Special Education Teacher Resources

From resources for the special education classroom to accommodations for mainstreamed students with special needs, explore Lesson Planet’s reviewed and rated teaching strategies, assessment tools, apps, lesson plans, videos, resource collections, and activities designed to make learning come alive across disciplines!

Whether new to special education or an experienced veteran, starting out the year can be difficult. Here is a model you could use when developing your own weeklong schedule. There are apps to help instructors write IEP goals and objectives for all kids in your caseload. Check out this video review of one such app.

Lesson Planet has resources, lessons, and apps designed for learners on the autism spectrum, sample lessons provided by an ADHD specialist, lessons for children with moderate disabilities and/or Down syndrome, and activities for other students with profound needs. The resources in our collection are designed to make your job just a little bit easier.

Showing 3,121 resources
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Instructional Video15:49
Curated OER

How Social Media Can Make History

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
From Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 to Facebook, Twitter, and TXT. Here’s a must-see video for anyone interested in the transformation of the media landscape and message distribution. The narrator traces four...
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Instructional Video3:32
TED-Ed

Beach Bodies (In Spoken Word)

For Students 7th - 12th Standards
"But we're tired, and exhausted, from trying to be something we're not." Insecurity from body image can play a significant role in adolescence and into adulthood. Watch as two young poets tackle this issue head on through the creative...
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Instructional Video4:47
TED-Ed

A Warm Embrace that Saves Lives

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Millions of parents around the world must resort to ineffective, unsafe methods in order to keep their newborns warm. TED Fellow Jane Chen presents a new invention designed to address this problem, and concludes by calling for a "new...
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Instructional Video17:34
TED-Ed

The 3 A's of Awesome

For Students 7th - 12th Standards
"I was trying to remind myself of those simple, universal little pleasures, that we all love but we just don't talk about enough." Neil Pasricha reveals three secrets to leading a fruitful life that led him to write a best-selling novel...
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Instructional Video1:06
Steve Spangler Science

CD Hovercraft - Sick Science! #043

For Teachers 3rd - 10th
Make a hovercraft out of a compact disc, a balloon, and a few other materials. This is an activity that every physical science learner in your class can make if they bring a sports drink pop-top bottle to class. It will help them...
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Instructional Video4:52
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TED-Ed

Should We Eat Bugs?

For Students 5th - 10th Standards
Cricket cookies? Mealworm mac and cheese? Bugs are super nutritious! Why don't we eat them? Viewers discover the history of entomophagy, that is, the practice of eating insects and spiders, by viewing a fascinating video that explores...
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Instructional Video5:03
TED-Ed

How Sugar Affects the Brain

For Students 7th - 12th Standards
Attention, sugar addicts! Here's why you can't quit the habit. Sweet taste receptors send a signal to the brain, which activates a reward system that responds by telling you to eat again. Over activating this reward system results in a...
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Instructional Video5:14
TED-Ed

How to Fossilize Yourself

For Students 4th - 9th Standards
Here is an unusual question: How can I become a famous fossil for future generations to examine and adore? It is from this comical perspective that viewers learn how fossilization occurs. Show this for your middle school paleontologists...
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Instructional Video7:32
TED-Ed

Leaders and Followers: What Tango Teaches

For Students 9th - 12th
What a great metaphor for understanding the qualities that belong to great leaders and followers! Discover the symbiotic relationship that exists in tango partners, with a special focus on how to achieve a stable, graceful performance...
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Instructional Video4:18
TED-Ed

The Physics of Human Sperm vs. the Physics of the Sperm Whale

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Here is an unusual comparison: the swimming conditions of a sperm cell and a sperm whale. Introduce your physics class to the Reynolds number by sharing this video comparison during your fluid mechanics unit. Afterward, teach them to...
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Instructional Video19:24
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TED-Ed

Retrofitting Suburbia

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
An award-winning architect speaks about the need to rehabilitate underused parking lots, past-their-prime shopping malls, and other structures. She gets us to take a look at successful retrofits and proposes plans to give others a...
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Instructional Video9:22
TED-Ed

