Now that more and more classrooms are publishing student work for digital storytelling, podcasting, or through wikis and blogs it is becoming increasingly critical students follow the copyright and fair use guidelines. To help you and your students, I’ve created another freebie post – free images and sounds for student projects. Yes, there are multiple websites out there for public domain images and sounds, but I tried to pull those that are safe for student searching. You will find glorious photo landscapes, character illustrations of fairy tale characters, tornado sound effects, and more.
In addition, the links do have suggested curriculum units that could be supported through the use of the websites. Hopefully, that will guide your search.
I encourage you to place your favorite resource links on your own classroom website for students to access easily.
Public Domain Images
4FreePhotos is another site that offers quite a few artistic high quality images. Many of these would be great for backgrounds. Supporting Units: transportation, food, landforms, geography, art, aircraft, plants, penguins, Spring,
Florida’s Educational Technology Clipart Clearinghouse is a true clipart and line drawing gold mine. You definitely want to tag this site as over 46,000 images are in the database. Supporting units: mythology, math diagrams, money, fairy tales, alphabets, animals, historical figures
Karen Whimsey Public Domain Images is a phenomenal public domain gem of clipart, diagrams, sketches, and more for the classroom. Supporting units: ancient civilizations, world religions, musical instruments, art, silhouettes, vintage fashion, fairy tales, folk tales, Native Americans, explorers, Civil War, geography, food, alphabet, Spanish, art, architecture, Shakespeare, plants, holidays.
Library of Congress Photo Archives is a site every teacher should bookmark. With over 1.2 millions images in this database, your students can certainly gather a wide variety of images for their history projects. Each image has different licensing, so look closely. Supporting units: famous Americans, presidents, civil rights, wars, inventors, authors, and just about any historical American event
NOAA Public Image Library is a wonderful resource for science themed drawings, maps, graphics, diagrams, and photos. The database is extensive. Supporting units: animals, volcanoes, weather, biomes, landforms, oceans
PD Photo is another great image site and does offer a wide variety of images. Supporting units: geography, landforms, food, space, plants, ocean, grammar, animals
Photos8 is one of my favorite public domain image sites. The images are high quality, high resolution, and offer an artistic approach. I use many of these for backgrounds in Glogsters and PowerPoints. Supporting units: geography, landforms, world religions, art, food, insects, plants, grammar (using images to represent parts of speech)
Pics4Learning is a great website full of photographs donated by amateur photographers and teachers to help all of us improve our curriculum. Supporting units: biomes, animals, art, food, world religions, fractals, holidays, space, landforms, geography, Native Americans, colonial America, Civil War, ancient civilizations, mythology, presidents, World War I, World War II
Public Domain Photos offers a vast collection of clipart images and high resolution photos. Supporting units: geography, landforms, US regions, flags from around the world, animals, space, ocean, plants, insects, food, vehicles, desert,
Public Domain Sounds
MusOpen offers free mp3 files of classical instrumental and vocal music. Definitely bookmark this one. Supporting units: music, composers, history, and background sounds for multimedia projects
PublicDomain4U is full of vintage recordings. Supporting units: jazz, blues, country, folk songs, World War I
Sound Jay has become very popular in our district this spring for our video and podcast projects. With a well designed layout and excellent choices of sound and music, you can’t go wrong. Supporting Units: weather, business, FACS, and backgrounds for podcast projects
Soungle has an amazing amount of sound effects for student projects. These save as .wav files, which work great in most audio and video softwares such as Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, Audacity, and Garage Band. Supporting units: weather, emotions, dance, animals, water, and special effect sounds for podcasts.
Some would suggest www.freeplaymusic.com but their licensing does not allow the use of their music used in podcasts or on blogs without a prior agreement.