What Are the Most Common Teaching Materials Used by Teachers?

Education For All

What are the most common teaching materials used by educators? Lesson plans, Textbooks, Manipulatives, Visual aids, etc., are all important components of any teacher’s classroom. So let’s take a closer look at each teaching materials and resources New York, NY. How do teachers use them? Which ones are most effective? Here are some guidelines. 

Lesson plans

A lesson plan is a document in which a teacher outlines the objectives and materials needed for a specific lesson. It should be a part of a larger curriculum, encompassing unit instruction, a series of activities, or a single lesson. Lesson plans may also include formative assessments that measure student proficiency in the objectives. They should also have a defined beginning, middle, and end.

A lesson plan defines what will happen during a particular lesson and outlines how to get there. A lesson that involves interaction and mutual learning is more effective. Therefore, lesson plans should not be packed with jargon and complex vocabulary. Instead, they should outline specific tasks and minimize vagueness, focusing on essential learning instead of the gimmicks of a lesson. Lesson plans can be as short or long as one hour long, depending on the students’ age group or learning style.


While textbooks are used in most classrooms, they do have several shortcomings:

  1. They do not take into account students’ prior knowledge and skills.
  2. They do not adapt lessons to meet students’ individual needs. A teacher needs to determine each student’s knowledge level before introducing a textbook and assign questions based on that knowledge.
  3. Textbooks are typically too thick and overly complex, forcing instructors to use outdated examples from prior generations.
  4. They rarely deal with the discovery aspect of modern researchers.

The physical characteristics of a textbook also influence its durability and cost. Textbooks should be frequently updated to reflect current contexts. To cater to the changing needs of all students, they should accommodate their cultural and religious backgrounds and provide diverse content. However, some textbooks still present stereotypes, especially of women, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities. Additionally, textbooks may not always reflect current events, resulting in certain underrepresenting groups and perpetuating their disadvantage.


Teachers use a variety of materials to teach students. Many materials are physical, but others are virtual. Some teachers use virtual manipulatives to reinforce concepts and skill-building. Virtual manipulatives were used more frequently across grade levels in grades K-2 and 5-6, whereas others were used more frequently in grades 7-8. Teachers use virtual manipulatives in various ways, including creating classroom sets with die-cut manipulatives.

Using manipulatives effectively encourages students to engage in problem-solving, reasoning and transfer their understanding to the real world. It is important to use judgment when using these materials, including base ten blocks and Cuisenaire rods. The use of manipulatives is intended to address learning differences, but it is also helpful to demonstrate alternative pathways to an answer.

Visual aids

Teachers have a variety of ways to present materials in the classroom. They can make realia from clothes, paper, or other materials, such as books, magazines, or photographs. These materials can be laminated and used to support a variety of teaching topics. Visual aids are often the most effective for short periods of talk time, allowing teachers to present information more efficiently. Teachers should experiment with different visual aids in the classroom before selecting a favorite.

Visual aids can greatly enhance a teacher’s communication ability with their students. For example, during a lesson about the Oregon Trail, a student may learn some information by hearing stories. Still, a colorful map or computer game will give them more details and make the lesson more engaging. Teachers can also make a subject come to life using objects or pictures. For example, holding a rock in one’s hands can help a student better understand the formation of rocks.


While the benefits of course packs are numerous, they are not a silver bullet. Teachers and faculty alike should be aware of some limitations. For example, course packs cannot replace existing textbooks in all cases. Instead, a course pack should be based on the instructor’s course content deemed most important. Besides, other materials could be useful for students. So, what are the advantages of using course packs?

Coursepacks are printed collections of readings and other materials teachers put together to supplement college and university courses. The development of coursepacks has attracted significant attention from educators and policymakers in the run-up to the 1976 Copyright Act. The act codified the concept of fair use at 17 U.S.C. 107 and specifically describes multiple copies for classroom use. While this is an excellent practice, many faculty still use coursepacks to supplement their materials.