George Lucas Educational Foundation

Student Engagement

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

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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.

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A teacher works with a group of students.
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Sharing the Depth of Knowledge Wheel With Students

Many teachers use Norman Webb’s framework in developing assignments, but it can also be shared with students to help them develop literacy skills.

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Students completing an obstacle course in gym class
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Tough Mudder Goes to the Gym

Engage all students in gym by updating the old familiar obstacle course. Plus, you can include discussions on growth mindset.

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Hands of a student and of a teacher hold several war medals.
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Updating an Age-Old Class Activity

Personal artifact sharing—aka show-and-tell—is a way to build a healthy classroom environment. Even in high school.

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An illustration of four book covers connected by lines–1984, Macbeth, The Dead, and The Grapes of Wrath.
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March Madness in the Classroom?

Use NCAA-style brackets to get your students passionately debating works of literature—or big topics in any subject.

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An elementary grade level teacher stands at a table giving instruction while young children are writing.
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New Teachers: Classroom Management Essentials

Four must-haves for creating an effective learning environment.

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A group of students and teacher look at an illuminated table map.
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More Than Just Eyes and Ears

Experiential learning is powerful, and you can create ways for students to learn with all their senses—in and out of the classroom.

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Students gather in a circle to discuss their writing.
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Hacking Teens’ Desire to Impress Their Peers

You can get teens to work harder by giving them an audience they really care about—each other.

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photo of teacher in front of an engaged classroom
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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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Teaching Your Students How to Have a Conversation

Guest blogger Dr. Allen Mendler presents eight strategies for helping your students reclaim and master the lost art of conversation.

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5 Tips for Teaching the Tough Kids

Guest blogger Josh Work shares five techniques for dealing with middle school students who present ongoing discipline issues. His underlying theme is recognizing these kids as adolescents seeking ways to cope with stress or complicated lives.

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Motivating the Unmotivated

A simple, no-cost video chat program motivates unruly, disengaged elementary and middle school students through relationships with high school students who demonstrate the value of education.

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17 chairs are lined side-by-side in three rows facing the front of a classroom. At the front of the class, inches from the ceiling, a flat screen TV is attached to the wall. A countertop with drawers extends along the right side of the room.
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Visualizing 21st-Century Classroom Design

These five steps are essential in creating a 21st-century classroom: establishing zones, ensuring resource accessibility, encouraging mobility, igniting inspiration, and fostering respect.

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Don’t Listen to Music While Studying

Guest blogger David Cutler, a history, government and journalism teacher, asks us to face the music about whether or not listening our favorite tunes while studying actually helps our concentration.

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Teacher wearing a shirt that says "Stir The Soul" standing in front of class reading to captivated students
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Strategies to Build Intrinsic Motivation

Encouraging student commitment ultimately brings better results than the external motivations of reward or punishment. These seven self-persuasion strategies will get you started.

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