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The Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library has many materials containing lesson plans, primarily in the form of curriculum guides, in both print and microfiche formats. According to the Facts on File Dictionary of Education, a curriculum guide differs from a lesson plan in that it includes "one or more aspects of curriculum and instruction, such as philosophy, policies, aims, objectives, subject matter, resources and processes" (p.138), while a lesson plan "includes the instructional objectives and methods for a particular functional unit or period of instruction" (p.271). Many lesson plans are embedded within the curriculum guides. The following is an explanation of several ways to locate lesson plans and other teaching materials on a particular topic in the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library.
Please direct all comments or requests for information to Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library.
Questions? Ask a librarian.
If you are looking for lesson plans on a topic, see the handout labeled Guide to the Curriculum Collection in the Education and Social Science Library . At the end of this packet, there is a "Call Number Guide by Subject for Curriculum Collection." Find the call number that corresponds to your subject. For example, if your subject was American history, the call number would be 973. Then you may either go to the online catalog and do a call number search to see titles within that call number range, or you may go to the shelves and browse the call number area in the curriculum guides section. Curriculum guides are shelved separately from the textbooks and other materials. Look at the map at the end of the About the Curriculum Collection guide to determine where they are located.
There are also many internet sources for lesson plans and curriculum ideas and activities. Some of these include:
ReadWriteThink is a website focused on literacy for K-12 students. It provides detailed, research-based lesson plans that can be searched by grade level as well as area of literacy practice. The site also includes a wide variety of web resources, including instructional, reference, professional development, and interactive student resources.
United States Mint Lesson Plans (http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/)
This site uses U.S. coins to teach basic math and counting. By exploring the "Additional Materials" section, teachers are able to find several ideas for teaching social studies, language arts, and science using coin-related topics. Each lesson plan has been contributed by teachers and includes grade level and national standards information.
Awesome Library (http://www.awesomelibrary.org/)
This site provides lesson plans for most subject areas and includes links to other informational sources that can be drawn upon to create original lesson plans. The extensive listings about multicultural holidays and current events are especially useful.
Developed by the National Endowment for Humanities and other sources, this site contains links to 49 of the "top humanities sites" and lesson plans in the areas of history, English and language arts, foreign languages and art history. It also includes learning guides that provide tips for using sites for designing class curricula and activities. Sites are searchable.
Gateway to 21st Century Skills (http://thegateway.org)
Now sponsored by the National Education Association, the Gateway to 21st Century Skills (formerly known as GEM) is a one-stop educational resource which provides thousands of lesson plans and activities as well as other pertinent information pertaining to all K-12 subjects. Users can browse sites by subject or keyword, or they can search by subject, keyword, title, or full-text of the site description.
Kraus Curriculum Development Database (http://www.kcdlonline.com/) [Access restricted to UIUC affiliates - for UIUC off-campus authentication, follow link in database title]
This searchable database of curricula, frameworks, and standards brings together educational objectives, content, instructional strategies, and evaluative techniques for all subjects covered in PreK-12 and Adult Basic Education. The index covers from 1983 to the present, with full-text access to documents from edition 20, 2001 to the present.
Lesson Plan Library (http://www.discoveryeducation.com/teachers/free-lesson-plans/)
The Lesson Plans Library site contains lessons for grades K-12 in common and not so common subjects. Plans range in subject from literature and math to forensic science and meteorology. Written by teachers and educators for teachers, these lesson plans are both comprehensive and easy to follow. Most plans define what national academic standards the lesson plans meet. In addition to providing a plethora of lesson plans, this site is also linked to several other "teaching tools" from The Discovery Channel.
Lesson Plans Page (http://www.lessonplanspage.com)
This page allows for easy searching for specific lesson plans by subject (math, science, language arts, and art), grade level, and area within the subject searched. While this site contains lesson plans for K-12 grades, it has a concentration of plans for K-6 grades. LessonPlansPage.com has an extensive selection of lesson plans for math, science, language arts, and art, especially for the lower grades.
