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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.

Discuss

Gratitude: A Powerful Tool for Your Classroom

Last comment 1 day 2 hours ago
9 5,345 23,812 views

Open Educational Resources (OER): Resource Roundup

Last comment 3 weeks 5 days ago
22 5,352 83,446 views

Use Humor to Teach Your Students About Careful Communication

Last comment 3 weeks 13 hours ago
3 1,916 10,974 views

Gratitude: A Powerful Tool for Your Classroom

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 11:55
9 5,345 23,812 views

5 Powerful Questions Teachers Can Ask Students

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 06:32
67 36,820 467,341 views

Over the Rainbow: History Through a Pop Music Lens

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 06:00
2 3,342 3,940 views

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A painting of a side profile silhouette of a black woman with an afro in greens and blues with a bright background of pink, orange, yellow, and purple.
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6 Teaching Tools for Black History Month

From interactive timelines and rich multimedia to lesson plans and study guides, find a variety of web resources that can help bring black history into the classroom.

20 3,940 106,223 views
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Honoring Our Families' Immigrant Narratives

Two teachers' research and ELA unit explored students' own family immigrant stories while creating a storytelling experience as a vehicle for empathy, community, and great writing.

7 1,032 2,488 views
Six high school students, all in green shirts, are sitting in a row at individual desks looking towards the front of the class. One of them has their hand raised.
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How and Why Intrinsic Motivation Works

Discover approaches for helping students feel personal autonomy, choice, and self-determination.

31 3,050 21,949 views
A group of students are sitting close together in chairs, smiling and goofing around. Two are flexing their arms, looking at the camera.
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Use Humor to Teach Your Students About Careful Communication

Students analyze newspaper headline bloopers in this classroom activity and gain a greater understanding for clear communication.

3 1,916 10,974 views
Two teenagers are sitting at a table with a laptop, one is holding a cell phone charger and the other is holding a cell phone, connecting it to a white wire.
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22 Powerful Closure Activities

Closure ends a lesson and creates a lasting impression, so make it fun. Students will better retain information reinforced with music, movement, art, or play.

9 16,821 131,899 views
Three women are sitting at desks, looking at the front of the classroom, smiling.
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Performance-Based Assessment: Reviewing the Basics

Performance-based assessments share the key characteristic of accurately measuring one or more specific course standards. They are also complex, authentic, process/product-oriented, open-ended, and time-bound.

2,843 13,873 views
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Open Educational Resources (OER): Resource Roundup

Explore this educator's guide to open educational resources for information about online repositories, curriculum-sharing websites, sources for lesson plans and activities, and open alternatives to textbooks.

22 5,352 83,446 views

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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.

15 3,792 70,401 views
An illustration of two hands together making a football field goal shape and a triangular paper football moving between the field goal hands against a green backdrop.
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7 Super Bowl Lesson Plans and Resources for the Classroom

Explore a curated list of Super Bowl lesson plans and resources from around the web.

8 5,116 66,467 views
Boy happily running with his backpack
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Helping Students Start the School 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.

11 4,816 65,432 views
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Helping Students Develop the Skills to Focus

Edutopia blogger Maurice Elias shares a classroom activity that helps K-8 students develop their ability to focus and pay better attention.

24 1,188 63,361 views
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Eight Ways to Use Video With English-Language Learners

Authors Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull Sypnieski share some practical tips that are aligned to Common Core State Standards for ELA K-6. They include critical pedagogy and using technology to dub new audio into existing video.

8 1,051 57,771 views
A young boy wearing a striped blue and orange t-shirt is looking at a bubble in front of his forehead that is almost the size of his head. He's outside. Behind him is grass next to a brick floor with a basketball hoop and a tree fence.
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How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships

In the first of five posts about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels offers strategies to help explore how joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust can help students.  

28 12,749 54,250 views
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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.

413 54,250 views

Pages

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