Series: Five Essential Practices for the Teaching of ELLs - Elementary


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening Standards K-5
  • K:  Kindergarten
  • 1a: 

    Participate in collaborative conversations with
    diverse partners about kindergarten topics and
    texts with peers and adults in small and larger

    a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g.,
    listening to others and taking turns speaking
    about the topics and texts under discussion).

    b. Continue a conversation through multiple

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening Standards K-\x80\x935
  • K:  Kindergarten
  • 6: 
    Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and
    ideas clearly.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Just the Facts: A Social Studies Lesson
Lesson Objective: Create and present posters about American symbols
Grade K / Social Studies / ELL
ELA.SL.K.1a | ELA.SL.K.6

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Iwaszewicz strategically use partners and groups during the lesson?
  2. How did Ms. Iwaszewicz's previous lesson prepare her students for this activity?
  3. What strategies does Ms. Iwaszewicz use to ensure equitable participation?
  4. What will she do differently next time?
This social studies lesson was great for kindergarten! By giving them pictures of things they already learned they were to make a class poster using books and a partner to help them right facts. The teacher milled around the groups asking students to write complete sentences and check to see it the sentence made sense? They worked together and then shared one or two things from poster that were facts.They spoke into a speaker phone to make their voice louder and everyone could hear.Having kids use only one color to mark in their own facts would be helpful so they don't forget which fact was there's. They got to present and share just like being a teacher themselves a great idea! By milling around room she could see who was having difficulty and needed extra help and who didn't. ELL kids ,or those with special needs would then get extra support , if they needed it ;if partner was unable to help. Mary Bartz College Gate
Recommended (1)
I agree with the method that applied by the picture because the students can deliver their opinion and they can learn how to be cooperative with their friends. After their discuss with their group they have to present the poster in front of the class, it can makes them have courage to speak. The method is really good because it gives students some concrete picture that related to the topic which is discussed. The research that they did can gain their knowledge about the topic that they have learned.
Recommended (0)
I found it interesting that the school district for this class has a policy that the class has to be split up by their cultures so each group has the same amount of ELL students and English proficient speaking students. I thought that it was good that the teacher reminds the students on how to be a good listener and the class has ‘talking rules’ which is also a state standard. I think it is important especially in kindergarten for students to learn these social skills. The teacher also reminds the students that there is a difference between facts and opinions and for this assignment they are supposed to be listing facts only. As the students are discussing with their shoulder partner the teacher is going around the rug and making sure that the students are speaking to their partners in complete sentences. I think that this is important because students often times don’t and when they are writing then they don’t use complete sentences either because they aren't used to thinking in that way. If the student was struggling with making a complete sentence the teacher helped them by providing a sentence starter. I liked how the students discussed all of the facts that they could remember about the five different symbols while they were talking to their rug partner. This was done before they started their posters and it gave the students the ability to be reminded of the different facts by their peers so that the students could get used to helping each other. This showed beneficial later on in the video when the students were helping each other find facts to write on their posters. One student even read a couple of sentences out of a book to their tablemate who was having trouble reading. I thought that this great because sometimes it is hard for kindergartners to think about other people other than themselves. Overall I thought that this lesson was executed very well and it showed that the students learned a lot of facts about the different U.S. symbols.
Recommended (0)
This was a great lesson! From the beginning, students were excited about it and were actively engaged. It was smart to begin with a review over what a good listener looks like, especially for the grade level and classroom diversity. An ELL student would have a hard time presenting in front of their peers if the rest of the class was not paying attention or showing good listening skills. It would be very discouraging for them to continue with their presentation seeing as they may not be a confident presenter to begin with. With the rug partner strategy, students are engaging in discussion and learning how to have good personal interaction skills (good eye contact, looking at the person you are speaking with, taking turns speaking, etc.) from a young age. This may seem like a silly thing to point out, but in today’s society, kids are typically glued to a screen of some sort and have lost face-to-face communication skills, so I think it is great for them to practice, even in Kindergarten. By making the student the teacher, it gave them a great sense of responsibility to share facts, not opinions, with their peers (students), so they could learn. I also believe that the one teaching is the one learning, so by allowing the students to be the teachers, they are actually engaging in more of the learning process – they will learn as they find facts they want to present and they will learn as they present those facts. Engaging the students in collaborative learning was a really fantastic strategy as well seeing as there was a mix of ELL students and English-proficient students. They were able to work together to find facts and present rather than having to do it alone – which could be very intimidating at the Kindergarten level for any student. Overall, this was a very good lesson and had multiple strategies within it – reaching students at all levels and intellectual capacities.
Recommended (0)
Ms. Iwaszewicz did a great job of helping ALL of her students succeed during this social studies lesson, including her ELL students. I really value the way she initiated her collaborative groups, her ability to ask questions instead of give answers when students didn’t “get it,” and then reflect after her lesson was complete. Before this activity even started, Ms. Iwaszewicz had a mini-lesson about facts versus opinions. This was very intentional planning on her part and gave the students vital background knowledge that would be necessary to complete the task. On the day of the activity, Ms. Iwaszewicz practiced excellent classroom management skills by reviewing expectations prior to initiating any collaborative work. When she grouped the students, she was very intentional on creating heterogeneous groups based on English proficiency. She ensured that those students that may require help were paired with students that were more proficient English students so that the more proficient student could assist when necessary. This is great for meeting the needs of the ELL student as well as deepening the knowledge of the student that is assisting. When Ms. Iwaszewicz was monitoring the students working, she did not jump in to “save” every single student that needed help but instead referred these struggling students to their peers. When that didn’t work, she began asking them questions about what they already knew and what they wanted to say. Often, teachers feel the need to “save” a student by giving them the answer but all that we are really doing is interfering with their ability to productively struggle. Finally, the most productive practice that Ms. Iwaszewicz engaged in was reflecting on her lesson and making adjustments based on the successes and struggles she witnessed. This is a small step that teachers can make to improve the quality of their lessons each year. This was an excellent glimpse into a well thought-out task and how ALL students can succeed.
Recommended (0)


