George Lucas Educational Foundation Celebrating our 25th Anniversary!

Student Engagement

What strategies really work to involve students in their own learning? Discover and share ideas.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share

Children in Charge: Successful Self-Directed Learning Strategies

Programs like Hands On Technologies, Villa Monte, and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship demonstrate the positive outcomes of letting children choose their own learning paths.

Fish leaping out of a school of fish into a bigger body of water

Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves

Consider using autonomy, competence, relatedness, and relevance as practical classroom strategies to reinforce the intrinsic motivation students need for making the most of their learning.

A photo of an elementary-school boy in front of a green chalkboard, smiling.

How Student Centered Is Your Classroom?

Check out these questions to guide you in reflecting on how much the learning environment you have designed promotes student voice and choice.

Girl sitting with two boys smiling at the camera

Questions Before Answers: What Drives a Great Lesson?

Students engage more passionately when trying to answer a question that interests them. Here are ten opening questions that have inspired this kind of learning.

Graphic of a wide-eyed owl

Student Engagement: Resource Roundup

Keeping students captivated and ready to learn is no small task. Here's a list of articles, videos, and other resources that offer strategies and advice for keeping them engaged in learning.


Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

Last comment 2 days 4 hours ago
43 24,679 249,311 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Last comment 2 weeks 5 days ago
204 191,462 1,710,077 views

Motivating the Unmotivated

Last comment 5 days 5 hours ago
33 29,180 197,909 views

Gamifying Your Class to Meet the Needs of All Learners

Thu, 10/20/2016 - 10:00
4 12 1,352 views

In Language Classrooms, Students Should Be Talking

Fri, 09/09/2016 - 06:00
15 7,218 24,018 views

Empowering Students to Change the World

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 09:00
5 794 5,211 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.

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 17,200 183,869 views
Amidst other students, two young boys are sitting at their classroom table, working on an assignment together.

Engage and Motivate Your Students Before the Holiday Break

Projects designed to embrace holiday and seasonal themes -- and timed to coincide with the holiday schedule -- can relieve pressure on the teacher, enthuse students, and keep them learning and engaged up to the last moment.

742 1,812 views
A young girl is sitting in class, looking straight ahead with a playing card in her hand and a green sheet of paper on her desk. Other students in the classroom are sitting with green sheets of paper and playing cards about.

Golden Rules for Engaging Students in Learning Activities

Six key rules for student engagement include making it meaningful, fostering efficacy, autonomy support, collaborative learning, establishing positive teacher-student relationships, and mastery orientations.

18 10,944 182,737 views
Four masks in the style of classical Greek theatre are displayed in an open box alongside images of Greek masks.

Students Need PD, Too

Students love new technology but need guidance in using it effectively. You can help by discovering and modeling the apps themselves, project delivery, and workflow.

1,755 3,625 views
A young boy in a white collared shirt, tie, and sweater is smiling directly into the camera.

Positive Brains Are Smarter Brains

Optimism and pessimism are somewhat predetermined by genetics, but we can influence positive outcomes by helping students take charge of their thoughts, feelings, and brain chemistry.

9 8,929 20,166 views
A young girl is sitting in class building a toy car.

Middle School Maker Journey: Top 20 Technologies and Tools

In part five of his year-long series, Kevin Jarrett highlights the tools and systems that drive the excitement and invention in his middle school makerspace.

4,144 26,283 views
A group of young teenagers are sitting at their class table, working on a paper and pencil assignment, smiling, and talking.

Authenticity = Lifelong Learners

For students to care deeply about learning, provide significant content, the opportunity to apply real-world content skills, and an authentic purpose for a real-world need.

2,295 6,118 views


Three boys working together around a table

A Look Inside the Classroom of the Future

To educate students for 21st-century careers, educators should be using real-world case studies, embracing complexity, practicing empathy, integrating technology, and encouraging reflection.

30 9,465 52,775 views
illustration of a light bulb on a blackboard

7 Tenets of Creative Thinking

Michael Michalko explains that everyone is an artist and that it takes belief and persistence to nurture this quality. He offers seven principles about creative thinking that he wishes he'd known as a student.

12 9,686 52,548 views
Student-Led Conferences: Empowerment and Ownership
Schools That Work

Student-Led Conferences: Empowerment and Ownership

Putting students in the driver's seat of their parent-teacher conferences creates opportunities for reflection, engagement, and agency.

4 4,836 52,095 views

5 Ways to Give Your Students More Voice and Choice

Edutopia blogger Rebecca Alber offers up five ways to inspire more student-centered learning in your classroom.

6 6,098 51,869 views

Defusing Power Struggles: It's Not About Getting the Last Word

Educator and school psychologist Allen Mendler suggests a constructive way for teachers to avoid a power struggle with that attention-seeking student.

24 585 51,869 views

Fostering Relationships in the Classroom

Blogger Larry Ferlazzo and fellow teacher Katie Hull Sypnieski, in another excerpt from their book "The ESL/ELL Teacher's Survival Guide," share six fun ways to help students develop positive, trusting and enriching classroom relationships.

8 293 51,416 views

Brains, Brains, Brains! How the Mind of a Middle Schooler Works

Blogger Heather Wolpert-Gawron launches this three-part series by advising middle school teachers to read up on brain research which will give insight on how the 'tween brain works.

6 9,471 50,963 views