teaching resources & background materialsFrom this page, you can access the the many resources we have for K-14 educators to use. Our Outreach Library is currently undergoing some improvements to make it easier for you to access the 300+ books, videos, and other materials in our collection.
Pulitzer Center World NewsWant to inspire your students with global issues and the journalists who cover them? Our programs engage students, foster curiosity, and encourage critical thinking.

We provide lesson plans, in-person and Skype journalist visits, workshops, and professional development.
UofA Center for Middle Eastern Studies - ResourcesIf you are looking for lesson plans, background information materials, and other info for teachers related to the Middle East-North Africa (and sometimes Central Asia or the Balkans), you will find over 200 resources at the University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies website. The lessons are searchable grade level, content area, and country.
UofA Center for Middle Eastern Studies - LessonsIf you are looking for lesson plans, background information materials, and other info for teachers related to the Middle East-North Africa (and sometimes Central Asia or the Balkans), you will find over 200 resources at the University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies website. The lessons are searchable grade level, content area, and country.
Government/Civics
ResourceDescription
Civics Renewal NetworkThe partner organizations in the Civics Renewal Network have gathered resources to help teachers and parents coping with school closings. These resources cover grades K-12 and offer a variety of activities to keep students engaged in learning outside the classroom. Please check back often as we will continue to add resources.
C-SPAN ClassroomFree video-based materials for social studies teachers
StreetlawIn response to the closure of schools across the country, Street Law has developed a list of resources and suggested learning strategies for at-home learning. Please continue to visit this page for updates in the future.
Bill of Rights InstituteDiscover engaging approaches for students to think, engage, and contribute. BRI will provide the tools students need to learn about current events and understand history.
BRI Documents of FreedomA comprehensive digital course on History, Government & Economics. Easily search for primary-source focused resources that fit seamlessly into your teaching plans.
Bill of Rights Institute Video PlaylistEstablished in September 1999, the Bill of Rights Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization that works to engage, educate, and empower individuals with a passion for the freedom and opportunity that exist in a free society. The Institute develops educational resources and programs for a network of more than 50,000 educators and 70,000 students nationwide.
Engaging CongressEngaging Congress is a FREE, fun, interactive game that uses primary source documents to explore the basic tenets of representative government and the challenges they face in contemporary society.
iCivicsWhether you’re a parent or an educator, our free resources provide enrichment activities and lessons to keep learning going at home. We suggest starting with our games. They’re an educational way to engage kids and provide structure in a home school setting.
Constitutional Rights FoundationWe’re in this together. Our team is developing new resources in real time to help students keep learning at home.
Knowing the challenges families and teachers are facing, we are using a variety of media:
Low-tech: lessons that can be emailed, uploaded into your learning management system, or copied and distributed through “packet pick up.”
Taught online: lessons and activities teachers can use on Google Hangouts, Zoom, or whatever platform you may be using.
Taught by CRF and Youth: webinars led by CRF staff and/or youth for your students (and families) to participate in.
Teaching with the NewsTeaching with the News: Free lessons connect your classroom to headlines in the news.
Economics
ResourceDescription
Arizona Council on Economic EducationLooking for resources to help engage your students? Do personal finance topics seem dry or intimidating? Are you tired of doing a Google search to find high quality Personal Finance resources faster? Come learn about the lessons, interactive games, activities, and resources that are available at your fingertips for FREE!
Next Gen Personal FinanceIn 2014, Tim and Jessica Endlich founded Next Gen Personal Finance as a non-profit organization to partner with teachers by sharing timely and relevant curricular resources, providing effective professional development, and advocating to increase access to financial education. Given the organization's commitment to reach ALL students, NGPF provides its curriculum and PD at no cost to schools.
EconedlinkEconEdLink provides a premier source of classroom-tested, Internet-based economic and personal finance lesson materials for K-12 teachers and their students. With over 435 lessons to choose from, teachers can use as many of the lessons as they would like and as often as they would like.
Certell Forever free social studies content.
Created by teachers, for teachers.
Trusted, standards-based, media rich, digitally delivered content at your fingertips. Any device. Any time. Anywhere.
Hands on BankingThe award-winning financial education program, available in English and Spanish, offers free non-commercial content – lesson plans, instructor guides, student courses, activities, lessons, quizzes and much more.
Econ Ed at the St. Louis FedYour planning and classroom times are limited. Our free economics and personal finance lessons, activities, and readings provide flexibility and real-world connections, making it easier to prepare students with 21st century skills for college and career readiness. We have great resources for consumers and parents, too!
EconlowdownEcon Lowdown is a FREE platform with online courses and videos for K-12 and college classrooms.
Geography
ResourceDescription
Geographic Big IdeasWe started by asking more than a hundred teachers, businesspeople,
and local officials a simple question: “What are ten big ideas about world
geography that every student, every worker, and every voter should
know?” We were not trying to identify the ten most important facts
about the world. We were looking for ten ideas that could help people
understand a lot of other facts and put them into perspective.
GeoInquiriesGeoInquiries™ are short, standards-based inquiry activities for teaching map-based content found in commonly used textbooks. Each activity is designed using a common inquiry model and can be presented quickly from a single computer and projector or modified for students’ hands-on engagement. Collections of 15-20 activities per topic enhance your curriculum throughout the year.
National Council for Geographic EducationNCGE is the only national organization that supports geography teaching at all levels — from kindergarten through university. We are committed to ensuring that all students graduate with the knowledge and perspective to be engaged and responsible global citizens. Our members include U.S. and international teachers, professors, students, businesses, and others who support geography education.
National GeographicIn these unprecedented times where change and disruption seem to dominate routine, National Geographic is navigating ways to support, nurture, and care for learners and the educators who reach them. The good news is that there are many engaging and fun ways to learn at home. We invite you to explore these collections of activities that have been curated for educators, parents, and caregivers to implement with K–12 learners.