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Category: writing

Writing About Photographs With ELLs

Writing About Photographs With ELLs

Photographs offer excellent support for English Language Learners to write about. They can help students generate ideas, and visual vocabulary support is built into a high-quality photograph. You can easily differentiate a writing assignment based on photographs. All students use the same picture, but the amount of writing, level of support offered, and complexity of sentences are different. Writing about pictures is also a simple way to introduce content information to students. Lable Photographs with Newcomers and Emergent ELLs Provide…

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Writing Sentences with ELLs

Writing Sentences with ELLs

Writing a detailed sentence can be challenging for students learning English as a second or additional language. Beginning writers benefit from explicit instruction in writing sentences as well. Here are some strategies to help students improve their writing at the sentence level. For students who are still at the beginning levels of spelling, it is helpful to practice these skills out loud. Then, once they have more advanced spelling, they will be able to write more advanced sentences. Sentence Patterning…

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Teaching Writing to MLs

Teaching Writing to MLs

When you are teaching writing to multilingual learners, what do you focus on?  This is a big question with many components. I think of writing as being organized in two main categories: mechanics and ideas.  Some students have many ideas to write about and enjoy free writing. For many MLs this can be challenging. One reason is that they do not yet feel confident that they have the language to express what they are thinking. Use reading (or have students…

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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 start writing. Vocabulary Support As students label a picture, they are getting practice writing the vocabulary word. ELLs might not know all of the objects and actions in a picture….

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Teaching Mood and Tone to ELLs

Teaching Mood and Tone to ELLs

Mood and tone are closely connected concepts. Tone is the author’s attitude towards the topic. Mood is the overall feeling the reader gets when they are reading the text. Mood is particularly subjective. The important part is that students are able to defend their reasoning with evidence.  Here are some ideas for teaching these topics to your ELLs. Review Feelings A quick review of feelings is a great way to begin a unit on mood or tone. This can help…

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Language Domains: Read Speak Listen Write with MLs

Language Domains: Read Speak Listen Write with MLs

The four language domains of reading, speaking, listening, and writing are all important components of learning a new language. The domains often overlap. One area can benefit from practice on the same topic in a different language domain. A student’s background knowledge plays an important role in how quickly they progress in these domains during a particular unit. Whenever possible, create lessons that give students practice in multiple language domains. Reading  Learning how to read is complex and made up…

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Spring Teaching Ideas for MLs

Spring Teaching Ideas for MLs

When spring is in the air, take advantage of the nice weather and integrate seasonal topics into your lessons. Learning about springtime is a fun way to help Multilingual Learners (MLs) learn about the environment around them.  Here are some fun spring teaching ideas for MLs. Teach about Animals Monarch butterflies migrate north from South America to the United States and Canada. Use sentence frames to support students as they describe what they learned about how monarch butterflies migrate. https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/facts/monarch-butterfly …

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Thankful Activities for MLs

Thankful Activities for MLs

Integrating the themes of gratitude and being thankful is a common practice around Thanksgiving. These themes are great to teach about throughout the year as well. Here are some thankful activities to use with your students, including a FREE writing activity. I am Thankful Writing   Vocabulary This set comes with vocabulary words to help students tell what they are thankful for. This is a great opportunity to integrate basic vocabulary into a lesson for all students. The vocabulary words…

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Thanksgiving Activities for MLs

Thanksgiving Activities for MLs

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 Thanksgiving activities to use for integrating the topic of Thanksgiving into your November lessons. Include Multiple Perspectives As you teach students about Thanksgiving, here…

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Comparing and Contrasting with MLs

Comparing and Contrasting with MLs

Learning how to compare and contrast are higher-order thinking skills and an important component of reading comprehension. They are also a great way for students to practice language skills and build academic language. When students compare they look for things that are the same. When they contrast they look for items that are different. Here are some activities to introduce comparing and contrasting to students. Comparing and Contrasting with Pictures Show students two sets of pictures. Have them compare and…

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