Series: ELA for ELL: Scaffolding Understanding for Complex Text

ELA.SL.7.1c

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening Standards 6-12
  • 7:  7th Grade
  • 1c: 
    Engage effectively in a range of collaborative
    discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled)
    with diverse partners on grade 7 topics,
    texts, and issues, building on othersâ\x80\x99 ideas and
    expressing their own clearly.

    a. Come to discussions prepared, having read
    or researched material under study; explicitly
    draw on that preparation by referring to
    evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe
    and reflect on ideas under discussion.

    b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, track
    progress toward specific goals and deadlines,
    and define individual roles as needed.

    c. Pose questions that elicit elaboration and
    respond to others' questions and comments
    with relevant observations and ideas that bring
    the discussion back on topic as needed.


    d. Acknowledge new information expressed by
    others and, when warranted, modify their own
    views.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

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ELA.SL.8.1c

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening Standards 6-12
  • 8:  8th Grade
  • 1c: 
    Engage effectively in a range of collaborative
    discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled)
    with diverse partners on grade 8 topics,
    texts, and issues, building on othersâ\x80\x99 ideas and
    expressing their own clearly.

    a. Come to discussions prepared, having read
    or researched material under study; explicitly
    draw on that preparation by referring to
    evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe
    and reflect on ideas under discussion.

    b. Follow rules for collegial discussions and
    decision-making, track progress toward
    specific goals and deadlines, and define
    individual roles as needed.

    c. Pose questions that connect the ideas of
    several speakers and respond to others'
    questions and comments with relevant
    evidence, observations, and ideas.


    d. Acknowledge new information expressed
    by others, and, when warranted, qualify or
    justify their own views in light of the evidence
    presented.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Preparing Learners: Activating Prior Knowledge
Lesson Objective: Analyze structural, organizational, grammatical, and lexical choices
Grades 6-8 / ELA / ELL
ELA.SL.7.1c | ELA.SL.8.1c

Thought starters

  1. This lesson asks students to utilize various forms of "communicative functions" through the three-step interview. Why is this important for ELLs?
  2. How does the structure of this task ensure that all students are engaged in the work?
  3. How did Ms. Park-Friend activate her students' prior knowledge?
26 Comments

I found this to be an interesting exercise.  It might be useful to have students have discussions in the music classroom about their prior experiences and have them relate it to what we are studying.  For instance, if students have taken piano or voice lessons and are familiar with notes and rhythms, they can apply it to the recorder instruction they are receiving in my classroom.

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  1. This lesson asks students to utilize various forms of "communicative functions" through the three-step interview. Why is this important for ELLs?

The use of multiple communicative functions is important for all learners. It is especially important for English language learners because a second or third language is best acquired when the learner is able to use the new language skills in a variety of contexts. It allows the learner to practice the acts of verbally relating experience, listening, and explaining information learned from an outside source.

  1. How does the structure of this task ensure that all students are engaged in the work?

In this lesson, all students are busy at all times doing a meaningful task for which they will be held accountable. Within the groups of four, groups of two alternate tasks that are equally as important. At the end of the lesson, when each person in the group of four has a turn explaining what that person learned during the process, the other three students are expected to be actively listening—and they are more likely to do so since they have become invested in the activity by sharing their own stories.

  1. How did Ms. Park-Friend activate her students' prior knowledge?

Ms. Park-Friend had students participate in a group learning activity that allowed all of them to not only think about but explain a time that persuasive conversation took place in their lives. In the process of doing this, students activated prior knowledge they had of what was said in a persuasive context, how it was said, and why it was convincing. This allowed them to build the academic knowledge of persuasive writing into their previous understanding of how to persuade in an informal context. In other words, the content became more meaningful and relevant to them.

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I believe this is important for ELL students because it gives them a basis on what to focus on, instead of jumping into the activity on their interpretations. ELL students may need to develop the concept of details before generating answers to answer questions. A slower pace of understanding what they already know how to do.

She has each group with the same amount of students to engage in the same steps, same approach, and same contribution. They are then allowed to share information about a group member, without choosing individually, and give their own thoughts on others experiences. Everyone had a role and responsibilty.

Her focus was to give every group member a chance to ask, listen, and speak. Her approach to activate prior knowledge was have each one "think" about a memorable discussion, or argument, they had with someone. This was an individual experience only they knew, and can "think" upon.

Recommended (0)

1. The three-step interview is important for ELLs because it helps them communicate back and forth with their peers and build on their English vocabulary. 

