As teachers in 2019, we’re expected to have lots of colourful, interactive, engaging material for every lesson. Long gone are the days where plodding through a reading comprehension and answering the questions was considered a decent lesson!
It would be a full time job in and of itself to create, design, edit, print, laminate, cut, and update all of the resources needed across the curriculum. Thankfully, in recent years the internet has become a treasure trove of ideas, resources, and content, much of it free. Below are my go-to resources for every subject, as well as my top recommendations on where to look for more.
English – ‘Storybird‘ is a great website for creative writing. You can choose visual or written prompts, and there are also tutorials on how to write in certain styles or with certain techniques.
Gaeilge– ‘AnMuinteoir.ie‘ has a great collection of poems, songs, and interactive games. It has loads of visual content, and is very good for younger classes. Subscription is €20 a year.
Maths– TopMarks Daily 10 lets you choose a particular area to focus on, e.g. subtraction, fractions, and fires off ten quick questions which students can answer orally or on mini-whiteboards. It’s a nice way to start off your Maths lesson once or twice a week, especially with the middle classes. The PDST have tons of ideas on the various strands as well – just put ‘PDST’ after the strand unit in a Google Search!
History –‘Simple History‘ is a brilliant YouTube channel, full of high-quality, animated videos that you can incorporate into any topic you are covering with senior classes.
Geography –‘Seterra’ turns the world into one big, fun interactive jigsaw. You can choose anything from continents to rivers, and have the students compete for the fastest time.
Science –The Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI)has a bank of ready made science lesson plans, in both English and Irish, which not everyone knows about. Definitely worth checking out!
Music –If you are teaching note names or musical literacy to older classes, I highly recommend using the ‘Name that Note’ activity on www.teachingideas.co.uk. The kids love the competitive element, and they teach themselves without even realising it!
Drama – ‘Drama Notebook‘ has a massive collection of games, scripts and plans to suit all levels and ages. (some free and some as part of a monthly subscription).
Art –‘Deep Space Sparkle’ is my go-to website for art lesson plans (again, some free and others as part of a premium membership). Pinterest is fantastic as well, but if you need an art lesson broken down step-by-step (like me!) it doesn’t get better than DSS.
PE –Most people have come across the ‘PSSI Materials‘ in college, but if not, they’re well worth taking a look at. ‘The PE Specialist’ is another great resource, which has lots of videos of Ben actually teaching the games and activities to his class in real-time.
SPHE – ‘Webwise’ has some brilliant resources on internet safety for parents, teachers and students. You can download the resources for free, and also order physical copies to your school. They also have some very engaging videos for the classroom.
Religion – Back to YouTube for this one! ‘CrossRoads Kids’ Club’ channel has an entire playlist of kid-friendly, animated videos, covering various characters and stories from the Bible, which you can add into your lessons. Great for younger classes especially!
Computers/ICT – I ran an after-schools ‘Digital Media’ club in our school last term, and so have a whole pile of sites you can use to incorporate ICT into lessons, or teach ICT skills on their own. We used ‘Kahoot’to create and play quizzes, ‘Biteable’ to make animated videos, ‘Wix‘to create simple websites, and Canva to make posters’. All of these are free!
Resources made by Other Teachers
- TeachersPayTeachers– A fantastic website, mostly from American teachers, but with a huge quantity of high-quality resources. Filter results to show you the free resources before you buy anything!
- Mash– An exclusively Irish bank of plans and resources, made by practicing teachers who know what’s it like to spend your evening staring at a computer screen.
- Instagram Pages:Instagram is a another great place to find inspiration, particularly just to plant an idea into your idea that might blossom into a lesson or unit of work.
So there you have it, a pretty comprehensive list of the resources I find most useful across the curriculum.