George Lucas Educational Foundation

3-5 Upper Elementary

Explore and share tips, strategies, and resources for helping students develop in elementary school grades 3-5.

  • Teaching Consent to Elementary Students

    Teaching consent in the elementary grades means using nonsexual situations to guide students to assert and respect boundaries.
    Emelina Minero
  • Dragons and Fairy Tales in Science Class

    Using stories as a hook to grab students’ attention leads them to deep engagement with scientific concepts.
  • The Evolution of a Trauma-Informed School

    Two years after Edutopia filmed trauma-informed practices at a Nashville school, we check in with the principal to see what has changed.
  • The Sensory Room: Helping Students With Autism Focus and Learn

    Imagine a safe space where students with autism can go to calm their bodies and then get back to the business of learning.
  • The Power of Short Writing Assignments

    Brief writing prompts and responses help students in any discipline.
  • 60-Second Strategy: Respond, Reflect, and Review

    This simple activity helps students practice giving and receiving peer feedback—and gets them out of their desks.
  • Making Students Feel Safe

    A trauma-informed approach ensures that students feel safe, supported, and nurtured—to improve their chances of academic success. 
  • A Student-Driven Approach to Experiential Learning

    See how a Reggio Emilia–inspired elementary school in Australia fosters student interests to spark curiosity and joy in learning.
  • 6 Elementary Reading Strategies That Really Work

    Strategies like choral reading and ear reading improve students’ reading fluency, expand their vocabulary, and increase their confidence.
  • Time to Play: More State Laws Require Recess

    Unstructured playtime is making a comeback in schools as frustrated teachers, parents, and advocacy groups demand legislative action.
    Brittany Shammas
  • How to Keep Your Elementary Students Focused

    5 research-backed tips to keep your elementary students on-task.
  • A Daily Support System for Students

    Students who need extra social and emotional support have a quick check-in with an adult at the start and end of each day.
  • Bringing a Dog to School

    A veteran teacher and administrator makes the case for having a therapy dog in elementary school.
  • What Doesn’t Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

    The number one concern that I hear from educators is lack of time, particularly lack of instructional time with students. Although we can't entirely solve the time problem, we can mitigate it by carefully analyzing our use of class time.
  • 10 Common Flexible Seating Myths

    An elementary teacher who has been using flexible seating for over a decade responds to the concerns he hears most frequently from other teachers.