  • Just the Facts: A Social Studies Lesson

    Teacher: All right girls and boys in our social studies we've been learning about

    Just the Facts: A Social Studies Lesson

    Teacher: All right girls and boys in our social studies we've been learning about American symbols.

    Teacher 2: In today's integrated ELD lesson the children were working collaboratively together to create a poster filled with facts on one American symbol.

    Teacher: On your posters, do I want to see any of these?

    Students: No.

    Teacher: I only want to see?

    Students: Facts.

    Teacher: I Only Want to See Facts.

    Let's figure out what facts do we know?

    Teacher 2: Today's lesson was really the culminating presentation lesson where they had to work together and create a poster and present it to the class and they were able to be the teachers today.

    Joanna: The big eagle is on the one dollar quarter and it's on the one dollar.

    Teacher: Nice. Good Joanna.

    Teacher 2: San Francisco Unified encourages their teachers to utilize these five essential practices when planning their ELD instruction time for their students. For this class, this lesson I grouped my ELL's with my english speakers so that when they do work together they can help each other out. It's really building that collaborative model.

    Teacher: What about our talking moves.

    Students: Eyes and body show listening. Take turns.

    Teacher 2: We started by reviewing our listening norms, our talking moves and I really had the rug partners just share facts about American symbols.

    Teacher: Statue of Liberty. Lights. Camera. Action.

    Teacher 2: I always use that practice to get my partners ready to learn.

    Teacher: Start with the words 'The Statue of Liberty'

    Students: The statue of liberty[crosstalk 00:01:58]

    Teacher: Face your partner. That was his turn.

    Female student: The statue of Liberty is called lady liberty. The statue of Liberty is holding something on a torch and it has something [crosstalk 00:02:13].

    Teacher: Ba. Ba. Ba. Ba Ba.

    Students: Ba. Ba.

    Teacher: Okay. Are we taking turns?

    Students: Yes.

    Teacher: Thumbs up if you're using complete sentences.

    Teacher 2: By doing that rug partner talk. It gets them into the game. They're ready to go.

    Teacher: All right. Lets go over the ground rules of this game. You're gonna be the teacher. You're going to be writing only facts on your posters. How can we help our friends. What's one way we can help our friends. Aarf?

    Aarf: You can help them read.

    Teacher: You can help them read something that's on one of the booklets. What if they're not sure what fact to write? What can we do then? Evalina?

    Evalina: You can help them write something that they think it's a good idea to write.

    Teacher: Right. You can help them find a fact.

    Do you guys feel ready?

    Students: Yeah!

    Teacher: Table monitors are gonna come up and pull a post-it that has a name on it and it's one of the symbols of our country.

    male student: The white house.

    Teacher: The white house there you go.

    Teacher 2: When they got to their tables they had to work collaboratively and write down facts about their American symbol. They didn't know which symbol they would get which was great because they had to learn all five.

    Teacher: When you write the facts. This is the way the poster is going to go so the words have to be this way. So, you should be standing over here on this side.

    Teacher 2: Prior to this listen we reviewed the difference between a fact versus opinion, so that we got into our social studies lesson, they were able to create these posters with only facts.

    Female student: Flag. Flag. We cannot touch the ground.

    Teacher: Lets figure out which facts do we know. Fin, use the research you've got. We can put it here so everybody can see it.

    Teacher 2: They had some resources at their tables. They had some books they could look into to refresh their memories. Pictures. But they used each other also.

    Female student: The Liberty bell rang many times.

    You're supposed to write like this way.

    White House.

    Teacher: Are we getting some good facts down?

    Students: Yeah.

    Teacher: So David get a marker. What do you know about the bald eagle, David?

