Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What a great start to the new year!

In prepping students for color editing, we worked on timed paragraph writing today on a topic of great interest to one and all----CARS!  The writing activity was to describe what the car will look like in 2110.  Students were to also draw a picture of their future car in the crystal ball. 

How did we start?

For ELLs to experience success in any activity, they need background knowledge.  For this I went to Google Images and pulled off photos of cars from the early 20th century.  Lots of discussion ensued and I charted all their responses on the left side of a T-Chart (1910 LEFT/2010 RIGHT).  Once that was finished, we moved over to the very familiar-cars of 2010.  Again, I charted responses (using document camera).  Students again kept notes.  After 25 minutes, we all had a firm foundation in car parts and their evolution over 100 years:)

Now, the assignment-students had to first draw of picture of what they think a car would look like in 100 years. Elbow partners were the norm since there is a wide range of proficiency levels in my classes.  Once their pictures were done, they then had to use a formulaic approach to creating their paragraphs (like Step Up To Writing).  Their first drafts were started in class and assigned as homework to finish.  Tomorrow, we start working with GREEN (topic sentence), PINK (reason/detail/fact), and YELLOW (explanation/commentary) highlighters to see how well they organized their paragraphs.  I will move to different colors for descriptors and sentence types on Friday.


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