Library of Congress Lesson Plans (http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/lessons/index.html)
The Library of Congress has teacher-created, classroom-tested lesson plans on United States social studies, geography, science, sports and recreation, journalism, and literature, among other subjects. All of the lesson plans use primary sources that can be found at the Library of Congress and are provided with each lesson plan. Lesson plans can be searched by topic or by era (The American Revolution, 1763-1783, Rise of Industrial America, 1876-1900, Great Depression and WWII, 1929-1945, etc.). Grades 3-12 are targeted, with lesson plans having recommended grade levels of 3-8, 6-8, 6-12, or 9-12. State standards can be found by searching within each lesson plan for state, grade, and subject.
Peace Corps WorldWise Schools Lesson Plans (http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/educators/lessonplans/)
Based on lessons used by teachers in the Peace Corps, provides over 100 standards-based lesson plans. Different concepts and subjects are illustrated using examples from regions and cultures. Searchable by grade level, region/country, and subject area.
Smithsonian Education Lesson Plans (http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/lesson_plans.html)
The Smithsonian Institution has many resources for educators, including hundreds of lesson plans in all subject areas and grades from preK-12. Lesson plans are searchable by subject and by grade level and each lesson plan includes all of the materials needed (photographs, handouts, suggested strategies, reproductions, activities, standards information, and additional online resources). Lesson plans are created around an inquiry-based learning model and make extensive use of primary sources and museum artifacts.
Teacher.Net Lesson Bank (http://teachers.net/lessons/)
This lesson bank is interactive and allows for both retrieval and submission of lesson plans by teachers. One can search for lesson plans by subject area or education level, or browse the lesson bank by keyword. Some lessons are available directly online, but others must be requested from the teacher who submitted the lesson plan. All lessons include a direct link to the author/submitter of the plan.
United States Department of Agriculture Teacher Center (http://www.agclassroom.org/teacher/index.htm)
This website, produced by the nation’s experts in the field of agriculture, includes nearly 200 lesson plans for grades K-12 on all aspects of agriculture and agricultural history. Most lessons focus on facets of the American agricultural system, however there are several lessons on agriculture around the world. Lesson plans include science experiments, Web Quests, introductions to careers in agriculture, and agriculture as an aspect of the global economy. The lesson plans are listed in alphabetical order by title with the intended grade level for each lesson listed on the right.
EPA EnviroKids (http://www.epa.gov/students/)
Provides environmental games appropriate for children grades 4-6 such as environmental game shows, crossword puzzles, word searches and matching endangered species.
Food Timeline (http://www.foodtimeline.org/food2.html)
This website provides everything you have ever wanted to know about food: history, law and regulation, inventions, nutrition, and historic cookbooks/recipes to name a few. Also included are lesson plans, a food reference guide, and a list of food-specialized libraries and museums.
Teaching Earth Science: Classroom Activities and Lesson Plans (http://geology.com/teacher/)
This website provides a range of lesson plans based on geography, geology, astronomy, and other earth sciences using maps, satellite images, and other projections. Also provides links to current topics in the earth sciences.
America Responds (http://www.pbs.org/americaresponds/educators.html)
Compiled by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), this page provides lesson plans for teachers who wish to teach about issues such as war, patriotism, peace, and tolerance.
American Memory Lesson Plans (http://www.loc.gov/teachers/index.html)
Uses photographs from the Library of Congress American Memory Historical Collection to enhance lessons that are based on topics from our nation's past. A few examples of lessons include: the Civil War, the Dust Bowl, Baseball Cards, Inventions, and many more.
Digital Cultural Heritage Community Curriculum Units (http://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/dchc/resources.htm#)
The Digital Cultural Heritage Community Project contains links to curriculum units supplied by 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers. Units on communities, the U.S. Constitution, the French in Illinois, and Westward Expansion are just a few of the topics you will find covered here.
Digital History (http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/teachers/teachers.cfm)
This extensive historical website provides resources for teachers who want to make learning about history interesting and exciting. Key features include an interactive timeline, online textbook, and history reference room. There are also resource guides, lesson plans, and classroom handouts.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Education Resources (http://www.stlouisfed.org/education_resources/)
This resource contains in-depth lesson plans about various aspects of economics, including employment growth, income taxes, and supply and demand. Additionally, the website offers a podcast series called The Economic Lowdown which gives students easily understandable explanations and real-world examples of economic and finance principles. Resources and activities for both students and teachers can be found in the left sidebar of the website.
