Online Resources for Extraordinary Times

Although online and virtual resources are only a small portion of successful distance learning, having a comprehensive list of useful go-to resources can be helpful, especially as we are just beginning to wrap our heads around what learning will look like over the next few months.

Here is my constantly updated list of what I have found to be the most useful FREE resources out there during this time.

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Epic Books

40,000 digital books to read. Families can sign up for a free 30-day trial. Teachers can obtain free accounts valid until June 30.

Shared eReading by Scholastic

Digital books aimed at K-3. Reading prompts and audio included. Free until June 30.


Multi-issue publication that celebrates authemtic Indigenous voice and culture. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.

BookFlix by Scholastic

K-3 fiction and non-fiction books, paired with videos. Reinforces reading while introducing science and other topics. Free until June 30.

Storybooks Canada

Over 40 stories from the African Storybook collection available in English and seventeen other languages most commonly spoken by refugee and immigrant communities in Canada, including Punjabi and Tagalog.

Indigenous Storybooks

Stories from Little Cree Books. Pictures and text for every page, as well as narration in English and five Indigenous languages.

International Children’s Digital Library

Access to best children’s books of different cultures from around the world. Over 4,000 titles in 59 languages. Navigate by topic or by geography.

Extreme Writing

A variation on journaling with strong structure. Encourages fluency (writing quickly) and ideation (getting ideas quickly).

Audible Stories

Audiobooks. Many titles for children and youth made free while schools are closed.


Visual supports and storybuilding. Some ready-made games and activities. Great for easy access for all learners. Free 90-day trial at this time.

TumbleBooks Library

Large variety of ebooks for kids. Our district has a subscription.

Guide: Making a Poetry Podcast

Simple step-by-step guide and lesson on how to create a poetry podcast (or any podcast) by teacher and author Melissa Smith.

Unite for Literacy

Simple and visual ebooks for young readers K-3. Simple, clear text and images and narration available to read out loud.

Storyline Online

Celebrities read books out loud. Big collection of popular stories read in video format. All free.

Burnaby Public Library

Ebooks and audiobooks available from additional sources for free through a BPL account. Instructions on website to obtain a library card digitally if you don’t have one.


Prodigy Math

Free math games that are simple and easy to access and use.

Which One Doesn’t Belong?

Simple and visual activities for K-2. Good for daily activities and critical thinking around patterns and fundamental math concepts.


Tasks for math concepts sorted by grade level and math competencies. Fun, standalone tasks.


Access to Pearson resources for K-12. Access to some e-textbooks and materials for limited time. Some additional math resources for families.


Visual provocations for a number game/activity to build number sense.

Fraction Talks

More visual provocations to ask questions about fractions and math concepts.

BCAMT Weekly Math Tasks

Weekly math tasks assembled by BC Association of Math Teachers. Simple, contained cross-curricular math problems for Gr. 4-12. Also available for primary.

BCAMT Weekly Math Tasks

Weekly math problems by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Geared at Gr. 6-7 and beyond.

University of Waterloo CEMC

Fun and educational ways to explore math concepts remotely developed by the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing. Geared at Gr. 4-7.

3-Act Tasks

Simple math provocations with three steps: video, question, and conclusion. Good set up for wondering and thinking about math concepts.

Math for Love

Games, flexible activities, and rich tasks for math. Many resources available for free. Lessons separated into grade levels.

Zorbit’s Math Adventure

Fun video game for core numeracy concepts. Free resources for families and free trial of whole platform for educators during this time.

Guide: Math Resources and Tasks

Collection of resources and activities for teaching math, by UBC professor Dr. Peter Liljedahl. All levels K-7

Dice Games

Collection of dice game ideas for elementary. Easy games accompanied by video and written explanations.


Computer games that teach math concepts. Some lesson plans to build around these games available for free. High quality visual games.

K-5 Math

Packets of printable math games and activities for K-5, separated by grade level. Free during this time.


Mystery Science

Science curriculum for elementary that provokes and encourages critical thinking and wondering. We have a subscription for our school but for the time being the most popular lessons are available for free.


Free educational animated videos on variety of topics. Also K-3 and ELL resources.

TrueFlix by Scholastic

Digital books on non-fiction topics. Geared at Gr. 3-5. Free until June 30.

TIME for Kids

Library of non-fiction digital magazines on science and current events. Collections organized by grade from K-6. Also includes Your $ magazine, financial literacy for Gr. 3-6. Free during this time.

