More than half of my class (Grades 3 & 4) are in their very first year of academic English. Many are still in the “silent phase” where they don’t actually have enough language to participate in a conversation. So if we don’t have enough language to tell a story, how do we get enough language to write a story? I’ll admit, our first stories were rough, and felt like pulling teeth. However, my kids have made some great strides in the last 3 months. Here is a storybird created by one of my first year writing students, called Omar the Alien and the Haunted House. I love using storybirds in my classroom because it brings out the best writing in all of my students, especially my English Language Learners. Rather than sitting and trying to think of what to say, they use the pictures, link them to English words they know and build their story around them.
For more ways I get my English Language Learners writing, please stop by and check out my recent post on the subject at my blog – Raki’s Rad Resources.