Using Patterned Texts with ELLs

Using Patterned Texts with ELLs

pattern texts

Patterned texts can be a helpful tool to use with students. Some of these books use words that are difficult for students to decode independently. This means that these books are not the best choice for beginning readers to use in a guided reading lesson until they have learned the phonics skills and sight words to read the majority of the words. Instead, try using patterned or predictable books for read alouds, shared reading, and writing lessons.

Find suggestions for diverse leveled readers to use with your students.

Reading Confidence

Books with a repeating sentence pattern are great confidence builders for beginning ELLs. After hearing the book read out loud a few times a student will begin to memorize the words from the book. They are then able to pretend to read by repeating the sentence and looking at the pictures. This helps them to learn new vocabulary and learn the sentence that is used through the book. Having a book that a student feels successful reading can help motivate them to reread it.

Oral Language

Use books with predictable patterns to help students practice oral language skills. The scaffold of the repeating pattern is helpful for students to retell the events in the story. You can also pull out sentence patterns to allow students structured with speaking in complete sentences.

pattern text

Talk about going shopping with an adult.

We need _____. Here are ______. 


Patterned texts are great for guided writing lessons. After you have read the book to students and given them time to talk about the story events or important details move on to writing. Pull out the sentence frame that repeats throughout the book. Students can use the frame to add in their own information and extend the book.

pattern text

Write about going shopping with an adult.

We need _____. Here are ______. 

Text Sets

You can include pattern books as a part of text sets. A text set is a collection of books about a topic. Having students listen to and read multiple texts about the same topic will increase their background knowledge on that topic. Students are given repeated exposure to new content vocabulary words as they read or listen to each new book.

Consider saving a simple repeating pattern book until after you have read some longer books. Then the students will have had more exposure to the vocabulary used and a better chance of reading the book along with you or independently.

Teacher Resources

In Reading and Writing with English Learners learn strategies for teaching culturally relevant lessons through a balanced literacy lens.

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