George Lucas Educational Foundation

K-2 Primary

Explore and share tips, strategies, and resources for helping students develop in elementary school grades K-2.

  • Using Diversity to Build a Culture of Belonging

    Academics and social skills are equally prioritized at this multilingual elementary school in Chicago, ranked one of the best in the city.
    Conor P. Williams
  • Social Contracts Foster Community in the Classroom

    When students and teachers collaborate to create shared behavior expectations, the whole class is invested in the norms.
  • Building Cross-Cultural Connections in Two Languages

    At a bilingual school in Chicago, first-grade teachers swap classrooms so students get lessons in both Mandarin and English.
  • 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.
  • What’s Lost When We Rush Kids Through Childhood

    The author of "The Importance of Being Little" on the costs of our collective failure to see the world through the eyes of children.
    Emily Kaplan
  • How to Teach Handwriting—and Why It Matters

    Teaching young students how to write by hand before moving on to keyboarding can help improve their reading fluency as well.
  • Making Students Feel Safe

    A trauma-informed approach ensures that students feel safe, supported, and nurtured—to improve their chances of academic success. 
  • 60-Second Strategy: Pom-Pom Jar

    Explicitly teaching and celebrating kindness is a simple yet powerful way to build a positive classroom culture.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.