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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Lesson Plans

Want the nuts and bolts of how other teachers are presenting material? Find Edutopia-curated downloadable and linked resources here.

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Academic Sponge Activities

A "sponge activity" is a lesson soaking up precious time that would otherwise be lost. Hint: it should be fun as well as educational.

Five-Minute Film Festival: 10 Sources for Free Lesson Plans

Exploring free lesson planning resources can be overwhelming. Some are extremely useful, and others not so much. Here, VideoAmy shares a list of 10 of her favorite lesson planning tools available, as well as a playlist of videos to help teachers utilize them.

A Lesson About Cesar Chavez and Civil Rights

Check out this engaging lesson on Cesar Chavez that uses primary sources and discussion to inspire critical thinking and empathy.

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Resources

Sponge Activities

Looking for a few meaningful activities to soak up extra classroom time? Download this list of engaging sponge activities to help you with the unexpected.

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Online Library Lets You Explore Exemplary Student Work

This free resource can help you find amazing project ideas.

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The Student-Centered Classroom: Communicating What Matters

Students' ownership of the classroom and learning begins when you communicate that you're listening, that you respect them, and that they can trust you.

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A Lesson Plan for Helping Young Children Learn to Accept Differences

Teachers can help children learn about differences by presenting them with vignettes and then giving them tools to analyze what they have heard and seen.

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Fostering Student Questions: Strategies for Inquiry-Based Learning

Consider using at least one of these protocols -- QFT, Chalk Talk, Say Something, or the Harkness Discussion -- to foster student inquiry.

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Helping Students Start the Year with a Positive Mindset

Three activities teachers can use to help students -- especially those who had a rough summer or struggle academically -- get the school year off to a fresh start.

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Igniting Student Engagement: A Roadmap for Learning

Key strategies to ensure student engagement include being authentic, introducing units with meaningful launch events, and letting students know what outcomes to expect.

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9 Ways to Plan Transformational Lessons: Planning the Best Curriculum Unit Ever

Transformational lessons don't just happen. They require planning, mindfulness, and a commitment to shift away from educational approaches of the past.

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Over the Rainbow: History Through a Pop Music Lens

An era's popular music, whether the Great Depression or the turbulent 1960s, can help students grasp historical events through the emotions of those experiencing them.

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5 Powerful Questions Teachers Can Ask Students

To inspire more inquiry in the classroom, blogger Rebecca Alber offers up five questions to routinely ask students.

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5 Highly Effective Teaching Practices

Check out these researched-based, best teaching practices and share with us the ways you already use them in your classroom.

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April Fool's Day in the Classroom: 8 Resources for Teachers

April Fool's Day can be an excellent time to bring humor into the classroom. Use this list of prank ideas, humorous lesson plans, and other resources to help you celebrate at school.

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Bell Ringer Exercises

Edutopia blogger Todd Finley presents an overview of bell work - short, focused exercises to help students make the most of valuable classroom time.

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Resources and Downloads for Teaching Critical Thinking

Educators from the Bay Area's KIPP King Collegiate High School and the KIPP network have provided these resources for you to use in your own school.

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Resources and Downloads for Differentiated Instruction

Educators from Mesquite Elementary School, in Tucson, Arizona, have provided these resources for you to use in your own school.

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6 Engaging End-of-Year Projects

Consider one of these six engaging and creative student projects to wrap of the school year.

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