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Title: ESL Lesson Idea (Short Story)

The lesson submitted is a modified lesson plan for a grade 6 Language Arts class with mainstreamed ESL students and was designed specifically with my practicum students in mind. Because language learning is developmental and involves experiment and approximation, the educational strengths and needs of the ESL/ELD student can be identified most effectively through the use of a variety of teaching strategies. This lesson provides ESL/ELL students with a wide range of opportunities to demonstrate what they know and what they can do.

Expectations for teacher:
The teacher will lead students in a discussion about supporting details. The teacher will review the student activity sheets with the students and help them to understand that not all details in a piece of writing are supporting details.
In the introduction the teacher will ask students if all details in a piece of writing are supporting details, then discuss with students how supporting details are only the details that support the main idea. “Sometimes authors give you details to better understand something in the writing, but those details do not necessarily support the main idea of the writing.”
Also explain to students that after they have completed the activity, that you will discuss their work. After allowing the students sufficient time to work independently and in pairs we will review the answers together. Now ask the students to underline or highlight the sentences that gave the main idea and supporting details in the story. Ask students to identify some details from the story that were not supporting details (e.g., Mr. Humphrey’s Uncle Ben was the store manager of a shoe store.) Then I will ask students to explain why these details were not supporting details. Explain to students that although these details are important in the story, they do not support the main idea in the way the supporting details do.

Specific Expectation:
In the students work the teacher will specifically be looking for an interesting main idea, and four supporting details relating to the main idea. As well the teacher will be looking for setting, time, main character and possibly some minor characters. Moreover, the teacher is looking for an event or series of events involving the main character which lead to a complication as well as a resolution.


Also note that individual, pair and group strategies are included. For instance (Think/Pair/Share) is first an individual activity, then a pair, then a group activity. Popcorn is a strategy that has students sharing with the group freely; they do not need to raise their hands.
The grouping configurations create frequent opportunities for interaction (teacher-student, student-student), supports language and content objectives, consistently provides sufficient wait time for student responses and provides ample opportunities for students to clarify key concepts. All activities mentioned below integrate reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Because of the wide ability range and presence of E.S.L. students, I employed the reciprocal teaching strategy to ensure students who needed support in comprehending more difficult informational text and framework for reading harder text and understanding it as well as writing a short story narrative and understanding the framework. The strategy worked well and the students progressed confidently through the reading task and the writing task.


Because of the wide ability range and presence of E.S.L. students, I employed the reciprocal teaching strategy to ensure students who needed support in comprehending more difficult informational text and framework for reading harder text and understanding it as well as writing a short story narrative and understanding the framework. The strategy worked well and the students progressed confidently through the reading task and the writing task.
A variety of graphic organizers and key questions were used to assist the students focus their learning and to organize their findings. This lesson varied from whole class to small group in size and some individual one on one remedial lessons were provided. The assessments were ongoing, summative and formative, and the students were involved in weighing their own individual achievement and assessing their cooperative learning skills.
Moreover, all activities in the delivery of the lesson have content objectives and language objectives that are clearly supported. The students are engaged approximately 90-100% of the period and the pacing of the lesson is appropriate to the students’ ability level.
Links to Prior Knowledge
Even before the lesson began I asked questions that drew from students experiences. I find it was these questions that required inference which draws on students prior knowledge. The questions were Reflect and Retell types. The retell questions about short story and framework were framed in such a way that the individual student was held accountable to think and give basic information from observation. During the reading aloud of “The Store Manager” I stopped the students at intervals to ask connection questions which were Checks for Understandings. These questions provided the opportunity to rehearse within the safety of one’s mind or between partners prior to sharing publicly with the class. They also tended to move from overt to covert questions. After the reading of “The Store Manager” I asked the students to read “The Store Manager” again, then complete the graphic organizer with the main idea and supporting details then look it over with a partner. Then we took it up as a class.

Encouraging Culture: Anti racism
By consistently implementing the agreements of Tribes (attentive listening, appreciation/no put-downs, mutual respect, right to pass) and creating a caring, safe environment, the teacher and students can be assured that students will respect each other’s cultures.
By having the students write a short story based on their culture or another they have the chance to showcase their diversity or their recognition of another culture. For instance the setting in the story could take place somewhere other than Canada. The main characters can be ESL children. They can explain why they left their country. The conflict can be about the move to Canada or just being a new speaker. They could explain that this story was based on real life or just made up. To promote their culture they could showcase their story after it is ready for publication. This could be a mini-lesson for a possible literature circle. Coelho mentions that as teachers we should “use multicultural literature circles regularly to foster a love of reading, introduce different cultural perspectives, and address problems related to racism and discrimination to literature and in students’ daily lives” (Coelho 2004).




***Fair Assessment***
Modifications for ESL/ELL students
Assessment and evaluation of ESL/ELL students focus on improving student learning;are linked directly to curriculum expectations (as modified for each student’s ESL/ELD stage of development), recognize linguistic and academic progress while taking into account realistic and varying rates of second-language learning; incorporate student self-assessment and actively involve students and parents.
To determine if these assessment procedures for ESL/ELL students were appropriate I created assessments that: reflect appropriate program adaptations, are based on clear statements of expectations, that take into account the student’s developing understanding of English, that take into account the cultural and linguistic background of the student, that allow for the use of the student’s first language as appropriate, and that include clear guidelines for program monitoring. Furthermore ESL students are offered team teaching with ESL/ELL staff in regular classrooms.


Accommodations:
***Fair Lesson***
The students wrote a traditional short story narrative. The short story lesson plan from November 17, 2003 shows the most understanding and application of key instructional concepts and strategies for the parameters of this assignment.
Because of the wide ability range and presence of E.S.L. students, I employed the reciprocal teaching strategy to ensure students who needed support in comprehending more difficult informational text and framework for reading harder text and understanding it as well as writing a short story narrative and understanding the framework. The strategy worked well and the students progressed confidently through the reading task and the writing task.
A variety of graphic organizers and key questions were used to assist the students focus their learning and to organize their findings. This lesson varied from whole class to small group in size and some individual one on one remedial lessons were provided. The assessments were ongoing, summative and formative, and the students were involved in weighing their own individual achievement and assessing their cooperative learning skills.
Moreover, all activities in the delivery of the lesson have content objectives and language objectives that are clearly supported. The students are engaged approximately 90-100% of the period and the pacing of the lesson is appropriate to the students’ ability level.

***Fair Assessment***
Modifications for ESL/ELL students
Assessment and evaluation of ESL/ELL students focus on improving student learning;are linked directly to curriculum expectations (as modified for each student’s ESL/ELD stage of development), recognize linguistic and academic progress while taking into account realistic and varying rates of second-language learning; incorporate student self-assessment and actively involve students and parents.
To determine if these assessment procedures for ESL/ELL students were appropriate I created assessments that: reflect appropriate program adaptations, are based on clear statements of expectations, that take into account the student’s developing understanding of English, that take into account the cultural and linguistic background of the student, that allow for the use of the student’s first language as appropriate, and that include clear guidelines for program monitoring. Furthermore ESL students are offered team teaching with ESL/ELL staff in regular classrooms.



The materials you will need are two hand outs. The Store Manager (a short story) and a Main Idea & Supporting Details handout. The assessment tools are a Checklist, and a Rubric.

Submitted by: Dwayne Tyson

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