Lesson Plans & Teaching Resources

SPICE lesson plans and teaching resources leverage the best Stanford scholarship to promote student inquiry, empathy, critical thinking skills, and multiple perspectives, and to foster global understanding. Our top-rated teaching materials bring the world alive in your classroom.

SPICE Lesson Plans

We offer lesson plans on a wide variety of topics in history and the social studies, ranging in grade level from elementary through community college. Our award-winning lesson plans are comprehensive, effective, and backed by Stanford content experts you can trust. Whether you are teaching world history or current events, world cultures or international studies, our lesson plans will engage your students in a deep and nuanced exploration of the subject.

Example Lesson Plan Collections

Illustration in the SPICE teaching resource "Sadako's Paper Cranes and Lessons of Peace"

Middle School Lesson Plans

We publish about 30 different lesson plans for middle school classrooms, ranging in topic from the historical Silk Road and the geography of Africa to Islamic art and feudal Japan.
SPICE curriculum unit "Preventing Deadly Conflict"

Teaching With Simulations

Our lessons employ a variety of teaching strategies, from guided discussions to graphic novels and film. Simulations can be among the most challenging to run, but the experiential learning students gain through well-designed simulations can be extremely enriching for building empathy and understanding.
SPICE curriculum unit "Divided Memories"

Teaching About China

If you teach about Asia, you're in luck! SPICE publishes dozens of extensive lesson plans focused on Asia, especially China, Japan, and Korea. These are our best lesson plans for teaching about China, ranging in topic from folktales to historical memory and from religion to China's modern economic rise.

Free Teaching Resources

Besides our traditional lesson plan catalog, we also offer an extensive assortment of free teaching resources online, including scholarly lectures, interactive educational websites, streaming films, downloadable teacher’s guides, and content readings for both teachers and students. These free online teaching resources can be used in the classroom or accessed at home, providing extra instructional flexibility. Many of our teaching resources are organized into the collections below.

    Scholars Corner
  • Scholars Corner
  • Interactive Websites
  • SPICE Digest

Scholars Corner

Scholars Corner features videos of scholars from the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) discussing contemporary issues and research in their fields of expertise, reflecting FSI’s research interest in the problems, policies, and processes that cross international borders and affect lives around the world. Each video is accompanied by a suggested short activity and/or lesson that can be used in the classroom to help students better understand the content being discussed.

Interactive Websites

This collection of interactive websites, which can be used as standalone resources or in conjuction with a SPICE curriculum guide, utilizes interactive maps, simulation, and assessment games to engage students in a variety of topics—spanning from environmental issues to the geography and history of Japan. 

SPICE Digest

A collection of articles, created to provide educators with background information on a wide variety of topics related to Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the global environment, and international political economy. SPICE draws upon the diverse faculty and programmatic interests of Stanford University.

Featured Video Series

In addition to our Scholars Corner collection, we also produce video series—both short documentaries and scholarly lectures—that examine a single topic or theme in depth.

Example Video Series

Japan and the World

Based on the Stanford University course “Japan and the World: Innovation, Economic Growth, Globalization, and International Security Challenges,” this video lecture series and accompanying lesson plans introduce students to the economy, politics, and international relations of contemporary Japan.

My Cambodia and My Cambodian America

In 1975, a radical new government assumed power in Cambodia, inciting genocide and forcing many Cambodians to flee their homes for other countries. Through a pair of short documentary films, students become acquainted with Cambodian and Cambodian-American history and begin to consider some of the complex issues raised by that history.

Mexican Revolution and Nation Building

The Mexican Revolution (roughly 1910–20) was an event that thoroughly transformed Mexican culture and government. But it may have had just as lasting an impact on U.S. perceptions of Mexico. In this lecture series, four historians from El Colegio de México, one of Mexico’s leading universities, offer their reflections on the Mexican Revolution, including its many legacies and global connections.

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