User Guide / FAQ
About Lesson Planet
- 1) What is Lesson Planet?
- Lesson Planet (www.lessonplanet.com/search) provides award-winning Open Educational Resource (OER) curriculum review, search and curation tools to K-12 educators, librarians, curriculum and technology specialists, and homeschooling parents enabling them to find expert-teacher ratings, reviews and links to lesson resources that can be searched by grade, subject, Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and more. By-hand curation and evaluation of OER by experienced, credentialed educators according to a rigorous rubric provide the irreplaceable human touch. Software tools that are intuitive and sensitive to the needs of practicing teachers make Lesson Planet uniquely able to connect educators with the high quality resources they need most, in the least amount of time. Founded by educators in 1999, Lesson Planet is proud to be entirely Membership-sustained.
- 2) How is Lesson Planet different from a general search engine?
- Whereas a general search engine displays large numbers of unfiltered resultsof unfiltered results, Lesson Planet focuses on high quality Open Educational Resources (OER) that are useful to teachers, such as lesson plans, units, projects, apps, videos, templates and more. Moreover, each of the 350,000+ resources on our site has been summarized and rated by credentialed K-12 teachers, allowing members to rapidly locate relevant, high-quality curriculum. Lesson Planet also allows teachers to narrow their search by criteria specific to the classroom, including grade level, subject, standard, resource type, instructional strategy and more.
- 3) Where do the OERs I find with Lesson Planet come from?
Lesson Planet's teacher curation and review teams comb the web for OER that educators need most. We curate resources in several different ways and based on information from a variety of sources. These include the following:
- Proprietary data-mining and curation software tools and processes, designed inhouse by our engineers;
- Data on what our Members and visitors are looking for;
- Trending topics in teaching (STEM/STEAM, project-based learning, special education, apps, social emotional learning);
- Teacher-curators scouring the web by hand for resources we're confident will help teachers and students;
- Our Member Success team gathering information from teachers who contact us directly. Occasionally, this leads to our curators and reviewers (individually or in collaboration) hunting down specific resources in response to member needs. No kidding.
Note: Lesson Planet does not actually host resources on Lesson Planet. We review them and link users out to the websites that published them. In the case where links are old or broken, we have cached (taken snapshots of) many resources so they can be viewed, but we do not actually house them at Lesson Planet. This provides the added benefit of driving internet traffic to curriculum authors' and publishers' sites directly. We believe this helps both educators searching for resources as well as curriculum creators.
- 4) Who reviews the OERs, and how are they reviewed?
- Lesson Planet has a team of experienced, credentialed K-12 teachers who evaluate, summarize, review, and rate each OER in accordance with the Lesson Planet Review Guidelines. Our Resource Review Rubrics were developed by our teacher team to reflect current research and best educational practices. The expertise of our credentialed teacher reviewers is what sets Lesson Planet apart from other sites that may only use technological tools or crowdsourcing to assess a resource. We have/have had on staff elementary and secondary teachers, Stanford and University of California education program teachers-of-teachers, specialists in English, math, science, social studies, special education, PE, edtech, even experienced homeschoolers, and more.
- 5) How does Lesson Planet ensure that resources it links to are accessible?
- We strive to provide current and functional resource links. To achieve this, we employ computer programs that monitor and test our database of links on a daily basis. We also rely on the Lesson Planet member community to help us identify inappropriate, non-working, slow, or otherwise problematic links. Members can report these faulty links by clicking on the flag icon at the end of the resource summary at the top of a review page.
Account, Membership and Billing
- 1) How does the 10-Day Free Trial work?
- In order to let prospective members experience the many benefits of Lesson Planet, we offer a 10-Day Free Trial that provides full access to our website. To sign up for a free trial, simply click the green “Try It Free” button at the top right of the page, and sign up using your credit card. During the 10-Day Free Trial period, you may cancel at any time, for any reason, and your credit card will not be charged. If you enjoy using Lesson Planet and do not cancel, you will be billed and your membership will automatically begin on the 11th day.
- 2) How much does Lesson Planet membership cost?
- Lesson Planet Memberships start at $2 per month, and are billed annually (i.e. $24/year for Starter Members) beginning one day after your 10-Day Free Trial concludes. You'll find more details about different plans, prices, and benefits on the sign-up page when you set up your 10-Day Free Trial.
- 3) Why isn't Lesson Planet free?
- Lesson Planet offers time-saving, expert teacher reviews, search and curation tools and services to K-12 teachers that are increasingly critical as the volume of and emphasis on open educational resources (OER) continues to grow. In order to keep our website free of advertising, constantly find and review new high quality lesson planning resources, and continually enhance the level of service we provide teachers, we charge a minimal annual membership fee. Created and driven by experienced educators, Lesson Planet is committed to helping teachers find and use the wide variety of quality OER the Internet has to offer, and to gather, store, and organize them, along with our Members' uploaded curriculum, for easy, anytime, anywhere accessibility. We are constantly adding more resource reviews, site features, and teacher tools. And we are inspired by appreciative and encouraging feedback we receive from Members around the world.
