Reflection: ELL Students Day One of Alana Explains the Atmosphere - Section 4: Instruction


Making content comprehensible means presenting content in a way that English Language Learners can understand it.  It means "leveling the playing field" by providing scaffolding and supports so that students who are learning English as a second language can be successful.  

One way of making content comprehensible is by using a concept map, such as the one described in this lesson.  By using different colored markers to present the "input" I am utilizing the research on brain based instruction that supports the notion that color "imprints" information by making it memorable.  Tomorrow morning when I ask my students to work in their teams to complete the process grid, they will need to use language to process the information from this input chart in order to complete the task.  This is the basis of language mediated instruction.  

In my experience - it is just good instruction.  These strategies work for all of my students - not just my English Language Learners.  I have found this wonderful PDF online that has a list of some terrific strategies for making content comprehensible:

It is from

  Making Content Comprehensible
  ELL Students: Making Content Comprehensible
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Day One of Alana Explains the Atmosphere

Unit 4: Plaid Pete is Modeling Earth's Systems
Lesson 10 of 15

Objective: SWBAT describe how winds in the atmosphere interact with landforms to determine patterns of weather.

Big Idea: What is the difference between weather and climate? What are the main ingredients of weather? Students construct Tree Diagrams and a Process Grid to develop important background information on the way to understanding interactions with the atmosphere.

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