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.

  • Social and Emotional Learning

    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.
  • Literacy

    Teaching Students to Read Metacognitively

    A mini-lesson and anchor chart for showing early elementary students how to monitor their comprehension as they read.
  • Student Voice

    60-Second Strategy: Participation Cards

    A quick formative assessment tool also encourages all students—even shy ones—to participate in discussions.
  • Learning Environments

    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.
  • Mental Health

    Making Students Feel Safe

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

    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.
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching

    22 Diverse Book Choices for All Grade Levels

    Suggestions from teachers who are working to offer students at every grade level book choices that represent their lives.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Bringing a Dog to School

    A veteran teacher and administrator makes the case for having a therapy dog in elementary school.
  • Literacy

    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.
  • Formative Assessment

    60-Second Strategy: TAG Feedback

    This quick exercise scaffolds peer critique for elementary students.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    Helping Students Develop Executive Function Skills

    Simple classroom strategies can assist students with deficits in executive function skills like time management and active listening.
  • Teacher Wellness

    Prioritizing Teacher Self-Care

    It’s a simple self-care strategy: Teachers text a colleague to cover their class for a minute when they need to de-escalate and recharge.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Creating a Dedicated Space for Reflection

    Providing students with a quiet spot where they can calm themselves in times of stress helps them develop self-regulation.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    60-Second Strategy: Guided Meditation

    A short contemplative exercise can help students calm themselves and get ready to learn.
  • Creativity

    4 Ways to Develop Creativity in Students

    Creativity is a valuable skill, and there are common strategies teachers can use to help students develop it.