Federal Reserve Education (http://www.federalreserveeducation.org/)
This website, maintained by the United States Federal Reserve, contains numerous K-12 and college lesson plans and publications on subjects such as banking, economics, government, money, and personal finance. Resources can be searched by grade level, topic, and type of resource. There is a Classroom Resources tab under which educators can find lesson plans, publications, activities, tours and programs, and academic competitions. Additionally, students can find games, fun facts, competitions, and quizzes under the Public Resources tab. Podcasts, videos, and general news about the Federal Reserve are available under News and Multimedia.
Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms (http://publications.newberry.org/k12maps/module_index/index.html)
Designed "specifically to support basic map and information acquisition skills at the K-12 levels," this website provides lesson plans based on 18 different maps. Divided into six themes, each map contains several lessons for grades K-12.
The National Archives Experience: Docs Teach (http://docsteach.org/)
Provides activities and over 3,000 primary source documents from the United States National Archives for use in the classroom. Users can find digitized primary source written documents, images, maps, charts, graphs, audio, and video that span the course of American history. Users can also find ready-to-use activities, or alter pre-existing activities to fit their needs.
National Council for the Social Studies (http://www.socialstudies.org/resources/)
The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) supports elementary, secondary, and college teachers of history, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and law. Their website includes K-12 lesson plans, as well as links to a host of additional resources. Lesson plans focus on current events or "teachable moments," as well as historical events
National History Education Clearinghouse (NHEC) (http://teachinghistory.org/)
Teachinghistory.org is designed to help K–12 history teachers access resources and materials to improve U.S. history education in the classroom. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) and the Stanford University History Education Group have created the Clearinghouse with the goal of making history content, teaching strategies, resources, and research accessible.
Smithsonian's History Explorer (http://historyexplorer.americanhistory.si.edu/)
Based on items at the National Museum of American History, this website brings the museum's "collections and research into your classroom." In addition to the tour guides, there are plenty of lesson plans and classroom curriculum suggestions.
Teaching with Historic Places (http://www.nps.gov/history/NR/twhp/descrip.htm)
Contains over 100 free middle school lesson plans in the areas of history, social studies, and geography. Lessons are based on sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places and include maps, readings, photographs, questions, and activities. Each plan is linked to national standards in the relevant subject area.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (http://www.ushmm.org/education/foreducators/)
Prepared by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, this website provides a 133 page resource book for teachers entitled "How to Teach the Holocaust." There is also an annotated bibliography and a section of exemplary lesson plans.
In the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library, there are three microfiche collections of curriculum guides that may also be searched for lesson plans or other instructional materials. These are: the Kraus Curriculum Development Library, ERIC microfiche collection, and the American Primer collection.
A. Kraus Curriculum Development Library
This microfiche collection of pre-K-12 curriculum guides covers a variety of subjects, including traditional areas (social sciences, mathematics, etc.) and other areas (Bilingual/English as a second language, special education, etc.). See the Guide to Microform Collections for a summary. To search this collection, use the Kraus Curriculum Development Library Database. Curriculum guides added to the database since 2001 are available electronically. Older curriculum guides are available on microfiche in SSHEL.
Many ERIC documents on microfiche contain lesson plans and classroom materials. When searching the ERIC database, type your subject keyword and combine with the appropriate descriptor term(s) using the AND operator.
EXAMPLE: mathematics and (lesson plans or problem sets)
The following is a list of possible descriptor terms that may be helpful:
state curriculum guides
teacher developed materials
bilingual instructional materials
More descriptor terms can be found in the Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors (025.36 U5874t).
C. American Primers Collection
To search the American Primers collection, find American Primers: a Guide to the Microfiche Collection, (MFICHE428.6 Am35 index). It is located in Room 112 on top of the microfiche cabinets.
Although this microfiche collection is mainly used for finding old textbooks and reading primers, it has a limited number of teaching manuals (lesson plans, teaching methods, learning games and activities, teacher's guides to accompany primers) from the 1700's to the mid-1930s. It mostly contains introductory reading materials from that period, such as primers, spellers, and alphabet books. However, this may be a useful resource if you are searching for historical curriculum materials.
American Primer microfiche are stored beyond the bookstacks in Room 112, in the file cabinet next to the HRAF file cabinets.