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Lesson Plan Sites from Government Agencies

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This web site includes education-related web sites from government agencies which contain lesson plans for use by teachers, home schoolers, and independent learners. It is not an exhaustive list and will be updated on a regular basis since many agencies continue to add lesson plans to their sites. Each entry includes the grade levels and possible subject areas in Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) covered by the lesson plans. Many of the lesson plans on Texas government sites are fully integrated into TEKS.

The sites are organized in several ways: according to TEKS area, by an alphabetical master list, and lists by grade level. Each subject area page also includes a link to the appropriate chapter in TEKS from the Texas Education Agency web site. Not every area of TEKS is represented by lesson plans at this time. Some lesson plans can be modified for use in other skills subjects.

Atmospheric Sciences Trading Cards and Lesson Plans (Atmospheric Sciences Data Center)
Grade Levels: 5-8
TEKS: English Language Arts & Reading; Mathematics; Science; Technology Applications

  • Trading Cards are a fun and interesting method for learning about the Earth’s climate. Various aspects of Atmospheric Sciences are illustrated on Science, Mission, Data, Satellite, and Instrument cards, with an Introduction card to preface the set. Each card highlights important information that NASA uses in order to measure the Earth’s climate. Each set of trading cards is accompanied by lesson plans and activities for grades 5 through 8. Three sets are available: Radiation Budget Education, Aerosol Education, and Tropospheric Energy Education.

Census in Schools (U.S. Bureau of the Census)
Grade Levels: K-5, 6-8, 9-12
TEKS: English Language Arts & Reading; Mathematics; Social Studies

  • Teach your students about the importance of statistics by using resources that engage students in math and history using real life data. Statistics in Schools offers activities that can serve as supplemental instruction and learning tools alongside the standard curriculum. These supplemental activities align with approved standards and are searchable by subject, grade level standards, topic, or keyword.

Coverdell World Wise Schools Lesson Plans (Peace Corps)
Grade Levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-9, 10-12
TEKS: English Language Arts & Reading; Science; Social Studies

  • Peace Corps’ innovative Coverdell World Wise Schools program brings the Peace Corps experience home to American classrooms. The newly redesigned World Wise Schools site makes it easier than ever for you to find your favorite free cross-cultural learning materials including videos, lesson plans, podcasts, publications, and much more. Browse or search our many lesson plans to translate firsthand experiences of Peace Corps Volunteers into cultural, geographical, and language arts lessons for your students.

Diplomacy for America - Curriculum Modules (Office of the Historian. U.S. Dept. of State)
Grade Levels: 6-12
TEKS: Social Studies

  • Building on its long tradition of working with the academic community, the Office of the Historian has expanded its outreach efforts by producing quality teaching materials on diplomacy for American middle and high school students. These include:
    • Documents on Diplomacy: Primary Source Documents and Lessons from the World of Foreign Affairs, 1775-2011 (2011);
    • When the Border Vanishes: Diplomacy and the Threat to our Environment and Health (2010);
    • A Journey Shared: The United States and China, 200 Years of History (2008);
    • Today in Washington: the Media and Diplomacy (2006);
    • Sports and Diplomacy in the Global Arena (2005);
    • A History of Diplomacy (2004);
    • Terrorism: A War without Borders (2002)

EDSITEment! “The Best of the Humanities on the Web” (National Endowment for the Humanities)
Grade Levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
TEKS: English Language Arts & Reading; Fine Arts; Languages Other Than English; Social Studies; Spanish Language Arts & Reading

  • From the NEH in partnership with the National Trust for the Humanities, and the MarcoPolo Education Foundation, this educational partnership brings online humanities resources from some of the world’s great museums, libraries, cultural institutions, and universities directly to the classroom. Explore our library of humanities lesson plans by subject, theme, and grade level. Find Art & Culture lessons on anthropology, art history, folklore, mythology, religion, and more World Language lessons on languages and the cultures of which they are a part; History & Social Studies lessons on American (including our popular AP U.S. History index) and World History, civics, government and society; and Literature & Language Arts lessons, including AP Literature offerings, on great writing and great literary works throughout the ages.

Education Resources (U.S. Geological Survey)
Grade Levels: K-6, 7-12
TEKS: Science; Social Studies

  • Selected USGS educational resources useful to educators in primary (K-6) and secondary (7-12) school grades. Many of these resources can be used directly in the classroom (see Resource Symbols) or will be useful in classroom lessons or demonstration activities preparation, or as resources for teacher education and curriculum development.

Educational Resources (U.S. Courts - The Federal Judiciary)
Grade Levels: 9-12
TEKS: Social Studies

  • Classroom and courtroom activities apply contemporary Supreme Court cases to today’s teen issues, creating a unique niche in civics education. Court simulations offer real-life experiences with judges and attorneys at local federal courthouses. All participants are involved in the courtroom action, most importantly, as jurors. The activities are supported by interactive web resources and multimedia tools, including videos and podcasts on court fundamentals.

