With ELLs especially, teachers need to think outside the box in allowing those students to demonstrate their understanding of key lesson points in different ways. Some teachers have students keep cartoon records of class lessons themes. Others let students keep interactive journals.
Since every students is an individual first, teachers need to view project assignments through the different learning styles. By creating opportunities for every student to enter an assignment through his/her strongest learning styles (kinesthetic, visual, auditory), teachers create an atmosphere of enthusiasm in undertaking the project. This is especially important with ELLs since they often times do not enough English to undertake the more traditional heavy writing assignments.
Tagxedo offers colorful options as a non-traditional approach for students to show their grasp of a topic and it is fun and colorful. I took the link to this site to show you a sample: Teaching Successes With ELLs . Notice how only key words were selected that describe the theme of the blog. Also, as you move the mouse over the visual, key words enlarge. Students with artistic talents will have many tools on the site to do above and beyond what I did here. Once they have finished their work, they can generate some writing about their picture with ease since the key words will be part of their artwork.
Another unusual site which history and language arts teachers will enjoy weaving into their lessons to set the tone for the subject of the lesson is the NATIONAL JUKEBOX LIBRARY OF CONGRESS collection. Here teachers will find musical recordings going back to the late 19th century through 1925. A word of warning here though--some ethnic groups may be portrayed in a negative light which was common then. Screen the recordings before allowing students to hear them unless the lesson focuses on prejudice.
I hope you enjoy the sites:)
ELL Teacher Pros