- 4) Can more than one teacher use the same Lesson Planet membership account?
- 5) I want other teachers at my school to have access to Lesson Planet. Does Lesson Planet offer a group, school, or district site license?
- Yes. Organizations, schools, and districts of ten teachers or more can sign up for a cost-effective and easy-to-administer site license through Lesson Planet School Edition. For more information about setting up a Lesson Planet School Edition account, contact our Member Success team at MemberSuccess@lessonplanet.com or call us at (888) 909-9035 (M-F 8:00am - 12:00pm, 1:00pm - 4:30pm PT).
- 6) When will my membership renew?
- 7) How do I cancel my 10-Day Free Trial or my annual membership renewal?
- Log in to Lesson Planet, click on your name (in the upper right-hand corner) and select "My Account." From here, click "Manage Membership" in the right-hand column, and then "More Account Options" at the bottom of the page. Click the link that reads "Special offers and cancellations" below the "Change Plans" button.
- 8) What if I forget to cancel my 10-Day Free Trial or my annual membership renewal?
- Lesson Planet offers a 45-Day Money Back Guarantee. If for any reason you choose to end your membership with Lesson Planet, you may contact our Member Success team at MemberSuccess@lessonplanet.com to request a refund within 45 days of your credit card being billed.
- 9) How do I update my current password?
- First, log in to Lesson Planet and click on your name in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Select "My Account" from the dropdown menu. On your account page, you will find a "Change my password" link under the heading "Personal Information" within the Account Information sidebar.
- 10) How do I update my credit card information?
- To make changes to your payment information, log in to Lesson Planet and click on your name in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Select "My Account" from the dropdown menu. On your account page, click on the "Update payment information" link, located under the "Account Options" heading within the Account Information sidebar.
- 11) How can I update my email address, or email and profile preferences?
- You can update the email address associated with your account—along with your other contact information, your email preferences, and additional profile details—from the Member Profile page. To access this page, log in to Lesson Planet, click on your name in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and select "My Member Profile." Follow the appropriate link in the Profile Information box on the right.
- 12) Will my credit card be charged if I cancel after the 10-Day Free Trial ends?
- Your paid membership begins the day after your 10-Day Free Trial expires. If you do not cancel before your trial ends, your credit card is automatically charged on the eleventh day for the annual membership price you agreed to when you signed up. Cancelling after the end of your 10-Day Free Trial will cancel your automatic renewal, which means you will not be automatically charged again in the future, and your membership will not be automatically renewed. Lesson Planet offers a 45-Day Money Back Guarantee. If for any reason you choose to end your membership with Lesson Planet, you may contact our Member Success team at MemberSuccess@lessonplanet.com to request a refund within 45 days of your credit card being charged.
Searching and Resources
- 1) How do I search for resources using Lesson Planet?
We suggest you start by watching our quick
Select "Search Teacher-Reviewed Resources" under the "Find Resources" menu on the top left of your screen, or enter the topic you are teaching or keywords in the search bar and click the orange "Search" button to the right. Lesson Planet will show you a list of OER to match your topic. Then, narrow your search results by selecting the appropriate grade(s), subject(s), resource type(s), and standards you wish to address using the categories on the left of your screen. Lesson Planet will automatically filter the results based on your selections.
You can further specify what you want by clicking "Expand Specific Subjects," "Expand Specific Resource Types," or "Expand Specific Standards" and clicking on an item within the box to see more detailed choices in any of these categories.
Under "Get More Specific" near the bottom of the left column on your search screen, you can choose to see resources filtered by included materials (e.g. answer key, assessment, graphic organizer), instructional strategy (e.g. project-based learning, Socratic seminar, collaborative learning, direct instruction, flipped classroom), technology integration, and more.
- 2) How can I save selected search results?
As you browse, select the "See Full Review" button below any resource that interests you. If you'd like to save the resource to your "My Resources" Curriculum Manager so it's easy to find later, simply click the 'Favorite' button that appears at the top of the resource review page. Find your favorite teaching resources under the "My Favorites" tab in your Curriculum Manager, which can be accessed by clicking on your name in the top right corner.
To learn about all the cool things you can do with your Curriculum Manager, check out this video.
- 3) How can I find lessons that align to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or Next Generation Science Standards?
Lesson Planet makes it easy to find OER that are designed for or adaptable to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Even if you teach in a state that has not adopted the Common Core, CCSS-alignment connotes a high degree of quality and curriculum design focused on 21st century skills, along with college and career readiness. And many states' independent standards are closely aligned to CCSS, so these categories can help most teachers.
In any search, you can select the CCSS for Math or ELA, or NGSS categories in the Standards box on the left. All OER we show you will support CCSS or NGSS, though which standards they cover will vary. You can see which CCSS or NGSS any resource will help you teach by clicking "See Full Review" and looking for the green standards identifiers near the bottom of the teacher review page. Hover your cursor over an identifier to see the complete text of the standard.
