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Category: writing

Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with ELLs

Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with ELLs

Help students learn to appreciate the environment around them and learn new vocabulary. Here are some ideas for celebrating Earth Day with ELLs. These are also great activities to get students outdoors and/or learning about the world around them. Go Outside Look for ways to take lessons outside. Going outside is great for student engagement. A recent study described in Psychology Today describes the benefits of outdoor learning. Here are some activities to try outside. Go on a scavenger hunt…

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Writing About Photographs With ELLs

Writing About Photographs With ELLs

Photographs offer excellent support for English Language Learners to use in writing. They can be used to help students generate ideas.  Visual vocabulary support is built into a high quality photograph. You can easily differentiate a writing assignment based on photographs. Writing about pictures is a simple way to introduce content information to students. Lable Photographs with Newcomers Label objects in the photograph. Provide students with a list of objects found in the picture and have them label it. Write…

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Labeling Pictures to Support ELLs

Labeling Pictures to Support ELLs

Students at the beginning stages of writing need support with vocabulary development. One way to give this is to have students label pictures. This supports English Language Learners and beginning writers in learning new vocabulary and using beginning sounds. Here are some benefits of having students label pictures before they begin writing. Vocabulary Support As students label a picture they are getting practice writing the vocabulary word. For ELLs, they might not know what all of the objects and actions…

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5 Strategies for Teaching Sight Words to ELLs

5 Strategies for Teaching Sight Words to ELLs

Sight words are one tool for helping students learn how to be fluent readers. The challenge for English Language Learners (and all students) in learning these words is that the majority of sight words and other high-frequency words, do not have visuals that are easily associated with them. This can make it more challenging to give meaning to these words. Teaching sight words in the context of a phrase or sentence allow students to better remember them. Here are some…

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How to Fold a Mini Book

How to Fold a Mini Book

Creating a mini book is a simple way to quickly make a large number of books for reading and writing. You can teach students how to fold a mini book with simple to follow directions. Students can then use blank mini books for drawing and writing. Mini books are also a simple way to add to the number of simple to read books that students have access to. Learn how to fold a mini book with these step by step…

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Setting Language Goals with ELLs

Setting Language Goals with ELLs

Goal setting is helpful for students to reflect on their learning. Students can set goals at any point in the year. Setting language goals is particularly beneficial at the beginning of the school year, at the beginning of the calendar year, and before beginning WIDA or other language testing. For English Language Learners, setting a language goal helps them to become of how they are progressing learning the English Language. This can look different depending on the student’s age and…

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Creating a Writing Center for ELLs

Creating a Writing Center for ELLs

Students becoming better writers through practice. At the beginning levels,  ELLs benefit from copying words with pictures, making lists, and using sentence frames to write simple sentences. A writing center is one way to tools that support students writing. Picture Support A writing center is a great place to add in picture vocabulary support. You can use a poster, word wall cards, or a picture dictionary. A simple way is to set out a vocabulary folder and blank writing paper….

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Thanksgiving Activities for ELLs

Thanksgiving Activities for ELLs

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to integrate American culture into lessons. Some ELLs will have celebrated Thanksgiving their entire life.  These students will be able to share their family’s traditions around the holiday. Other students will have never experienced the holiday before and will benefit from a basic overview of what the holiday is. Here are some ideas for integrating the topic of Thanksgiving into your November lessons. Include Multiple Perspectives As you teach students about Thanksgiving, here are resources to…

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Integrating Speaking and Writing for ELLs

Integrating Speaking and Writing for ELLs

Speaking and writing are two components of language development. With elementary-aged students, the typical progression I see is that they progress more quickly in speaking than in writing.  This is most likely due to the fact that all students at that age are learning writing, while speaking is a natural way that children socialize. Integrating the two provides English Language Learners with additional speaking practice and helps improve their writing. Here are some strategies for integrating speaking and writing. Start…

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Writing Poetry with ELLs

Writing Poetry with ELLs

April is National Poetry Month, which makes it a great time for writing poetry.  Any point in the year is also a great time to have students write poems. For English Language Learners, writing poetry can be a welcome change from other forms of writing. Many of the traditional writing conventions are not as strictly enforced in poems.  Students can use fewer words to convey powerful messages.  Poems are a fun way to play around with language. Here are some…

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