9) Content learning

How can I support my Multilingual Learners’ content learning?

Curriculum Units: Mosaic Integrated Science, Math, and English Language Development

These are example curriculum units that integrate content learning with English language development. The units offer many instructional ideas to help teachers plan authentic, hands-on tasks for Multilingual Learners, and provide intentional context to practice content-based English language.
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Video: Model Curriculum for English Learners – Weathering and Erosion (3rd grade)

A multilingual teacher uses numerous supports in English, Spanish, and Portuguese to develop the content understandings of beginner Multilingual Learners.
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Video: Model Curriculum for English Learners – Family Stories (1st grade)

This video captures a lesson for Multilingual Learners co-taught by a first-grade teacher and an ELD teacher. The teachers share how they intentionally plan to both teach and assess the English language within the content lesson.
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Video: Model Curriculum for English Learners – Animals and Where They Live (1st grade)

In this video, the teacher introduces the intentional supports she builds into a writing lesson to support intermediate Multilingual Learners.
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Video: Standards for Mathematical Practices in Transitional Kindergarten

A teacher discusses how she integrates literacy and language instruction into a mathematical story problem using a "Secret Message" strategy.
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Video: Integrating ELD Instruction Using Text Reconstruction

This is a 2nd-grade lesson of the text reconstruction ELD strategy, designed to provide access and practice in both English and content instruction. This strategy encourages Multilingual Learners to communicate as they engage with informational text.
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Strategy Overview: Fractions, Factors, and Functions, Oh My! Are My ELs Attaching Meaning to Math Words?

This guide helps teachers plan meaningful activities to make math accessible, hands-on, build on students' prior knowledge, and be language-focused. In these resources, teachers can read about the dos and don'ts of math vocabulary instruction for Multilingual Learners.
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Guide: Don’t Underestimate the Power of Contexts in Math Curricula

This guide helps teachers assess whether the context of specific math tasks is accessible and familiar for Multilingual Learners. In these resources, teachers can read about the dos and don'ts of situating math instruction in a familiar context for Multilingual Learners.
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Strategy Overview: Anchor Charts for Synonyms – A Vocabulary Strategy

The use of anchor charts in the math classroom creates rich opportunities for teachers to collect, discuss, and practice vocabulary with Multilingual Learners.
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Strategy Overview: Amplify and Facilitate Student Learning about Language

Attention and practice in the language of math is a critical part of instruction for Multilingual Learners. In these resources, teachers can read about the dos and don'ts of math instruction for Multilingual Learners.
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Strategy Overview: Translanguaging

This resource offers guidelines on the various ways teachers can implement translanguaging in the classroom.
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Strategy Overview: Strategic Grouping for Home Language Supports

Small group instruction is a key part of instruction for Multilingual Learners. In this resource, teachers find guidelines and rationale for different strategic groupings.
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Video: Model Curriculum for English Learners- Justice, Courage and Fairness (2nd grade)

In this video, a designated teacher for Multilingual Learners talks through her objectives for a fairness and justice lesson. The bridge lesson incorporates opportunities for Multilingual Learners to share their thinking and practice oral language in English. The content matches up to prior learning they have done in Spanish.
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Checklist: Supporting Emergent Bilingual Children in Early Learning

This checklist provides teachers with several strategies to support Multilingual Learners by providing students with a rich classroom environment that builds their home language and English skills. This resource encourages teachers to consider how to add labels, images, culturally relevant materials to the classroom for children to engage with. This checklist also provides a list of extra resources to learn more about supporting bilingualism, and is available in Spanish and Chinese.
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Strategy Overview: Narrative Input

After a shared reading of a text, students retell, act out, and/or capture key vocabulary and content information with a variety of experiences. This multi-day strategy builds on student's storytelling and oral language skills.
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Strategy Overview: Organizing Learning Experiences

This resource provides extensive guidance on how teachers can use children’s interests to organize learning activities around themes, studies, or projects. Themes, studies, or projects help to integrate language and content learning for Multilingual Learners and provide them with extended opportunities to give language and content meaning.
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Presentation Slides: Organizing Instruction for Explicit Skill Transference

This slide deck presentation was used to present research and provide examples on how language skills can transfer from Spanish to English.
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Video: Tips for Teaching Newcomers

This video introduces instructional tips that elementary teachers can use to support instruction for newcomer Multilingual Learners, including visuals, gradual release, shared writing, and recognizing what students are bringing to their learning.
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Website Article: What Research Says About Small Group Intervention

This article summarizes research and discussed how to use assessment to inform strategic groupings for Multilingual Learners, particularly for reading instruction.
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Video: Juicy Sentence Example with Butterflies (K)

This video is an example of a teacher facilitating a "juicy sentence" discussion with a group of kindergarteners learning about butterflies. The juicy sentence strategy helps Multilingual Learners access complex text through the study of a mentor sentence.
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Strategy Overview: Selecting and Using Academic Vocabulary in Instruction