    Teacher 2: When I was walking around the tables, I did notice some students struggling.

    Teacher: What are you writing about.

    David: I don't know this. Some people did not want the bald eagle to be the national symbol.

    Teacher: Well, is that the fact you want to write? Lets see. Lets keep looking. What facts do you remember about the bald eagle, David?

    David: The bald eagle is..

    Teacher: What do you remember.

    David: I remember it comes back to the nest every year.

    Teacher: What's that?

    David: The bald eagle, it comes back to the nest every year.

    Teacher: It comes to the nest every year. Returns to the nest every year. Returns. Re. Re. Returns.

    Teacher 2: Referring them to resources was helpful and then reminding them to ask their friend at a table. It was good to see them use each other as a resource.

    Students: Guiana. Guiana. Bald eagle here.[inaudible 00:05:47] No Guiana.

    Teacher: Girls and boys you need to decide who's gonna read what fact off the paper. Amy, which fact are you gonna read? Amy, what are you going to read to the class?

    Amy: I'm going to read.[inaudible 00:06:10]

    Teacher: Can you read it to me?

    Amy: The white house has a oval office.

    Teacher 2: In order to promote the equity in my classroom, regardless of their language ability, I made sure that everyone had to as least present two facts during the lesson.

    Teacher: Toby, what are your two facts that you're going to present off of this poster?

    Toby: The bald eagle is not bald.

    Teacher: Okay. One.

    Toby: The bald eagle can live up to fifty years.

    Teacher: Where is that in the book? Find that for me.

    Toby: Oh, thirty-five.

    Teacher: Thirty-five years.

    Guiana, what are your two facts you're gonna tell the class now?

    Guiana: The bald eagle [crosstalk 00:06:52] good eye sight.

    Teacher: Eye sight or eyes.

    Who's gonna be teacher first? Lets see.

    Teacher 2: After the children were able to create the poster, they got to present the poster which was really exciting for kindergartners to be able to stand in front of the class and be the teacher.

    Teacher: Remember what we're using? Complete sentences. You guys ready?

    Students: Yeah.

    male student: The statue of Liberty is made out of copper.

    Teacher: Start with the American flag.

    Camilla: The American flag has six white stripes.

    male student 3: The American flag has six white stripes and seven white stripes.

    Teacher: Can you give us another fact because that's what Camilla just said.

    male student 3: The American flag has fifty stars.

    Teacher: Nice.

    Male student 4: The president lives in the white house. The white house was an American symbol for more than two hundred years.

    Female student2: The white house has an oval office.

    Teacher: Oval office. Nice.

    Teacher 2: One thing that went really well today was the fact that my children were able to recall facts that we had gone over in social studies and were misconceptions for the students. I did a whole lesson one the facts that when Washington was our president there was no Washington D.C. There was no white house yet.

    Teacher: What can we say about the white house?

    FemaleStudent3: John Adams was the first president to live in the white house.

    Teacher 2: I was really glad to see that one of my students was able to recall that fact. She wrote it down on the poster and then she was able to present that so that went well.

    Teacher: Who are my next teachers?

    Teacher 2: Reflecting on this lesson, I think that next time I'm going to have the students pick one color only and record their facts on that one color and then when their presenting they'll point to their color and read off their fact. That was there won't be any of that misconception of, wait a minute, you're reading off the fact that I wrote down.

    Teacher: You can do it.

    Guiana: The bald eagle is not really bald.

    Toby: I was gonna say that.

    Teacher: That's okay.

    What's your second fact, Guiana. What's your second fact?

    Guiana: The bald eagle eat fish.

    Teacher: Nice. Lets move over to Toby.

    Toby what are your two facts? Lets start with the bald eagle.

    Toby: The bald eagle is not bald.

    Teacher: Okay. It's not bald. What else can you teach us about the bald eagle?

    Toby: The bald eagle lives up to thirty-five years.

    Teacher: Good. I want you to think back. We did a lot of sharing before we did this lesson and your rug partner shared three facts. Were there any facts that you were able to use?

    Oh Cynthia has some facts that she was able to use. Lewis and Gabriela used some facts from their partners. Look how much information's written on each poster. You guys are super stars today and you were the teachers. Girls and boys, I want you to thank your rug partner for the help.

    Students: Thank you for help.

    Teacher 2: In kindergarten, a lot of our students come in and the whole world is around them. My goal in kindergarten is to make sure that they start noticing people around them having that empathy and helping each other and working collaboratively.

    Students: Can we do another one of these?

    Teacher: You want to do another one of these afterwords.

    Students: Yeah.

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School Details

Lafayette Elementary School
4545 Anza Street
San Francisco CA 94121
Population: 543

Data Provided By:



Elizabeth Iwaszewicz
Kindergarten / Teacher



All Grades / All Subjects / Tch Tools

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Students / Class Culture