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.
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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.

emotions
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

What am I Poems

My second graders are starting a unit on poetry.  As an introduction we read what am I poems.  Each poem described an animal or food. They students enjoyed trying to guess what food/animal it was describing.

For my low language ELL students, I also have vocabulary sheets that they could refer to while guessing.

Then they used a template to write their own what am I poems. There were great for my struggling writers. They did not get overwhelmed with a large amount of writing, and were very excited to have their peers guess what their poem was describing.

These task cards and writing templates are available on my TPT store.

What am I poetry Bundle

What am I Poems

 

Mentor Text for Writing: A Chair For My Mother

My 4th grade ESOL students are writing memoirs. I did a mini lesson on descriptive writing using A Chair For My Mother.  This book has many examples of descriptive adjectives and sensory details. I did a read aloud and paused every few pages so that students could share examples they heard.

One page offers a vivid description of the armchair that family is saving up to buy. “Yes, a chair. A wonderful, beautiful, fat, soft armchair. We will get one covered in velvet with roses all over it. We are going to get the best chair in the whole world.”

While the family is shopping for a new chair, there is an example of using a text to self connection in writing. “We tried out big chairs and smaller ones, high chairs and low chairs, soft chairs and harder ones. Grandma said she felt like Goldilocks in “The Three Bears” trying out all the chairs.”

My students enjoyed listening to the story.  The book gave them many examples they can use in their own writing.  Their next steps will be to think of sensory details to add to their memoir.

After discussing the story have students use a sensory details graphic organizer (I have included one below) to write about their own memory.

Enjoy this Memory Graphic Organizer Freebie.

Memory Graphic Organizer