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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

GUIDING STUDENTS IN UNPACKING CONTEXT OF HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS

With the common core standards, students will be presented with multiple opportunities to interact with text from all content areas.  For ELLs, this new experience will be a challenge unless they are carefully guided through analyzing context by the teacher through careful modeling and think-alouds. Through this process, the teacher models the process of unpacking the content as it were.  Once this is done, teachers pass the next chunk of text to the students to do with a partner (for ELLs, the teacher will want to pair them up with students who are more proficient in English).  The pair will copy the teacher's actions in analyzing text using each other to derive meaning from the text.  During this time period, the teacher will navigate the room offering assistance if called on for help.  If random calling on students to check-for-understanding shows at least an 80% grasp of the technique, the teacher will have students move on to individual analysis with the next section of the reading. 

THINKING CONTEXTUALLY does an excellent job taking students through the process.  To fully gather meaning from text, they must think beyond the video, text, or document to fully grasp its impact on history.  Elements such as setting, place, time, etc. add to full comprehension of the full meaning of the work students are reading. 

Note also that this clip is from Stanford University's Thinking Like an Historian website.  It is an incredible resource for US history at any grade level!

Denise

ELL TEACHER PROS


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