Tuesday, August 28, 2012

AWESOME STORIES-Non-fiction and Fiction Readings for English Literature, Current Events, Science, and Social Studies--Perfect for Common Core Lessons!

As students begin to work under the new common core, teachers will need to find a reliable of easy-to-access online resource for both fiction and non-fiction documents/materials.  With ELLs in many classes, these sources should ideally contain some support without watering down the content. 

With this goal in mind, I found a site with incredible resources in history, social studies, film, English literature.  Though I only linked 5 areas, there are more.  You will need to register (free) to have full access to every feature on the site. 

AWESOME STORIES  -- Some areas covered are biographies, famous trials, disasters, flicks, history, the arts, etc.  Actual photographs are embedded throughout and those photos provide context for ELLs.  You will also find audio files.  Since many ELLs develop their listening skills before the more complex ones of reading and writing, they would benefit greatly from this feature. 

AWESOME STORIES INDEX  To plan out lessons that will make use of the site, use the index so students can be directed to the areas tied to the lesson.  There is some incredible material.  It is well worth exploring on their part, but maybe at home since school time is limited:) 

AWESOME STORIES RADIO BROADCASTS Some of these historical speeches are accompanied by video!  Churchill's WE WILL NEVER SURRENDER speech is part of the collection along with a 9 minute HBO video on this event.  Short video clips are far more effective in teaching ELLs especially since they are better able to concentrate on the content and not get lost in the language.

VISUAL VOCABULARY BUILDER Vocabulary is frontloaded here.  Teachers would need to decide which one(s) of the KEY vocabulary words need detailed explanations (pictures, synonyms, antonyms, examples, etc.).  However, by dealing with this at the start, ELLs would get more from the lesson.

The videos are free---newsreels, films (short clips), etc.  Again, to an ELL, this format provides visual context to which they can attach lecture information.  This is schema building.

Famous speeches (Roosevelt's  "Day of Infamy" speech for example), 450 B.C. - The World According to Herodotus, Abraham Lincoln - Letter Accepting Nomination, 1860, and much more!

I hope you find this site useful to lesson planning....by the way, there are also LESSONS on the site:)



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