To search for resources that meet a specific standard, select your grade at the top of the left column, and click "Expand Specific Standards" at the bottom of the Standards box, further down the left column. From there, choose either Math, ELA, or NGSS and you'll see a listing of all standards for that topic and for the grade(s) you selected. Scroll through the standards identifiers. If you hover your cursor over an identifier in this list, the complete text of the standard will pop up just to the right. Select any standards you would like to address and the resources shown will support any that you've chosen.
- 4) When I search on Lesson Planet for OER, are they automatically aligned to the Common Core?
No, but you can easily find Common Core-aligned resources in two ways through Lesson Planet's regular search. For details, see the answer to question #3 above.
- 5) How do I suggest lesson plans that are not yet listed on Lesson Planet?
Lesson Planet is committed to finding and reviewing every high quality lesson planning resource available online. If you know of any lesson plans or other teaching resources that have not yet been reviewed and listed on Lesson Planet, please email us at
If the resources meet our quality standards, our teacher team will rate, review, and add them to Lesson Planet. Thanks for helping us make Lesson Planet better!
Login and Access
- 1) I am having trouble logging in. What should I do if I can't remember my username or password?
If you are having trouble logging in, it is likely that the email and/or password you entered does not match the login information in our system.
If you cannot remember your password, click here. Enter the email address associated with your Lesson Planet account. We'll send you an email with a link to reset your password.
Often, teachers sign up for Lesson Planet using work emails that are no longer active or are seldom used (i.e. they change schools or districts, their emails change for other reasons, etc.). If you can't log in with your current email, try entering emails that were in use at the time you signed up for your membership. If you are still having difficulty logging in, please contact our Member Success team at MemberSuccess@lessonplanet.com or call us at (888) 909-9035 (M-F 8:00am - 12:00pm, 1:00pm - 4:30pm PT).
Note: It is important to keep your account information (current email, credit card info, etc.) up-to-date. To update or change your account info, click here. From your Membership page, you can manage all aspects of your Lesson Planet Membership.
- 2) Are all OER I can find through Lesson Planet linked to websites? Why do I leave Lesson Planet when I want to see a resource for myself?
Lesson Planet links to thousands of different websites that host the OERs rated and reviewed by our team of credentialed teachers, but we do not actually house them on our site or our servers.
In most cases, when you check out a resource for yourself by clicking "Go to Resource" (or Unit, Lesson Plan, Video, Activity, Worksheet, etc.) from Lesson Planet, you will see it open in a new tab in your browser as a standard web page. To return to Lesson Planet and resume searching for resources, you'll need to go to the previous tab at the top of your web browser.
However, some sites provide their curriculum as PDF files only. In order to open a PDF, you need to have the free PDF-opening application called Adobe Reader. If you do not have this application, you can download and install it on your computer at no cost. Alternatively, we recommend using Google Chrome browser to search the internet. It automatically opens PDF files and enables you to download them easily to your computer.
Still other resources are only available as Microsoft Word documents. In this case, you need to have Microsoft Word loaded on your computer to open them.
Sometimes, when a link is no longer working, Lesson Planet will show Members a cache or "copy" of a resource as it looked the last time we checked the link when it was functioning. We do this to enable Members to find resources that may still be useful, even if they are not currently accessible online. In this case, you will not be able to link to the original site that hosted the resource, but you will still be able to see and make use of it.
- 3) What should I do if I can't open a resource?
Usually, if you're having trouble opening a link on Lesson Planet, it is because the resource is a PDF, which requires Adobe Reader. If you do not have this application, you can download and install it on your computer at no cost. Alternatively, we recommend using
Google's Chrome browser
to search the internet. It lets you read PDF files and enables you to print or download them easily to your computer.
It is also possible that the site hosting the curriculum has moved the resource or now requires visitors to become members (free or fee-based) before allowing access to the content on their website. If you come across a site that doesn't show the resource or now requires a membership to access curriculum you wish to view, please let us know by emailing MemberSuccess@lessonplanet.com or by clicking on the flag icon at the end of the resource summary at the top of a review page.
- 4) How do I report a broken link?
- We constantly review our links to ensure that we connect you to the resources you want. Unfortunately, we can't prevent all link issues. If you come across a broken link, please click the flag icon at the end of the resource summary at the top of a review page or email us: MemberSuccess@lessonplanet.com. A “broken” link can result from a site that is temporarily down, a site that has changed to a new web address, or a site that is no longer on the web at all. We will use your information to investigate and repair or remove non-functioning links from our site.
- 5) How do I report an inappropriate resource?
- We strive to connect our Members only to the highest quality resources. However, the web can change quickly. If you come across a link on Lesson Planet that leads to a site or page that is inappropriate as an educational resource, please let us know immediately by clicking the flag icon at the end of the resource summary at the top of a review page or by emailing MemberSuccess@lessonplanet.com.
What Members Say
- Almetta K., Teacher
- Calumet City, IL