The Gemological Institute of America offers several resources online to teach students about gemology. The downloadable Gem Kids curriculum, geared toward elementary school students, uses "the study of gems to illuminate the big-picture connections between nature, human industry, arts and culture." To download the lessons and hands-on activity suggestions, visit http://gemkids.gia.edu/gem/teacher-guide.
The National Resources Conservation Service offers more than a dozen free posters on a host of topics, including the 2015 Pollinator Poster. This year's version depicts several carnivorous plants that do not eat their pollinators. The poster is also available as a PDF for download. Visit https://nrcspad.sc.egov.usda.gov/DistributionCenter/search.aspx?Keywords=poster.
Want to make your own wall- or even room-sized poster? Blockposters.com allows users to upload images to create custom posters for free. Simply upload an image, choose your poster options and then download and print your own personalized huge poster.
Free equality sticker
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, offers a free equality sticker with the organization's logo — a yellow equal sign inside of a blue square. To order, visit http://action.hrc.org/site/Survey?ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&SURVEY_ID=4360.
Decipher the code
The American Foundation for the Blind offers a free Braille alphabet card and several resources for learning about Braille — another way to read and write language. To order your card, visit http://braillebug.afb.org/Braille.asp.
Made in New York
Digital Ocean, a New York-based cloud provider service, offers free stickers, mostly depicting animated sharks and the company logo. The site also includes information on other "made in NY" companies and their products. To order your free stickers, visit http://stickers.digitalocean.com/.
The "Freebies" column offers free opportunities for you and your students. We do not screen for subtle or not-so-subtle plugs.