Monday, February 21, 2011

Images Provide Access to Content for ELLs:)

If you want to improve an ELL's grasp of content, you need visuals. Usually this action takes quite a bit of time for most of us. Often times, just the act of trying to find the right images can be quite a challenge. Well, this process is no longer the time consuming process it used to be thanks to the fact that Google purchased the Life Magazine's archive of photos going back to 1750!

An example here is of Apollo 11's moon landing. If I were teaching a lesson on space exploration, I could easily find awe inspiring photos here to share with students as part of a lesson. ELLs need such images to access content in a meaningful way. The textbooks are often times just out of reach for them since their reading levels are below the reading levels of their English speaking peers. As I addressed the risks to humanity's desire to colonize the solar system, I could pull stunning images from this source to add to my power point presentations (or smart board). That old expression that a picture is worth a thousand words is still true.

If I were teaching the history of the American Civil War, I need only search Google Life Photo Archive for shots of the period. The images breathe life into dull textbook presentations. If I move ahead to the Civil Rights Movement, I can easily access those incredibly painful scenes of racial segregation in the south. Showing such painful pictures of America's past makes the content for ELLs easier to grasp.

What about having ELLs see how Americans of 1964 pictured the future? No problem. Just to Google Life Photo Archive and check out the New York World's Fair of 1964:) I am sure ELLs (and others) would find amusing what Americans at the time pictured the 21st century to be like. What a classroom discussion this could start on comparing what people thought the 21st century would be like versus what is actually like. Go a step further and then have ELLs imagine what the 22nd century might be like.

I hope you enjoy the site. I shared this with the district tech department and they were impressed. Remember that sometimes you may run into comments that have nothing to do with the images. When I use this site, I just pull off the pictures and ignore the rest. I never send students here since there is just too much to see. I take what I need and incorporate that into my lessons.

If you like this site, please drop a comment.

ELL Teacher Pro

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