Lesson plans that support a place-based approach to learning

Place-based learning is local, using the real world around a school as the classroom. A place-based approach is learner-centered, grounded in student inquiry, experiential learning, civic engagement, and service work.

Place-based projects are unique to the area that creates them, but that doesn't mean you have to design every piece yourself. Students in different locations can explore the same curriculum topic, but a place-based approach means their resulting work is unique to the context of their local community.

Use a place-based approach to make student learning meaningful by connecting student learning to the world around them.


Social Studies

image of historical postcard from the Library of Congress

Postcards from the Past

Create a historial postcard from a person who visited this place in it’s heyday

Everyday Heroes

Everyday Heroes

Interview a local hero and design multimedia materials that showcase their contributions

image of candles and lights

Commemorative Ceremonies

Design and lead a ceremony commemorating a local hero or event

Artifact Interviews

Artifact Interviews

Use personification to craft a fictitous interview with an artifact you encountered locally

picture of city plaza

Pop-up Plaza Proposal

In this lesson, students craft a proposal for a pop-up plaza or parklet where community members can relax, reflect and connect.

Map with pins and a magnifying glass.

Virtual Museum

Create a virtual museum to showcase the history, people, and culture of your area


cutout image of student field guide page

Fantastic Field Guides

Design a field guide to teach others about the plant and animal species found in your area

image of gardening shed

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Make your school garden a showcase of local foods, native plants, or endemic butterflies.

Here’s to Your Health

Here's to Your Health

Research a local health issue and craft public service announcements to raise awareness

Language Arts

Modernize a Fairy Tale

Modernize a Fairy Tale

Write a modern fairy tale that takes place in your community

Lead Type

Publish a Digital Magazine

Publish a student-created digital magazine about issues important to your community

Your Next Class Trip

Your Next Class Trip

Craft a presentation to persuase others to choose a local destination for your next class trip


Now That's a Problem

Now That's a Problem

Students will create word problems using events and objects specific to their surroundings

image of shapes

Seeing Shapes

Identify the shapes in materials around your classroom, school, or neighborhood

Angles All Around

Angles All Around Us

Locate angles in your surroundings and write poetry to describe them

More sites to help you find success in your classroom


Share your ideas, imagination, and understanding through writing, art, voice, and video.

Rubric Maker

Create custom rubrics for your classroom.


A curated, copyright-friendly image library that is safe and free for education.


Write, record, and illustrate a sentence.


Interactive digital worksheets for grades K-8 to use in Brightspace or Canvas.

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Digital Storytelling

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Project-based Learning

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Informational Text

English Language Aquisition



Language Arts



Social Studies

Visual Arts