Dr. Pete Cobin, ELL Consultant with Washoe County School District, reviewed the lesson “Keep it or Junk it” and shared the following:
There are two things in particular that I noticed.
- The emphasis on “What are you thinking? How do you use this information?” requires students to grapple with how to use language to express their ideas. This leads students to struggle with how to be more informative, and challenges them to go beyond staying on firm ground where they feel comfortable. The result is that students are using language that is rather complex, and the text serves as a model for how to use this more complex language.
- The “Keep It or Junk It” activity begins with learning vocabulary and extends to discussing and arguing how the vocabulary relates to the main ideas. As a result, the amount of paragraph level oral language shown is quite high. The progression of language functions–from identifying vocabulary, to repeating it, describing it, making an example with it, explaining it, arguing about it–forms a nice WIDA-like strand across the range of proficiency levels.
I expect that these types of activities would not only provide for better comprehension of the reading, but would also prepare students for the language needed for a culminating activity for the unit.
You can find out more about the lesson by clicking here.