Integrating Speaking and Writing

My ESOL students need a large amount of practice with speaking and writing. Writing in particular is often a difficult task for them.  Some of them have a hard time generating ideas, others get bogged down with the mechanics of writing (especially spelling).  We have also been working this year on adding details to their writing.

Using speaking as a springboard for writing is an effective strategy for all students, but particularly ESOL students as it helps to build their oral language skills. I created some
Everyday Event Picture Strips for my students to discuss.  I modeled with one set of pictures, and then partnered students up to discuss the remaining pictures. I gave them sentence frames to help guide the discussion.

Afterwards I gave students a graphic organizer for the same pictures they had been discussing.  Depending on the needs of each group I sometimes gave students a specific set of pictures to write about and for other groups I let the students choose which set of pictures they wanted to write about.

Some students received a graphic organizer with a word bank and others did not require this scaffold.
Next they wrote a story adding in additional details.  Having previously spoken about the pictures helped students expand their writing.

Teachers Appreciation Sale on TPT

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Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sitewide sale to celebrate Teachers Appreciation Week.  On May 9th and 10th use the code THANKYOU17 to get 10% off of your purchase.  In addition many sellers have sales of 20% off including mine.

I am giving away a $10 gift card as a part of Teachers Appreciation week.  Enter through the link below.
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Vocabulary Building File Folder Games

I have some newcomers that I just started working with.  They love games so I came up with some file folder games to help them practice basic vocabulary.  The students are at two different levels: some are able to read the others has some basic letter sound knowledge.  All have low expressive vocabulary.

We are practicing nouns and where to find them.  The game board are different rooms either in a house or school.  The cards are nouns or verbs.  There are two different levels.  The lower level just has the picture.  The more advanced cards have a sentence frame and picture.  The two sets of cards allow the newcomers to play together, simply choosing from their own deck of cards.  They pick a card read it and then cover the room that the item is found in.  For my nonverbal students they do this all silently but to hear the names of the items.

Mood and Tone

My 5th graders are studying author’s tone, and mood.  These are complex concepts for my ESOL students to understand.  To start off I adapted a great Author’s Tone and Mood lesson. Before having student write, I they took turns talking about their stories this really helped my lower ones generate ideas, and gave all of them practice using the vocabulary. I created a visual list of words that they could use to describe the tone.

Then we used task cards to practice identifying tone in a passage.  They also practiced identifying the mood that a setting can create using task cards.

Describing Characters & a Freebie

I’ve been working with my first grades on using adjectives to describe characters.  They did a great job of using evidence from the books to describe their answers.  Even my lower language students were able to participate.

We read two books: Llama Lama mad at mama & Yoko.






First I showed students pictures of character emotions.  They shared examples of when they felt various emotions.  Then as I read the books they would identify how the character was feeling and tell why.

Get these as a part of my Illustrated Vocabulary Words








As a follow up students will fill out a graphic organizer after reading one of their guided reading books where they identify how the characters are feeling and show why.

Free: Describing Characters Graphic Organizers

Dialogue Journal Writing Prompts

There never seems to be enough time to fit everything in.  One way I am attempting to fit in writing and grammar instruction into my ESOL groups is through using a dialogue journal.  Students have a writing prompt that they respond to.  I then will write back with a question or comment.  Students have the options of continuing to write back a response.

I am also integrating short grammar reviews into the writing prompts. This allows student to focus on a skill and immediately apply it in their writing.