Educators’ Resources - Capitol Visitors Center (Texas State Preservation Board)
Grade Levels: K-8
TEKS: Social Studies

  • The Lesson Plans on this site relate directly to the tours, exhibits and films the students experience at the Texas State Capitol and the Visitors Center. They also cover material from the social studies TEKS.

Federal Registry for Educational Excellence (FREE)
Grade Levels: PreK-12
TEKS: [Comprehensive site]

  • More than 30 Federal agencies formed a working group in 1997 to make hundreds of digital teaching and learning resources created and maintained by the federal government and public and private organizations easier to find. The result of that work is the FREE web site. Subjects covered include: Career and Technical Education, English Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Math, Science, and Visual and Performing Arts.

H.I.P. Pocket Change™ Lesson Plans (United States Mint)
Grade Levels: K-12
TEKS: Economics; English Language Arts & Reading; Fine Arts; Mathematics; Physical Education; Science; Social Studies; Technology Applications

  • This web site offers hundreds of lesson plans covering all major subject areas. All are written by teachers and adhere to national standards.

History of Medicine Online Exhibitions - Lesson Plans (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
Grade Levels: K-2, 3-4, 5-8, 9-12
TEKS: English Language Arts and Reading, Health Education; Social Studies; Science

  • Developed by classroom educators with the goal of promoting critical thinking and problem solving skills among students, each lesson plan explores a topic covered in the exhibition and is supplemented with materials appropriate for K-12 classes, in addition to information about suggested grade levels, required time, learning outcomes, background information, vocabulary, materials, evaluation, extension, and relevant standards.

“Kid’s Corner” Lesson Plans for Teachers (Texas Department of State Health Services)
Grade Levels: K-5
TEKS: Health Education; Science; Spanish Language Arts & Reading

  • Lesson plans for grades K-5 on anatomy, illness and prevention, and nutrition. The nutrition lessons are also available in Spanish. Each plan includes links to the appropriate TEKS chapter. 

Lesson Plans (Federal Reserve)
Grade Levels: K-12
TEKS: Economics with Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and Its Benefits; History; Social Studies

  • Dedicated to providing teachers, students, and the public with quality materials to enhance the understanding about the economy and the Fed’s role. The curriculum search tool facilitates integrating Fed education materials into the classroom by aligning materials with National Standards.

Lessons & Activities (National Gallery of Art)
Grade Levels: K-12
TEKS: English Language Arts & Reading; Fine Arts; Mathematics; Science; Social Studies

  • Organized into thematic units, each grade-level-specific lesson plan focuses on a single work of art and can be executed within one to two class periods. These lessons meet National Art Education Association (NAEA) Visual Arts curriculum standards.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • Educational Resources - Lesson Plans
    Grade Levels: K-12
    TEKS: Career Development; Mathematics; Science; Social Studies; Spanish Language Arts; Technology Applications
    • An extensive list of educational materials can be browsed or searched by type (bookmarks, classroom activities, educator guides, etc.), by grade level, or by subject. Broad subject areas include: Careers, Earth Science, History, Life Science, Mathematics, Physical Science, Space Science, Spanish, and Technology.
  • My NASA DATA Lesson Plans
    Grade Levels: K-12
    TEKS: Mathematics; Social Studies; Science; Technology Applications
    • Online avenue whereby educators can bring NASA data into their classroom and provide students with real-world science experiences. The website offers a growing collection of over 120 standard based lesson plans to help teachers get started with data exploration. Some of the lessons were developed by the MY NASA DATA team, while others have been contributed by educators who have used the MY NASA DATA website. All lessons identify relevant national or state education standards, appropriate grade level, estimated time for completing the lesson, important vocabulary, useful links and background information.
  • Solar System Exploration - Lesson Plans
    Grade Levels: K-12
    TEKS: Mathematics; Science; Technology Applications
    • Streamlined, focused education section that provides a best of selection of planetary science and math lessons.

NIH Curriculum Supplement Series(Office of Science Education, National Institutes of Health)
Grade Levels: K-5, 6-8, 9-12
TEKS: Health Education; Science

  • The NIH curriculum supplements are teacher’s guides to two weeks of lessons on the science behind selected health topics. They combine cutting-edge biomedical discoveries with state-of-the-art instructional practices.

