Reflection: ELL Students Dissolution of Ionic Compounds in Water - Section 4: Individual Drawing Activity


I have several ELL students who struggle with common English vocabulary--and scientific academic vocabulary can be a bigger struggle.  I know that some students will understand conceptually what is happening, but they may not always be able to communicate their understanding verbally or in written language.

I have found that being able to diagram an idea helps my ELL students to communicate what they understand to me and I can help them go back and add the appropriate vocabulary when necessary.  All students can benefit from diagramming, but particularly ELL students need a different way to demonstrate understanding.

I was really impressed with one of my students, whose work is shown as the last student sample, who recently moved here from Armenia.  Her basic English vocabulary is very good, but she lacks the science vocabulary to demonstrate proficiency in most written work.  However, through her drawings and her attempts to verbally explain her diagram, I was able to help her articulate what she already knew using proper English scientific vocabulary.  I found that she is already very well-versed in basic chemistry but has been having difficulty in translating the terminology.  Now I know that she understands the content but that there is a definite language barrier.  She appreciates the option now to show what she knows through diagrams that I can help her label instead of using just written explanations.

  Diagramming Reaches ELL Students
  ELL Students: Diagramming Reaches ELL Students
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Dissolution of Ionic Compounds in Water

Unit 2: Electron Configuration & Bonding
Lesson 8 of 9

Objective: SWBAT to diagram and describe what occurs at the molecular level during the dissolution of an ionic compound in water (a polar substance).

Big Idea: Water is polar, with regions of slight positive and negative charge; this polarity attracts and pulls apart cations and anions of an ionic compound.

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