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.

  • Breaking SEL Down Into Manageable Practices

    Adaptable and accessible ‘kernels' make teaching skills like self-management, focus, and emotional regulation easier.
    Laura Lee
  • Ditching the Reading Logs

    Tracking minutes wasn’t helping her students, so a teacher asked them to instead discuss their reading every day, making it a social activity.
  • A Project That Combines History and Science

    When fourth graders are asked to redesign the Mayflower, they work with content in several subject areas at the same time.
  • 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.
  • Making Students Feel Safe

    A trauma-informed approach ensures that students feel safe, supported, and nurtured—to improve their chances of academic success. 
  • How to Increase Participation by Asking Better Questions

    Framing questions the right way—and scaffolding the right kinds of responses—can help teachers avoid blank stares and awkward silences.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bringing a Dog to School

    A veteran teacher and administrator makes the case for having a therapy dog in elementary school.
  • The Power of Short Writing Assignments

    Brief writing prompts and responses help students in any discipline.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.