The experience of teaching ELL students was very enlightening to me. At the time I was expected to teach this lesson, students were in the middle of their social studies unit of responsibility. They learned about various types of responsibilities, and one of them was responsibility to the environment. The actual lesson I was supposed to teach focused on the importance of making choices that would have a positive impact on students’ close environment. I was also to talk about environmental problems in the students’ neighborhood, and encourage them to devise some solutions to those problems.
Before I started planning the lesson, I asked myself whether the students possessed necessary vocabulary words to talk about the environmental issues. Vocabularies related to the environment are academic ones that need to be pre taught so that students can comprehend their reading, and then use the new vocabulary words in the production of English. Teaching vocabulary is extremely important because “second language learners rely heavily on vocabulary knowledge, and that lack of vocabulary knowledge is the largest obstacle for second language learners to overcome (Levine and McCloskey, 2013, p. 145). Therefore, I decided to incorporate a Magic Book strategy to first, teach the vocabulary words, and then check for understanding of the new vocabulary by asking students to summarize their thoughts about what they have learned, and also use the new words in devising solutions to existing environmental problems in their neighborhood. I also chose a mentor text titled “Reducing Waste” which gives readers insights into solutions for solving and preventing the environmental problems. The reading level of the book is A-Z Levels U &V (students’ reading le...
... middle of paper ...
...ng about the environmental issues.
If I were to plan this lesson again, I would definitely teach fewer vocabulary words per one lesson. The lesson seemed to become monotonous, and I had to incorporate a short brain break to energize the students and help them refocus on the lesson. I think four or five definitions would be enough. I could also differentiate the lesson plan for ELLs, and typed the definitions on the paper strips. Students would match the definitions to the vocabulary words, and this would allow me to quickly pre assess their vocabulary knowledge. In the future, I will definitely focus on the quality, not quantity of taught vocabulary words, especially the words students might not have encountered before. Overall, I am satisfied with the outcomes of the lesson, as they clearly indicate students’ learning and understanding of the new vocabulary words.
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