Back to School Resources

Whether you're a teacher or parent (or both!), school this year brings some unique challenges! That's why we're gathering all our best e-resources to support all your back to school needs! And the best part: they're all 100% free!

Some of these resources require a library card. Don't have a free library card yet, or need yours renewed? We're here to help! Call your local library branch, or use the online registration form.

We're continuing to add new resources to this page, so check back often!


Palliser’s Digital Academy (All Age Groups)


Screenshot of Digital Academy


Make computer class a breeze with tutorials for all ages! Build digital literacy with Microsoft and Google programs, Windows 10, mobile devices, using the library’s e-resources, research essentials, and more.

Why We Love This

  • Easy for beginners, and most tutorials have videos to show you exactly what to do
  • Makes it easy to fit digital literacy learning into your schedule. Tutorials are available anytime, anywhere



Literacy Activity Calendars


Screenshot of the Literacy Calendar Webpage


Keep kids learning at home with these monthly literacy activity calendars from Palliser! Pick up a printed copy from your local Palliser library, or download and print one yourself. The calendars promote a variety of literacy skills, including:

  • Reading and writing skills
  • Oral communication skills
  • Physical literacy
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Financial literacy
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Numerical literacy
  • Cultural literacy
  • Health literacy
  • Digital literacy

Why We Love This

  • The daily activities require minimal time, effort, and money.
  • Discussion questions prompt great connections with children!
  • Gives kids the opportunity to explore the world around them in ways that parents may not have thought of or tried before.
  • Each calendar has a literacy tip, bonus activity, and book recommendations on the back. It feels like a book order catalogue, but the books are free from the library!



Creativebug (All Age Groups)


Screenshot of Creativebug Website


Art class will never be the same! Creativebug has thousands of award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists. Enjoy unlimited access to thousands of online art and craft classes. Watch classes anytime, anywhere. 

Why We Love This

  • Fun, upbeat video classes allow children (and adults) to learn visually
  • Everything but supplies is included; instructions, patterns, and materials lists
  • Skill-building lessons are tailored to children's interests
  • More advanced classes are available for adult artists and crafters

For more information on getting started and getting the most out of Creativebug, see our online tutorial!


Library2Go/Overdrive (All Age Groups)


Screenshot of Overdrive Website


Download eBooks, audiobooks, and videos straight to your computer or your Apple or Android device with Overdrive! Find resources for students, teachers, and parents all in one handy place.

Why We Love This

  • Get the full library experience with access to all of Palliser's eBooks, audiobooks, and videos
  • Unlimited holds and borrows

For more information on getting started and getting the most out of Overdrive, see our online tutorial!


Tumblebook Library (Grades K-3)


Screenshot of Tumblebooks Website


Browse this extensive collection of animated talking picture books, eBooks, graphic novels, non-fiction, videos, language learning activities, puzzles, and games. Great for educational resources and lesson planning for all subjects in Kindergarten to Grade 3!

Why We Love This

  • Makes lesson planning a breeze, with educational read-aloud and corresponding activities and games
  • No wait list or limit on borrowing. All content is available with the click of a button

For more information about getting started and getting the most out of Tumblebooks, see our online tutorial!


Hoopla (All Age Groups)


Screenshot of the Hoopla Webpage (


Hoopla offers eBooks, audiobooks, comics, TV shows, movies, and music, straight to your computer or device. You can borrow up to five items every month for free! This fall, Hoopla has put together some Back to School collections to get you started:

Why We Love This

  • Huge selection of new and popular titles as well as the tried-and-true classics
  • Allows you to borrow TV shows, movies, and music
  • Simultaneous borrowing, perfect for multiple users to access the same material
  • Save titles to your Favorites list for easy access later

For more information about getting started and getting the most out of Hoopla, see our full tutorial!



Gale in Context: Elementary School (Grades K-5)


Screenshot of Gale Elementary Website


Formerly Kids InfoBits, Gale Elementary offers a fun, kid-friendly interface with easy access to magazines, reference books and newspaper articles selected just for their age group! This is a great resource for lesson materials, or for teaching children to research topics in a safe environment.

Why We Love This

  • Great resource for lesson materials
  • Safe environment to teach children how to research



Gale in Context: Middle School (Grades 6-12)


Screenshot of Gale Middle School webpage


This database combines reference content with age-appropriate videos, newspapers, magazines and primary sources for students in grades 6 to 12. It covers a range of the most-studied topics including cultures, government, science, people, literature and more.

Why We Love This

  • Teaches students to research and explore topics on their own
  • Provides a safe and age-appropriate environment
  • Easy to navigate



Gale OneFile: High School Edition (Grades 6-12)


Screenshot of Gale High School


Designed for students in middle and high school, with access to over 2,000 titles of indexed and full-text magazines, newspapers and reference books with information on current events, the arts, science, popular culture, health, people, government, history, sports and more!

