Fourth-graders who are beginning and intermediate English language learners. One student is a Hispanic (Spanish-speaking) who has limited proficiency in both the home language and in English, she also lacks reading and writing skills in both languages. The two are Asian (Arabic) who have oral proficiency in their home language but possess no reading or writing skills in that language they speak English fluently allowing them to function socially and adequately in an academic setting. They thoroughly enjoyed learning about hurricanes along with other students in the class.
They all were familiar with words such as weather, cloud, rain, wind, thunder, cold and hot. My two Asian girls were also familiar with lightning, storm, and danger.
Students understand what hurricanes are, how they form, and what kinds of dangers they pose to people and property. The topic initial lesson began with the concept of weather and vocabulary words such as weather, rain, cloud, storm, wind, warm, thunderstorm, ocean, and seasons.
In several texts that were used on hurricanes the words clockwise, counterclockwise, damage, dangerous, destroy, hurricane, and motion were worth learning for productive use, whereas warning, watch, eye, wall, rain bands, and storm surge was useful for understanding the topic.
(1) Point to the word on the board. Say the vocabulary word numerous times, then have students listen and repeat the word after you; make sure that students correctly pronounce the words by having them pronounce the word aloud as a group and then individually. Repeat as necessary. While I am saying the word, I will show the students a picture representing the meaning.
Students share synonyms for each word in English and/or their primary language.
(2) Elicit students present/background knowledge on hurricanes by creating a class mind map asking what they think and or know about hurricanes. Use the following questions to facilitate the discussion to get ideas on what the student knows or dont know. (What are hurricanes? What do they do? What are they made of? Where do they come from?) Keep this collective knowledge accessible during the lesson(s).
(3) Listen to a video clip on hurricanes afterward have students draw out how a hurricane is formed any other details they can recall. Then have students use target vocabulary words to label their drawing.
Each strategy will be ideal to use with students to measure the students’ knowledge and successively adjust the lesson(s) to the students’ needs. Each strategy allows students to be active learners rather than just listeners. Pointing and saying the words numerous times will help with students listening skills (they need to be able to hear the sounds) to be able to pronounce the words correctly and saying the word out loud will help students develop correct pronunciation of the words. Eliciting students background knowledge on a topic will help eliminate wasting time repeating/reteaching what students may already know. Listening to video clip and having students to draw/label a visual of what they heard using vocabulary words will help boost comprehension and understanding of the new vocabulary words.
Beginning English language learner (Hispanic female) will be able to point to, name and define the three main parts of a hurricane (eye, eyewall, and rain bands) from visual representations; Intermediate English language learners (Asian females) will be able to orally discuss and write simple complete sentences on what they know about hurricanes (formation, looks like) using the target vocabulary. All students will create a four column graphic organizer; labeling each column: word, definition, synonym, and sentence/picture to record target vocabulary words and any additional words they wish to include. Students will share their drawing theyve created and a brief summary with the class.