How to Integrate Online Lesson Plans Into Your Curriculum

Art on the ipad in lessons

With only a few weeks left until the start of the new school year, many teachers are preparing their lesson plans for September and mapping out the curriculum for the rest of the academic calendar. As anyone who has worked in education knows, creating custom lesson plans can be time-consuming, especially when teaching multiple grade levels (such as in a high school), subjects (such as in an elementary school), or students with varying academic abilities. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of online lesson plans out there for teachers to reduce the burden of lesson planning without sacrificing the quality of instruction.

If you’re a teacher looking for ways to make some changes to your curriculum without starting from scratch, incorporating online lesson plans can be the answer. However, you will still want to make sure any online lesson plans you use are the right fit for your students. Here are some of the best ways to make the most of online lesson plans.

Use online databases to find pre-made lesson plans for your subject area and grade level

Type in “online lesson plans” into Google, and you’ll end up with almost 300 million results! Narrowing the field can be daunting, so here are a few places to start:

  • Crowdsourcing sites like Teachers Pay Teachers, which offer free and paid lesson plans that you can search by grade level or subject.
  • Education publishers like Scholastic, which include reading and science lesson plans for elementary and middle school students. These lesson plans are often tailored to specific Scholastic books, like The Magic School Bus.
  •, a comprehensive database with a variety of online lesson plans for all grade levels and subjects ranging from art to social studies.’s comprehensive plans include step-by-step instructions on how to structure the lesson, along with suggested materials.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your online lesson plans should adhere to any state standards you are required to follow. For example,’s online lesson plan database includes which Common Core Curriculum Standards the lesson fulfils.

Find online lesson plans that provide supplementary materials

When looking for online lesson plans, you’ll want to find one that includes additional learning materials, like quizzes, homework assignments, and group activities to further reinforce the students’ knowledge and track progress. These resources can be used in conjunction with your previously existing lesson plan, or as part of the new lesson plan you found online. For example, this lesson plan about fractions includes resources like videos, activity suggestions, games, and practice tests. You could choose to use some, all, or none of these extra resources, based on how your structure your curriculum.

Adapt online lesson plans for your students’ needs

While online lesson plans might seem as easy as “print it and go” or play a video on the projector, they do not have the same level of personalization that a bespoke lesson plan would. For example, not all materials associated with the lesson plan will necessarily fit your students’ abilities, especially if you are teaching a more advanced class, an ESL class, or a remedial class. Luckily, you can take online lesson plans and customize them further–such as swapping out an activity or changing the difficulty of the homework assignment–to fit your students’ needs.

Want to try online lesson plans for yourself? Start with one of these free lesson plans courtesy of 


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