2. The structure allows all students to be involved by allowing each student to have a job. 

3. She activated her student's prior knowledge by allowing them to discuss what they have been through using questions such as, "what has ever made you mad?"

Recommended (0)

What a great way of getting her students to discuss and share different arguments, and different ways of arguing their points. Great job

Recommended (0)

Transcripts

  • Preparing Learners: Activating Prior Knowledge Final Program Transcript

    Park-Friend: So good morning guys. Welcome.

    Park-Friend (INT): My name is Emily Park-Friend. I

    Preparing Learners: Activating Prior Knowledge Final Program Transcript

    Park-Friend: So good morning guys. Welcome.

    Park-Friend (INT): My name is Emily Park-Friend. I work at Bruce Randolph School and I teach seventh grade literacy skills. Almost all of my students are English language learners. Maybe two students are native English speakers.

    Park-Friend: The first thing we're gonna do today is do our three-step interview where you're gonna be interviewing your classmates about some questions.

    Aida Walqui: In this lesson you see students working through a structure that was originally designed by Spencer Kagan, and it's a structure in which the teacher frames two questions that are going to prepare students to get thinking - activating prior knowledge - that will then serve as the basis for constructing new understandings. And it takes place in three steps.

    Park-Friend: So look up here….

    Park-Friend (INT): We moved into the three-step interview. So I gave students instructions on how they would interview their classmates and who they would be interviewing.

    Park-Friend: I'm gonna put you in a group of four. So if you're in your group, there will be an A, B, C, and D. A, you're gonna interview B. C is gonna interview who? D. That's it. It's gonna be really important that you listen to their answer because you're gonna share out later what they said. You're not gonna tell your own story. You're gonna tell their story. So that's step 1. The next step, you switch. So if [student] is my partner and I'm A and he's B, step 1 I interview him, step 2, he interviews me. Asks me the same questions. Kay? And then step 3. Each student reports what they learn from their partner to the entire group of four, and we'll review that step again when we're done with 1 and 2.

    Park-Friend (INT): Students were working in groups asking each other about a memorable argument they had had before and whether or not they were able to convince someone of something.

    Park-Friend: What does it mean if an argument is memorable Derrick?

    Student: You can remember it.

    Park-Friend: You can remember it. The second question, can you read that one for me please Effrain?

    Aida Walqui: The lesson begins with the teacher inviting students to share instances in which they've had to persuade somebody to do something. And that is an important step because persuasion may be taught in a class as something that is really remote and that you know, we're going to learn these persuasive texts and everybody thinks it's something not real, not personal, when in fact all of us are engaged in acts of persuasion all the time.

    Student: Were you able to convince the other person you were arguing with about anything?

    Park-Friend: What's convince mean?

    Student: To persuade.

    Park-Friend: Persuade. So did you win, right? Did you get them to get on your side? And then the third question, was the person you were arguing with able to convince you?

    Student: Was the person you were arguing with able to convince you of anything? If so, how did this happen? If not, why do you think it did not?

    Student: Uh, well, my, my mom said that if I did, if I did, um, get a dog I have to clean all his stuff and give them food and buy everything for him. So yeah. That's why. And my mom convinced herself because I cleaned my room. And he can sleep there.

    Park-Friend: We've all interviewed. A, you've interviewed B and C, you've interviewed D. Now we're gonna switch.

    Student: What is the most memorable argument you have ever been in?

    Student: When me and my brother were fighting over what channel to watch.

    Student: Were you able to convince the other…

    Park-Friend (INT): The interviews went well. Something like that that was multi-step, it has a lot of specific directions, could be confusing for students, but they seem to pick it up very quickly and be able to just run with it.

    Park-Friend: In your group of four, decide who's gonna go first, and you're gonna share out your partner's story. We're not commenting on the stories until everyone has shared.

    Student: A memorable argument that Effrain had was what car to get. He was able to convince another person to buying a, a different car, because they, he had good arguments about why the other car was better.

    Aida Walqui: It's a very powerful strategy because in a matter of three or four minutes all students have asked for information, all students have had to listen to and understand information that has been given to them and all students have had to report information. So there are three very different communicative functions that are practiced in a short time.

    Park-Friend: Why do you think I asked you to share about an argument you had before?

    Student: To see if we were listening correctly.

    Park-Friend: To practice listening with a partner? Right. So we've been reading persuasive texts. People who are masters of persuasion, but I know we have some masters of persuasion in here too, right?

    Park-Friend: Today I thought went well and I was also impressed with the level of conversation that many students were having.

    - END -

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School Details

Bruce Randolph School
3955 Steele Street
Denver CO 80205
Population: 824

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