Ocean School

Structured and simple lessons on oceans, including videos and activities. All featuring high-quality videos from National Film Board.

Access Mars

View the surface of Mars in 360. Recordings from NASA’s Curiosity Rover.

National Geographic Kids

Combination of encyclopedia and fun multi-media non-fiction resources. K-7. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.

World Book Student

Children’s encyclopedia. Ideal for Gr. 4-7. Sleek, clean, looks snazzy. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.

World Book Kids

Children’s encyclopedia. Ideal for Gr. 2-5. Simpler, more fun, more interactive and visual than World Book Student. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.

World Book Discover

Simplified version of the World Book encyclopedia, an ideal research database for differentiated learners. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.

World Book Science Power

Supplemental science-focus database with activities and links to provincial curriculum. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.

World Book Early World of Learning

Non-fiction and fiction interactive resources and games ideal for emergent learners. K-2. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.

World Book Timelines

Discover and map events throughout history. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.


Draw Every Day with JJK

Simple and fun guided drawing lessons on YouTube.

Historic Tale Construction Kit

Hilarious and simple digital collage program to create imaginative stories in the form of ancient tapestry. Simple, free, easy to use.

Virtual Field Trips: Art Museums

Links to digital tours of the Louvre, National Gallery of Art, etc.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Author and illustrator of the Pigeon and Elephant & Piggie books, Mo Willems, hosts doodling and drawing sessions from his studio every day. Live at 10am PST every day or available for streaming any time.


Unity Learn

Guided coding lessons to create simple video games. Free premium access for 3 months while schools are closed.

Lessons on computer science for all grades. Make your own game, app, website, etc. Plenty of resources, all available for free.

Engineering Bingo

Simple engineering and ADST challenges that kids can do at home, or that can be modified to work as part of a larger task. Designed by Lindsey Nelson.


Free online platform to program interactive stories, games, animations. Great for creativity and reasoning, teaches fundamentals of programming.

Just for Fun

And other resources and ideas for families!

NHL Hockey

Watch classic and recent NHL hockey games in full for free during this time. Access via score page for recent games or navigate to Classic Games to see older games.

NBA Basketball

Watch classic and recent NBA basketball games in full for free during this time. Sign up for an account and use the code WATCH30 to subscribe for free.

Virtual Field Trips: Zoos

A list of virtual field trips to zoos, farms, and aquariums.

The Kid Should See This

Short, high-quality videos in a variety of topics like STEAM, history, etc. Suitable for kids of all ages. Interesting and thought-provoking.

Shaw TV Free Previews

Various Shaw television channels available for free for varying amounds of time.

National Film Board of Canada

All videos and educational content available for free during this time.

Guide: Chrome Accessibility

Guide by Eric Curts on extensions for Google Chrome that enhance accessibility, .e.g. text-to-speech, navigation aids, etc. Great for any learners of all abilities who might benefit.

Visit the Great Wall of China

Virtual 360 tour of the Great Wall of China with some additional information.

Microsoft Family Learning Centre

Collection of family-led activities for learning assembled by Microsoft and hosted by a variety of other platforms. Some great ideas for online and offline learning for families.

Keep Learning

Suggestions for parents and caregivers to keep children learning at home. Fun and easy suggestions that can be done with guidance or independently. Assembled by BC Ministry of Education.

Continuing Learning

Assembled by the Burnaby School District. Resources intended to support students with self-directed learning activities.

Teacher Resources

The Critical Thinking Consortium

Cross-curricular lessons, activities, and resources for teachers. Ready-to-use materials with a critical thinking lens. Free for use in our district.

Tig Tag Science

Great short films and videos with supporting content for teaching about science. Licensed for Gr. 3-6 teachers in our district, educator use only. See Ms. Su for password info.


Screensharing, recording, and video editing program. Simple and easy to use, one of my favourite video creation tools. Free for use.


Great program to create simple, engaging, fun quizzes, questionnaires, and games for kids. Premium version available for free until schools reopen.


Digital corkboards, excellent way to collaborate on notes or share resources/info in accessible, simple format. Free to use.


Streamlined communication tool to connect teachers with students and families. Free for use.

Toy Theatre

Simple games suitable for early primary. All educational and built to work on multiple platforms and devices.

Karen Lirenman Ideas

Karen Lirenman, a teacher in the Vancouver School District, who has superhuman levels of energy and competency, has created an impressive collection of learning ideas for K-3.

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