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Library

Local Resources

History & Social Studies

The Freedom Trail

While the Freedom Trail website does link to a full American Revolution curriculum guide, it unfortunately costs $30 (if you’re going to use it a lot, it could be worth the investment). However, they also link to a fantastic game called “For Crown or Colony?” It’s free and intended for social studies classes in grades 7-12, should take 1-1.5 hours to complete, and includes all related MA education frameworks. This will really engage your students!

Subjects/Grades: Social Studies, 7-12

Boston Public Library

While this page does contain mostly primary sources, I consider it local because it is a collection at the Boston Public Library’s Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center, and available digitally as well. All of the contents relate to Boston and the surrounding area, and contain a plethora of maps, data, activities, and lesson plans. Most of the topics relate to history and geography, but it also includes a section on climate change in Boston. This comprehensive and fascinating collection covers lessons for grades K-12.

Subjects/Grades: Social Studies and

Science, K-12

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Mass Humanities

Mass Moments is a project of Mass Humanities, whose mission is “to support programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life throughout the Commonwealth.” This page is rich with extremely comprehensive social studies lesson plans for grades 3-12, complete with educational standards connections, activities, worksheets, and discussion prompts. The topics covered are usually left out from traditional history books, such as the treatment of Indigenous people by English settlers, slavery in New England, and women’s rights. There is absolutely something for every student to find engaging.

Subjects/Grades: Social Studies, 3-12

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Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

This simple but engaging booklet covers the history of Massachusetts with readings and activities about the state flag, first Thanksgiving, the state government, and more. Free to download and print, it’s easy to adapt for grades 3-6 classrooms and use as part of larger lessons as well. As a state-provided resource, it’s designed to meet Massachusetts educational frameworks.

Subjects/Grades: Social Studies, 3-6

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Mathematics & Engineering

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Literature & Writing

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Performing & Visual Arts

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Health & Wellness

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Science & Technology

Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom

This site was an exciting discovery of resources I didn’t even know existed. In collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources, the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board, and the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture, this page contains lesson plans and worksheets relating to agriculture in Massachusetts, but also surprisingly covers more than just science; there are lessons pertaining to math, history, nutrition, and even economics. There are fun labs like cheese-making, and the different topics cover options for all grades. They are also designed to meet Massachusetts educational frameworks. This free set of resources is a goldmine!

 

Subjects/Grades: Science, Social Studies,

Math, and Health, K-12

National Audubon Society

Mass Audubon is a particular favorite of mine; we have a family membership and have visited most of their statewide locations. Their educational resources are free PDFs that are convenient to download, and explain every last detail of the lesson, including educational frameworks, equipment needed, and safety precautions. They’re also divided into early education, K-5, and middle/high school sections. For older students, their online game iPlan provides an interactive experience on investigating and solving simulated urban and regional planning problems. They provide these resources through a grant, which has allowed them to create some truly amazing free teaching tools.

Subjects/Grades: Science, K-12

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Massachusetts Farm to School

This is another agricultural resource that I was excited to discover. Covering a range of topics such as pollinators, seed germination, fertilizers from the sea, and more, this Massachusetts-focused resource contains full lesson plans and experiments. While most are designed for grades 7-12, there are also some options for younger students. There are enough tools here to tie in with almost any science lesson, and give it a local connection to further student engagement.

Subjects/Grades: Science, K-12

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