Protecting the Brain Against Concussion

For Students 6th - 12th Standards
"When kids sustain a concussion, we talk about them getting dinged or getting their bell rung...but what is it that we're really talking about?" This is a video that every adult and child should watch, as it details the real consequences...
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Instructional Video17:54
TED-Ed

A Global Culture to Fight Extremism

For Students 11th - Higher Ed Standards
"Have you ever wondered why extremism seems to have been on the rise in Muslim-majority countries over the course of the last decade? Have you ever wondered how such a situation can be turned around?" This is a fantastic resource to...
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Instructional Video4:49
TED-Ed

The Terrors of Sleep Paralysis

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Half of the population experiences sleep paralysis at least once in their lives, and it can be a truly unique and terrifying ordeal. Discover how cultures across the world have offered various paranormal explanations for this phenomenon,...
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Instructional Video1:57
Curated OER

SpongeBob's House is Not a Pineapple

For Students 7th - 12th
Who would have thought we could use SpongeBob as a mathematical example? A fantastically fun video that provokes higher thinking about the reality that SpongeBob's house might not actually be a pineapple based on its relation to the...
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Instructional Video5:16
TED-Ed

What Percentage of Your Brain Do You Use?

For Students 7th - 12th
Have you heard that humans only use about 10 percent of their brains? Well, don't believe it! After describing the tremendous amount of energy needed to power our 86 billion densely packed neurons, the narrator also explains how our...
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Instructional Video6:10
TED-Ed

How Fast are You Moving Right Now?

For Students 6th - 12th
Did you know that when you are sitting in your easy chair, you may be moving up to 1000 miles per hour depending on what part of the planet you are sitting on? Consider relative speed by watching this moving video. Boggle brains in your...
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Instructional Video5:33
TED-Ed

What is a Fungus?

For Students 6th - 12th Standards
After watching a short film about the anatomy and physiology of fungi, discuss with your class the seven provided Think questions, or make up your own. The animation is in the style of colorful artistic drawings and text that appears in...
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Instructional Video3:25
TED-Ed

If Molecules Were People...

For Students 7th - 12th Standards
By watching this droll and delightful animation, physical scientists consider what happens when molecules collide. In this film, however, parodic people bump into each other, exchanging limbs in the process, just as molecules might trade...
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Instructional Video4:01
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TED-Ed

The Simple Story of Photosynthesis and Food

For Students 4th - 8th Standards
Meet adorable, animated chloroplasts as they produce glucose with the help of the sun. Viewers learn how carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and electrons are combined to form carbohydrates with an engaging video. The narrator also explains how...
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Instructional Video4:22
TED-Ed

What Is Fat?

For Students 6th - 12th Standards
An animated fat molecule explains how some fats are beneficial and some are harmful. He describes triglyceride molecules and how the chemical bonding or overall shape determines the health value of each individual type of fat. This...
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Instructional Video4:09
TED-Ed

The Brilliance of Bioluminescence

For Students 4th - 9th Standards
Illuminate the darkest corners of your marine biology or life science class with this feature about bioluminescence. Viewers see that luciferase and luciferin combine in a cool, light-producing reaction. This adaptation helps glowing...
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Instructional Video5:05
TED-Ed

What is Chirality and How Did it Get in My Molecules?

For Students 9th - 12th
Flashy animation, superb narrative, and a touch of bad-hair-day humor explain the nature of chiral molecules in this five-minute feature. Viewers find out how chemist Jacobus Van't Hoff proposed that some saturated carbon molecules are...
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Instructional Video3:07
TED-Ed

How Mendel's Pea Plants Helped Us Understand Genetics

For Students 7th - 9th Standards
A brief animation introduces heredity to your beginning biologists. They will meet Gregor Mendel's green and yellow peas, dominant and recessive traits, homozygous and heterozygous alleles, and Punnett squares. In this cartoon animation,...