Teaching Outside the Box

Meaningful learning pushes boundaries with action, inquiry, and innovation.

Art for the Sky Pelican

Art for the Sky

Daniel Dancer creates "living" paintings using math, people, and nature.




Questions No One Knows the Answers To
TED Curator Chris Anderson shares his boyhood obsession with quirky questions that seem to have no answers.
"Jazz in America" Curriculum
by Jing Fong
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has developed "Jazz in America," an Internet-based jazz curriculum for social studies, American history, and music classes to help students "develop imaginative thinking, creativity, curiosity, a positive self image, and a respect for their own and others' cultural heritage."
"How I Write" Interviews
by Jing Fong
The Daily Beast interviews writers about their daily writing routines.
Visual Learning: Message in a Bottle
by Jing Fong
This Visual Learning lesson will get your students thinking about the risks and rewards of protests, and how to use social media to get people to support your cause.
Visual Learning: Out of Character
by Jing Fong
This Visual Learning activity will get your students thinking about the intersection of handwriting and digital typeface, and the fate of cursive writing around the world.
Biomimicry 3.8 Institute
by Jing Fong
The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute supports scientists, engineers, architects, business-people, and teachers who desire to use nature's models as inspiration for creating man-made products and sustainable technologies.
The Debate on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
by Jing Fong
Study these three infographics to get three different points of view on GMOs. Students will learn about GMOs—and become more discerning about what organizations want them to believe.
Animal Odd Couples
Are animals capable of feeling emotions? PBS Nature shares evidence that humans are not the only ones on the planet who cares, loves, and empathizes. Meet five animal odd couples.
Curriculum & Resources: TED-Ed
by Jing Fong
TED-Ed matches talented teachers and amazing animators to produce an impressive film library and platform for turning any video into a customized lesson.
Visual Learning: Lost Your Marbles?
by Susan Lloyd
This Visual Learning lesson plan will get your students thinking about community, public art, and why they can or can't buy spray paint.
Curriculum & Resources: Independent Television Service (ITVS) Lesson Plans
by Jing Fong
ITVS's Community Classroom engages teachers and students through film. Their collections of lesson plans and documentaries will launch students into a deeper level of understanding about a range of global issues, particularly involving social justice.
Go Local! Learning In and Outside the Classroom
by Sarah Anderson
Sarah Anderson writes of her unexpected journey of becoming a teacher and how place-based education has helped her empower her students and strengthen democracy in her community.
Smart Like You
Comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan learns the value of a good education, the importance of Seinfeld, and most of all, how to be a good teacher.
Words That Inspire: 3/4-Baked
by Jing Fong
Jason McLennan suggests that we stop "chasing perfection."
Maps That Stretch the Mind
by Jing Fong
Like history, maps tell a story from the writer or creator's perspective. ODT Maps believes that there are many ways to see the world—including upside down. Explore the organization's many maps (with thoughtful explanations), videos, free downloads, quizzes, and more.