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.

  • Inquiry-Based Projects Feed Student Curiosity

    Giving students free time each week to pursue a passion project can deepen engagement and learning.
    Brooke Markle
  • An Entrepreneurial Mindset Beats Coding Skills

    Computer coding may be valuable in the current marketplace, but for long-term success, students need to develop entrepreneurial mindsets. 
  • Build Empathy and Understanding by Pairing Comics With Novels

    Teaching with comics facilitates improved comprehension and social-emotional competencies.
  • 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.
  • There’s a Cell Phone in Your Student’s Head

    A 2017 study found that cell phones that were turned off and stashed away silently reasserted themselves—distracting working students anyway.
  • 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
  • Making Students Feel Safe

    A trauma-informed approach ensures that students feel safe, supported, and nurtured—to improve their chances of academic success. 
  • 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.
  • Portrait of a Turnaround Principal

    What does it take to turn a low-performing school around? A principal finds success by focusing on both love and high expectations.
  • Supporting LGBTQ Students in Elementary School

    Three strategies elementary school teachers can use to foster a sense of inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students.
  • A Public School Makes the Case for ‘Montessori for All’

    A Title I public school in rural South Carolina is proving that Montessori education can work well anywhere.
  • Bringing a Dog to School

    A veteran teacher and administrator makes the case for having a therapy dog in elementary school.
  • 60-Second Strategy: 3-Read Protocol

    Demystify math word problems with this simple technique that helps kids see the story beyond the numbers.
  • Using a Makerspace for English and Humanities Instruction

    Turning abstract concepts like symbolism and imagery into 3D representations develops deeper understanding and engagement.
  • 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.