Lesson Planning Survival Tips! 40+ Resources

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I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. – Socrates
Within the garden of learning is the students’ gained knowledge put into use. The way we design our lessons and activities determine how successful our learners will be in grasping new knowledge. We also have to ensure students pass tests and achieve learning objectives. Our lessons can help us achieve both. We don’t possibly have enough time to design incredible lessons for every objective, but on the web we can find 1000s of great lessons created by teachers that we can adapt to meet our students’ needs. Below, find resources, templates, and websites to help you design this year’s lesson plans. If you like these ideas then be sure to check out my new book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom.
Get your copy of Hacking Digital Learning, The 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, [email protected]!

Anthony Gaughin talks about a GREAT lesson having these elements:
G- group dynamic
R- relevance to learners’ lives and needs
E-emergent language and ideas focus
A- attentiveness
T- thoughtfulness
To this list I would add flexibility. We need to leave room in our lessons for our students to take the learning where it needs to go.
Some of us need a framework from which to build our lessons. This can be a structured template, sketchnote, or mind map of our lesson plan. As an experienced teacher, I prefer less framework and I like to map out my lesson.
Sites For Free Lesson Plans
Read, Write, Think– tons of lesson plans and interactives to get students writing.
Google literacy lesson plans– students learn how to be better online researchers.
Share My Lesson– nearly 255,000 teaching resources including lesson plans based on the Common Core.
Teachers First– several resources, units, and lesson plans submitted by various teachers.
Learn Zillion– several lesson plans you can search by subject.
TED Ed Lessons– download transcripts and free lesson plans. Create your own lesson plans based on famous TED Talks.
Microsoft– find Skype lesson plans, virtual field trips and more.
Curriki– find several lessons and curated collections.
Canva– visual lesson plans that incorporate Canva’s digital poster and presentation creation tool.
Find many more lesson plans at these sites- Teach-nology, Teachers.Net, Lessons A to Z, Lesson Planet, Scholastic, Hot Chalk, Kids Discover,  The Teacher’s Corner, and Learning Bird.
Free ESL Lesson Plan Sites
Here are a few places to find free lesson plans to teach English in any subject or to any age level! You can also access these in my PearlTree of Bookmarked Sites.
Sean Banville has various sites with over 4000 free lesson plans you can download as PDFs.  Each lesson plan is accompanied by online quizzes, games, and mp3s to supplement the articles. The sites are Breaking News English, Movies, ESL Discussions, Famous People, ESL Holidays, Business English, Listen a Minute, and American Presidents.
Film English– lesson plans based on films.
Debate and Discuss– lesson plans to get students to debate and discuss issues.
TEDx ESL– lesson plans based on TEDx Talks.
ESL Ted Talks– lesson plans you can download as pdfs designed around various inspiring Ted Talks.
Lesson Streams– lesson plans you can download as pdfs designed around various Youtube commercials, music videos, and more!
Designer Lessons– lesson plans based on videos for language teachers.
Child Drama- lesson plans for children that incorporate drama.
Challenge: Adapt one of the great lesson plans you find on these resources to meet your learners’ needs.
If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.

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