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Sample ELL Unit

The goal of this unit is to provide examples illustrating how English Language Arts Common Core Standards in Reading Informational Text and Writing Arguments can be used to deepen and accelerate the learning and instruction of English Language Learners (ELLs), especially at the middle school level. It is based on the notion that ELLs develop conceptual and academic understandings as well as the linguistic resources to express them simultaneously, through participation in rigorous activity that is well scaffolded. Practices focus student attention and activity on key concepts -which are presented and discussed in their interrelatedness- with invitations for students to engage in higher order thinking throughout. These practices, and the intentional support offered to students throughout the unit, are designed to constitute an apprenticeship for students that over time builds their agency and autonomy. This unit was designed for students who have reached at least an intermediate level of proficiency in English (see Level 3 in the Framework for English Language Development Proficiency Standards1 ). Effective implementation of the unit also assumes a teacher who is both knowledgeable about the critical role of language envisaged in the CCSSs and knows how to support students’ learning, strengthening their language and literacies development across the ELA curriculum. In many cases, supporting teachers in the development of this knowledge and set of skills will require some professional development prior to their teaching the unit. Pedagogically, the unit signals several important shifts in the design of learning materials and instructional approaches.

Grades 6-8 / ELA / Ell

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Grades 6-8 / ELA / Ell