National Park Service

  • National Parks - Lesson Plans
    Grade Levels: K-12
    TEKS: English Language Arts & Reading; Mathematics; Science; Social Studies
    • National Parks are America’s largest classrooms. Find lesson plans about these great places.
  • Explore your National Parks: Historic Places (National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service)
    Grade Levels: 5-12
    TEKS: Social Studies
    • Includes six lessons illustrating how parks document many of the most important developments in American history. These lesson plans (designed primarily for middle school but adaptable for upper elementary through high school) can be used to enrich and enliven courses in history, social studies, civics, and geography. They have been adapted from ones published as part of the National Register’s “Teaching with Historic Places” program.
  • Teaching with Historic Places - Lesson Plans (National Park Service. National Register of Historic Places)
    Grade Levels: 5-12
    TEKS: Social Studies
    • One of this site’s primary offerings is a series of classroom-ready lesson plans created by National Park Service interpreters, preservation professionals, and educators which use historic sites to explore American history. Although designed for middle school students learning history, social studies, geography, and other subjects, TwHP lessons are easily adaptable from upper elementary through high school, and even for college courses. Each lesson includes maps, readings, and photographs, all of which are accompanied by questions. Each TwHP lesson plan links both to relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12 and also to relevant Performance Expectations for Middle Grades from the national Curriculum Standards for Social Studies.

Ocean Service Education Lesson Plan Library (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12
TEKS: Mathematics; Science; Social Studies

  • Comprehensive lesson plans present NOAA science through activities using online data from NOAA, and other trusted Web sites. The lessons are correlated to National Science Education Standards and the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts. The Lessons are designed to supplement existing curricula at the middle and high school levels.

Ocean Explorer Lesson Plans (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Grade Levels: 5-12
TEKS: Science

  • This section provides direct access to lesson plans developed by scientists and educators during Ocean Explorer field seasons. The lessons are geared toward students in Grades 5-12. Presented here as Web-based education materials, each lesson plan corresponds with a specific ocean exploration and can be supplemented with daily logs prepared by scientists and educators during each mission at sea. Includes images and video captured in the daily logs. To search for a lesson plan on a particular subject, use the site’s Advanced Search Function.

Renewable Energy Lesson Plans (Texas State Energy Conservation Office)
Grade Levels: K-5, 6-8, 9-12
TEKS: English Language Arts & Reading; Mathematics; Science; Social Studies; Technology Applications

  • The Lesson Plans were developed by a team of professional educators and renewable energy experts and include teacher resource guides, reading passages, and student worksheets in an easy-to-download format. The units were created to address four grade-level groups: grades K-3 (primary elementary), grades 4 and 5 (intermediate elementary); grades 6, 7, and 8 (middle school) and grades 9-12 (high school). They can also be used by parents and home schoolers to teach children about renewable energy.

Smithsonian Lesson Plans (Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access)
Grade Levels: PreK-3, 4-8, 9-12
TEKS: English Language Arts & Reading; Fine Arts; Science; Social Studies; Technology Applications

  • Lesson plans in art & design, science & technology, history & culture, and language arts are available. Browse lesson plans by subject area or search by grade levels and keywords. Smithsonian lesson plans emphasize inquiry-based learning using primary sources and museum collections.

Soil Education (National Resources Conservation Service. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)
Grade Levels: K-12
TEKS: Science

Teach and Learn (Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, U.S. Dept. of Energy)
Grade Levels: K-12
TEKS: Science

  • Find lesson plans, science projects, and other activities that can be done in the classroom or at home to get K-12 students excited about clean energy!

Teacher Toolkit: Activities and Lesson Plans (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
Grade Levels: K-12
TEKS: English Language Arts & Reading; Science

  • Lesson plans on explorations, ecological concepts, terrestrial ecology, aquatic activities, regions of Texas, archeology, journaling and creative writing. Activities are coded E=Elementary, M=Middle School, H=High School.

Teachers - Classroom Materials - Lesson Plans (The Library of Congress)
Grade Levels: 4-12
TEKS: English Language Arts & Reading; Social Studies

  • The Library of Congress offers teacher-created, classroom-tested lesson plans to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library’s vast digital collections in their teaching.

Teachers’ Toolbox - Resources for Teachers - Lesson Plans (Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM), Office of Science, U.S. Dept. of Energy)
Grade Levels: K-12
TEKS: Science

  • The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility Education and Outreach Program creates basic science lessons related to weather and climate for K-12th grade. ARM Education strives to make lessons that are relevant to the needs of the schools in the communities where the ARM Program has their sites, the Southern Great Plains (SGP) of the United States, the Tropical Western Pacific (TWP), and the North Slope of Alaska (NSA). However, almost all of these lessons are useful for students anywhere.

Teaching with Documents: Lesson Plans (National Archives)
Grade Levels: 9-12
TEKS: English Language Arts & Reading; Science; Social Studies

Understanding Taxes - Lesson Plans (Internal Revenue Service. U.S. Dept. of the Treasury)
Grade Levels: 9-12
TEKS: Mathematics; Social Studies

  • Understanding Taxes offers 38 lesson plans. Detailed lesson plans guide teachers’ instruction from the introduction of a given tax concept, through its development, to the lesson conclusion. Each lesson plan serves as an instructional guide on how to incorporate tax theory, history, and application into your classroom. This also gives teachers the freedom to choose lesson content and activities to use in the classroom.

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Page updated: June 2015 by Kimberly Wirth, Coordinator of Information Literacy/Research Librarian.