There are many benefits to using task cards with ELLs. One benefit is that task cards present information in small chunks and increase student engagement. Task cards are easy to provide differentiation and target skills. They are also ideal for partner activity. Read on to learn more about the benefits of using task cards with ELLs.
1. Short Text
Most task cards are about the size of an index card. There is not enough room for long text. This is ideal for English Language Learners. Short text is also great for students that are intimidated with reading to see small bits at a time and not get overwhelmed the same way they might with a worksheet. It allows them to focus on one idea at a time when they are practicing a new skill.
2. Target Skills
Another benefit of using task cards with ELLs is that many task cards target a specific skills. Task cards typically only have a sentence or a few short paragraphs. That is an ideal length to focus on one skill at a time. This helps students gain confidence in the new skill. They can then apply it to longer texts including independent reading. I have sets for Main Idea, Prefixes & Suffixes, and Cause & Effect to name a few.
3. Easy to Differentiate
There are many task cards that teach the same skill but are available in different levels. This is ideal for differentiation. I have created sets the give picture support for the basic levels and more complex text for students with more advanced language. You can also differentiate by having students complete different numbers of task cards. This allows them to work at their own pace without worrying about how much work others are doing.
4. Great for Partner Activities
Task cards work well for partner activities. Students can quiz each other or work collaboratively to come up with an answer. Working with a partner also adds in a speaking element to task card activities. This is a great way to integrate oral language development with content learning.
5. Student Engagement
Task cards help students to stay engaged. My students loved using task cards, especially when they got to work with a classmate. You can use them in many different ways. Try setting them out around the room. Students take a recording sheet and travel to the cards. If you want to learn more ideas for engaging your student with task cards I have come up with 5 Ways to Use Task Cards that will Keep Your ELLs Engaged.