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.

  • Simple Ways to Incorporate Coding in Enrichment Classes

    Young learners can develop understanding of coding concepts and computational thinking through visual art, movement, and music.
    Ashley Blackwelder
  • Making the Most of Compost

    Don’t throw that banana peel in the trash! Use a school compost bin to foster project-based learning across subjects and grade levels.
  • At Playtime, Open Fields and Trees Beat Seesaws and Monkey Bars

    New research suggests that natural elements like mud, sticks, and trees might unlock the imaginative power of play—beating out purpose-built spaces like the neighborhood playground.
  • 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.
  • Why Learning at Home Should Be More Self-Directed—and Less Structured

    On March 18, 2020, Simone Kern tweeted that simply “recreating schools at home” passes up a golden opportunity to engage kids in authentic, self-directed learning.
    Simone Kern
  • Learning to Measure the Size of a Problem

    When elementary students compare the relative importance of a range of problems, they learn to take charge of their reactions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 22 YA Novels to Help Students Process the Pandemic (or Forget It for a Bit)

    A former school librarian shares recent young adult novels to boost kids’ resilience or give them some laughs. A few dystopian picks may provide a new perspective on the current situation.
  • 3 Tips for Humanizing Digital Pedagogy

    An elementary teacher who has worked for an edtech start-up argues that it’s important now—with teachers and students working separately—to promote reflection and social connection as tools for learning.
  • 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.
  • How to Support Home Learning in Elementary Grades

    A first and second grade teacher shares his home learning plan for his students and how he is engaging their families.