School will be open before you know it. As with the start of every school year, teachers look for fun get-to-know-you activities for their students. This is especially beneficial for ELLs since the teacher has multiple opportunities to interact with them in a relaxed atmosphere. In this milieu, the teacher can begin to explore the ELLs' language abilities in non-academic stress-free settings. To start the year off in a non-traditional manner, why not use this website YEAR 2000 AS ENVISIONED IN 1910?
Print out enough to use for small group study (7 copies per set). If possible, try to print them out in color. Laminate them or place them in plastic sleeves so that you can reuse them with ease. Before the pictures are passed out to cooperative groups of mixed ability and language proficiencies, conduct a group discussion on what they think like might be in 90 years (2100). Chart their responses. Have students draw pictures of the changes that they think will occur. Go from group to group to have them share their view of the distant future. Since students (all ages) will be drawing and not writing at this point, everyone can take part. After the time limit is up (which you set), have volunteers from each group share what their group created. Paste them up on your wall to go back to at a later date when you do COMPARISON CONTRAST WRITINGS. It is a vivid image that will stay with them for quite a while.
After the intro activity is completed, pass out the packets of the pictures you copied for them. The "assignment" could be to have students study the pics in their groups and then decide if any of those predictions came true. If students believe they did, have them explain how with pictures (or words) what predictions were actually realized. If students find that some of the predictions never came to pass, have them explain why not (through words or pictures). Of course, you will probably have your own ideas on using these pictures. My suggestions are just a start.
Benefits to ELLs, EOs, and struggling students are many. You are teaching analysis skills, comparison/contrast thinking skills, making predictions, building both key vocabulary and academic vocabulary, etc. Their finished products will be well received by parents for BACK-TO-SCHOOL-NIGHT:)
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