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Lesson Planning for UDL: 6 Websites to Explore for Ideas, Explanations, and Inspiration

Lesson Planning for UDL: 6 Websites to Explore for Ideas, Explanations, and Inspiration

Today’s classrooms are more diverse than ever. Students see, hear, speak, move, read, write, understand English, organize, engage, and remember in so many different ways. At the same time, current law and contemporary teaching practices not only expect and encourage education in inclusive settings, but they also require evidence of it. So, to meet the needs of the widest range of students, what should teachers consider when planning their instruction? That question is at the heart of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach.

UDL provides a framework to create and implement lessons with flexible goals, methods, materials, and assessments that support learning for all students. Materials and tools to support UDL instruction may be created by publishers, education technology providers, state education agencies, school districts, or teachers, among others. No matter the source or format, by presenting content in a variety of ways, UDL can help teachers ensure that learning is accessible to all students, regardless of their learning needs and preferences.

Luckily, there are plenty of resources readily available to help you incorporate a UDL approach in your classroom. Not quite sure where to begin? We’ve compiled some of our favorite (and free!) websites, portals, and online tools to help you get started!

Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network (UDL-IRN) Instructional Planning Process

The UDL-IRN is one of the premier organizations supporting the adoption of UDL approaches. Its website has tons of great resources, including UDL research,  professional networking, credentialing, and much more, but this instructional-planning document provides an especially valuable outline of what the design process should look like when creating UDL lesson plans.

Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Universal Design for Learning

The KDE is doing great work to promote UDL implementation. Its UDL homepage offers general information on understanding the framework, as well as an extensive list of lesson-planning materials and fully built lesson plans.

CAST UDL Exchange

The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) is organization of education researchers who originally developed UDL. The CAST UDL Exchange is designed to be a networking hub for educators following the UDL framework. This hub offers resources, lesson plans, and collections for educators to access, share, and repurpose to support classroom instruction guided by the UDL principles.

CAST Model UDL Lesson Plans

Another great resource from CAST, this lesson-plan builder also offers a few easy-to-access, ready-to-use lesson plans to implement in the classroom. Plus, commentary and explanations from the teachers who created the plans are included!

Durham College Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment (C.A.F.E.) UDL Home Page

The C.A.F.E. (more commonly known as the Enrichment Centre) at Durham College in Ontario, Canada, was actually created as a portal for the college’s faculty—but the site has a library of great UDL resources that are applicable to any educator following the approach, including research, lesson plans, and graphic organizers.

The UDL Project Tools & Lessons

The UDL Project is a research undertaking originally started by a team of elementary teachers passionate about the framework. While the team has wrapped up its research, it continued to curate resources and guidance on implementing UDL. Check out the site’s UDL Tools & Lessons section for helpful classroom tools for all grades and lessons for K–5 language arts and math.

Looking for even more UDL insights? Check out this blog post: Applying Universal Design for Learning in the Classroom: An Educator’s Thought Process!