Planning for Classroom Content

In addition to your full-length broadcast program site, expand your audience and better serve educators and students by creating a companion website that includes compelling classroom content. Typically, PBS expects to see specific ideas about classroom content and educational extensions of programming as part of the original proposal submitted to PBS, and/or as part of web content outlines submitted to PBS Digital.

In addition to being a cost-effective means of reaching large numbers of teachers, online distribution allows for greater interactivity in your educational materials and qualifies your program for additional promotional opportunities within PBS.org.

If you decide to offer classroom content, your homepage must include a direct link to the classroom section. According to our most recent survey results, educators comprise more than 27 percent of the traffic to PBS.org. It's important to help this group of users find classroom resources quickly and easily. For more guidance on creating classroom materials, contact general audiences educational content manager Jenny Bradbury at jsbradbury@pbs.org.

Classroom Content Index Page

Websites with classroom content must include a main landing page for educators that contains the following standard elements:

  • The intended grade/age range for the program and online activities.
  • A reminder to preview all online and video content before sharing the content with students.
  • A hyperlinked title and brief description of each classroom activity contained within the section.
  • A link to Shop PBS for Teachers video product page, if video product is offered through PBS.
  • A link to PBS Teachers (http://www.pbs.org/teachers/). 
    • Many teachers navigate to a specific site's classroom content from Teachers, and then have difficulty navigating back. We suggest a link that says, "For additional classroom content, please visit PBS Teachers."
  • Any specific disclaimers about sensitive content within the program or on the website. It is most helpful to include quantifiable, specific information, such as "brief nudity for five minutes in episode four."

Classroom Lesson Plans and Activities

Each classroom lesson plan must include the following standard elements:

  • An introductory paragraph
  • Objectives (usually written as "students will be able to:..."
  • Estimated time required
  • Materials required
  • A classroom activity procedure, leveraging the program's vide assets; general audience interactive features on the Web site (timelines, simulations, etc.); and, where possible, links to credible, relevant information elsewhere online.
  • Assessment suggestions
  • Video assets: Sites with content and promotion specifically geared to pre-K-12 educators should include some number of video segments, available via streaming from the PBS.org program Web site and referenced within any lesson plans or classroom activity ideas also provided.
  • Extension ideas
  • Brief author biography (if applicable)

For more information about developing high-quality lesson plans, contact general audiences educational content manager Jenny Bradbury at jsbradbury@pbs.org.

PDF Versions of Classroom Content

Individual activities may be in PDF format, but individual activities should not be accessible only through an aggregation in a larger PDF file. PBS advises against delivering classroom content within one large PDF file because these large files may be difficult for some teachers to download.