For English Language Learners (ELLs), one of the main components to acquiring English is comprehensible input. This means that students have to intake language that they can process and create meaning for in order to retain the new language.
This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including helping students use prior knowledge and background to build new language and providing visual clues for students to associate a particular word with an image.
One way to do this is to have students create their own books or stories using language they already know, combined with new vocabulary words and concepts.
Sail and Soar programs for beginner ELLs
In the Get Ready! Sail and Soar programs for beginner ELLs, one of the project ideas is creating class books.
For example, teachers can use wordless books that contain images or illustrations related to a theme they are teaching in class.
The images can be pre-printed pages, images from the Internet or magazines, photographs taken by the teacher or students, or illustrations created by the students.
Students would conduct a picture walk of the pages and name items or actions they see in the pictures.
Teachers would then write the words or sentences to model the written language, then read the text aloud to model the oral language. Students repeat. Students who are more proficient could assist with the written text and even create a new ending or beginning for a story.
Long sticky notes could also be used on the pages so that the text could be replaced and the story could change using the same images.
These class books can be placed in the classroom library for students to read silently or with a partner during centers or recess.
Finally, the possibilities for class-made class books are endless and give students a chance to use and practice their new words in a fun and engaging way.