Why We Love This

  • There's a feature called "Topic Finder" which helps students find other keywords related to their search term, presenting them in a sort of visual "mind map".
  • Students can find research material that is suited to their age group



Novelist K-8 Plus (Infant-Grade 12)


Screenshot of Novelist K-8 Plus


Novelist K-8 Plus helps kids find books that are perfect for their reading level and interests! They can search a book they liked, and find suggestions for similar books! Parents, teachers, and librarians can also find tools to teach with books and engage young readers. Find adult titles by using Novelist

Why We Love This

  • Search a book, and find suggestions for similar books
  • Curated lists for genre, subject, and age group
  • Summaries and reviews for titles
  • Save your favorites to a folder for easy access later

If you can't find the book you're looking for, Novelist also offers an adult version!



    Explore History (All Age Groups)


    Screenshot of Explore History Website


    Explore History is your gateway to a world-class collection of primary sources – maps, photos, newspapers, manuscripts, pamphlets, portraits and more. Explore the lives and history of Indigenous Peoples, British actors and musicians, as well as members of the LGBTQ2S+ community. Check out periodicals such as The Economist and The Times.

    This collection combines the following databases:

    For more information on primary sources, check out this Introduction to Primary Sources Video!

    Why We Love This

    • All Saskatchewan residents receive unrestricted access (no library card required!)
    • Great way to teach students about the importance of primary sources
    • Easy to find primary sources for any social studies lesson



    AncestryLibrary (All Age Groups)


    Screenshot of AncestryLibrary Website


    Available for use outside the library through December 2021! This popular genealogy research tool provides digital access to U.S., U.K. and Canadian census returns, vital statistics, military records, ships' passenger lists, directories, parish records, family trees, maps and forms.

    Why We Love This

    • Great for a family tree project, or a hands-on exploration of local history
    • Explore primary sources with students

    For more information on getting started and getting the most out of AncestryLibrary, see our online tutorial!


    Duolingo (All Age Groups)


    Screenshot of Duolingo Dashboard


    Duolingo makes learning a language easy and fun, with game-like lessons for people of all ages! So far, they have 36 languages to choose from, and they keep adding more!

    Why We Love This

    • Game-like lesson and rewards keeps both adults and kids engaged
    • Set daily goals for language learning and change them at any time

    For more information about getting started and getting the most out of Duolingo, see our online tutorial!



    Duolingo for Schools (All Age Groups)


    Screenshot of Duolingo Teacher Dashboard


    Now you can bring Duolingo into the classroom for free with Duolingo for Schools! Students receive personalized training, and teachers can track their students' progress in the new teacher dashboard.

    Why We Love This

    • Setting up a classroom is incredibly easy. Like 5-10 minutes.
    • Track all your students' progress in one place
    • Option to completely customize curriculum by choosing your own vocabulary words and testing lessons



    Duolingo ABC (Ages 4+)


    Duolingo ABC Logo


    The Duolingo ABC app is a fun, hands-on way for your child to learn to read! Created by the team behind Duolingo, the world’s #1 education app, Duolingo ABC helps kids have fun while they practice reading and writing in English, with more languages coming soon! App is available for Apple devices only at this time.

    Why We Love This

    • Game-like structure keeps young children engaged and excited about learning to read
    • Safe ad-free app is easy for children to use



    Media Literacy Teachers Hub (Grades K-12)


    Screenshot of Media Literacy Teachers Hub Web Page


    Media literacy skills are crucial for our children. Cathy Wing, co-Executive Director of MediaSmarts, says, "Young Canadians aren't just passive consumers of media anymore – they're broadcasters too. It's harder than ever to tell the difference between accurate information and advertising, misinformation and parody, and it's easy for any of us to inadvertently spread false information."

    Learn how to teach children about media literacy with the Media Literacy Teacher's Hub! They offer activities and lesson plans centered around five themes: Use, Understand, Engage, Access, and Verify. Find age-appropriate activities and explanations for Grades K-3, 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12.

    Why We Love This

    • The activities are engaging, thought-provoking, and fun!
    • Covers a wide range of topics, like finding balance in our digital lives, protecting personal information, cyber-bullying, sexting, advertisements, online activism, fact checking, and more
    • Pre-made lesson kits make it easy to teach media literacy in the classroom
    • There are activities specifically tailored for families to use at home



    Need help choosing resources or getting set up? We're here to help! Send us a Facebook message, visit our Facebook Page, or use our online contact form!


    Download a printable copy of the Back to School Resources list here.