This week, my 3rd grade ELL and I studied a book called Did You Hear Something, perfect for Halloween.
We created a plot wallet for this book, an idea I stole from Mandy's Tips for Teachers. This mini-lesson activity was helpful in demonstrating the importance of re-reading in order to decide which ideas were really the most important to include in a summary.
The week before, we were working on academic vocabulary related to the solar system and space. Some concepts just lend themselves well to being acted out in order to support understanding. In order to demonstrate an orbit, I placed a chair in the middle of the room. We walked around and around the chair, holding onto it with one hand. It is easy to drop something to demonstrate gravity, but slightly harder to demonstrate that this same force maintains the orbits of the planets and their satellites. Finally, after some more discussion, and re-reading of a text that the student had read in class, we played a charades game. Each of us took turns acting out a word, which the other tried t identify or explain. Movement and interaction are a great means to support the acquisition of academic language. This would have been even more effective if I were working with a small group instead of just one student.