Teacher Freebies for Back to School

Free stuff for teachers to celebrate the new school year.

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

15 Great Finds for Back to School

Celebrate National Fossil Day, fashion 3D glasses, and advocate for change alongside Captain Planet and the Planeteers.


1 | All Hands on Deck
Reinforce the power of hands-on learning with these Common Core–based lesson plans that explore STEM subjects and the age-old art of storytelling. Each lesson contains a whiteboard-ready component and inventive craft projects, such as fanciful story hats or DIY 3D glasses.

2 | Green Power!
Teach kids about the power of green with energy-conservation activities for grades 3–8. Core-ready lesson plans illustrate the value of energy savings while reinforcing key concepts in language arts, math, and science.

3 | Rate Your Tech
This new site from Common Sense Media is designed to help educators discover and share favorite websites, games, and apps. Resources are organized by subject, grade, and price, and they’re mapped to Common Core standards for easy searching. Share your secrets with fellow teachers!

4 | Supply Closet
Staples’ new Classroom Rewards and Incentives program enables parents to earn points for their children’s teachers on purchases. First, sign up for Staples’ Teacher Rewards program, then ask your students’ parents to sign up for the Classroom Rewards program. Soon, you’ll be earning points on everyone’s purchases to use toward stocking up on much-needed supplies.

5 | Garden for Good
Inspire kids to lead healthier lives and encourage change in their communities. Get the conversation started by ordering a free classroom set of Victor’s Garden, the sweet tale of a community coming together to plant the seeds of change. Plus, check out the Inspiring Action guide for goal-oriented service projects you can start today.

6 | Comic Relief
Give your ELA curriculum a graphic twist by helping students create their own printable comic strips. Make Beliefs Comix provides everything you’ll need—from an interactive template to lesson plan ideas for teachers to writing prompts.


7 | Go Wild
Encourage students to explore the great outdoors as part of the annual Get to Know contest. Through original art, writing, photography, videography, and music projects inspired by nature, they could win cool prizes, from assorted art supplies to a Panasonic underwater camcorder. DEADLINE: November 1

8 | Kids Helping Kids
Calling all elementary school teachers! UNICEF is launching its first-ever Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF School Challenge. Teachers are invited to come up with an idea or activity to encourage global citizenship and document their students’ efforts. Five grand-prize winners will embark on an overseas field trip to experience UNICEF’s work firsthand. DEADLINE: January 31

9 | Fossils Across America
In honor of National Fossil Day, the U.S. National Park Service invites junior paleontologists to submit nominations (including original artwork and photographs) for America’s National Fossil. In 2014, kids across the nation will cast their votes for the fossil that rocks! DEADLINE: October 4

10 | Hop to It
Young nature lovers can lend their amphibian friends a hand and spread the word about conservation efforts by entering the Save the Frogs! art contest. Kids get a chance to see their original, frog-friendly designs featured on fundraising merchandise and win fun prizes.DEADLINE: October 15

Grant Opportunities

11 | Discover Young Scientists
Jump-start your STEM program through the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow awards. Samsung will provide more than $140,000 in tech tools to five schools with inspiring ideas for solving real-world issues with technology.
DEADLINE: October 31

12 | Captain Planet
Assemble your Planeteers and encourage them to become environmental heroes with a small project grant from the Captain Planet Foundation. Apply in one of five categories (Fire, Earth, Water, Wind, and Heart) to help your class implement a solution-based program on key issues affecting our planet.
DEADLINE: September 30

13 | Building Blocks
Looking to reinvigorate classroom
lessons and encourage creativity? LEGO Children’s Fund grants can be used to fund innovative project-based learning programs, ranging from PreK engineering to drama clubs designed to build language skills.
DEADLINE: October 15

14 | Draw on the Arts
The P. Buckley Moss Foundation offers grants of up to $1,000 to new and emerging educational programs that use the arts to teach students who learn differently. Past winners have included courses on freestyle and expressive painting, edible art, and new media. DEADLINE: September 30

15 | Seed Money
Start a class herb garden with funds from the Herb Society of America. Submit your application to receive a windowsill gardening kit or funds for outdoor supplies to help lay the groundwork for a strong environmental education. Just add water! DEADLINE: October 1

16 | Great Adventures
Board your school bus and embark on a new adventure with the help of a Field Trip grant from Target. Grants of up to $700 can be used to fund museum trips, journeys to national parks, and beyond.
DEADLINE: September 30


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    Language Arts, Science, Writing, Creative Writing, Arts and Creativity, Real-World Science, Class Projects, Professional Development, Science Experiments and Projects, Extracurricular Activities, Back to School, Field Trips, Teaching with Technology
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