This document reviews criteria for how to select academic vocabulary for instruction with Multilingual Learners and offers other supports for vocabulary instruction.
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Strategy Overview: Routines for Mathematical Discussions

This document reviews multiple strategies that teachers can use to support a rich discussion of mathematics for Multilingual Learners. These strategies help teachers elicit talk and elaborate on student discussion during math, and can be adapted for other content areas as well.
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Article: Goals in Small Groups for English Learners

This article shares numerous strategies that can be used to support Multilingual Learners in small group reading instruction to support both reading and English Language Development (ELD) skills.
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Strategy Overview: Graphic Organizers (Spanish)


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Video: Draw & Label Strategy- 3rd grade

In this demonstration of the "Draw & Label" strategy, the teacher teaches academic and content vocabulary while drawing and creating a language resource for the Multilingual Learners in the class. This resource helps them engage with and practice content area vocabulary and concepts in multiple modalities.
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Video: Draw & Label Strategy- Kindergarten

In this demonstration of the "Draw & Label" strategy, the teacher teaches academic and content vocabulary while drawing and creating a language resource for the Multilingual Learners in the class. This resource helps them engage with and practice content area vocabulary and concepts in multiple modalities.
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Video: Shared Research Project- 1st grade

In this video, the teacher provides guidance on how to conduct research projects with Multilingual Learners to investigate a topic in which children are interested. The shared research project provides a hands-on, inquiry-based experience to help give content meaning and develop academic language and literacy skills.
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Video: Shared Research Project- 3rd grade

In this video, the teacher provides guidance on how to conduct research projects with Multilingual Learners to investigate a topic children are interested in. The shared research project provides a hands-on, inquiry-based experience to help give content meaning and develop academic language and literacy skills.
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Video: Shared Research Project- TK

In this video, educators provide guidance on how to conduct research projects with Multilingual Learners to investigate topics they are interested in. The shared research project provides a hands-on, inquiry-based experience to help give content meaning. The teacher uses a graphic organizer (a language-based support to help children develop writing) to help organize the information that children find.
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Video: That’s How You Say It/Asi se dice- 2/3rd grade

Students learn both literal and conceptual translation skills by engaging in the "That's How You Say It/Asi se dice" strategy. The teacher assigns students to strategic groups and chooses a specific passage of text for them to translate. Students have the opportunity to negotiate word meanings and compare and contrast their two languages as they work together to write and share their translation.
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Video: Transfer and Integrated ELD in a Bilingual Classroom

The teacher in this bilingual classroom makes an intentional plan to develop literacy and oral language skills in two languages. She begins content instruction in Spanish to strengthen Multilingual Learners' understanding of key concepts, and then purposefully transitions to an integrated ELD block to offer speaking and writing practice in English.
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Video: Integrated & Designated ELD- 2nd grade

In this integrated ELD video, the teacher uses numerous structured supports, visual cues, and small grouping strategies throughout the lesson. Multilingual Learners have multiple opportunities to practice hearing, reading, speaking, and writing academic English language.
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Video: Integrated & Designated ELD- Kindergarten

In this integrated ELD video, the teacher focuses on developing the academic English language that Multilingual Learners need to access content instruction. She uses chants, repetition, small group instruction, and numerous other supports.
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Strategy Overview: Vocabulary in Context

This resource introduces teachers to all of the ways that vocabulary can be introduced, reinforced, and practiced across multiple lessons and activities. This helps Multilingual Learners learn key academic and content words in context.
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Strategy Overview: Shared Research Projects/Los proyectos de investigación compartidos

The Shared Research Project strategy is typically implemented midway through a thematic unit of study. The teacher preselects relevant topics and intentionally groups students into small research teams to research, take notes using supports like graphic organizers, and ultimately produce a piece of collaborative writing.
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Strategy Overview: Dramatic Play & Researcher Center

This resource describes how to implement dramatic play and researcher centers in classrooms with Multilingual Learners. Centers are tied to the thematic content of a unit and provide children with the opportunity to engage in hands-on, inquiry-based experiences that give content and language meaning and purpose.
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Strategy Overview: Graphic Organizers

A graphic organizer is a visual map or diagram that displays relationships between facts, concepts, or ideas. For Multilingual Learners, this kind of visual display of information can lessen cognitive load and support transfer of knowledge across languages.
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Strategy Overview: Draw, Tell, & Label

This resource describes how to implement the Draw, Tell, & Label strategy in classrooms with Multilingual Learners. This strategy provides multiple opportunities for children to engage with and practice content area vocabulary. This resource also includes guidance on building content understanding in the home language(s) and English.
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Strategy Overview: Content-Based Chants

Singing and chanting give children opportunities to practice using academic vocabulary in a group setting. Singing content-rich chants develops phonemic awareness and taps into musical, auditory, linguistic, intrapersonal, and bodily-kinesthetic knowledge, which helps the children retain information.
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Strategy Overview: Dialogic Read Aloud

This guide supports teachers in reading texts aloud and engaging learners in a discussion about them. Through planned activities before, after, and during the reading, children learn and internalize the practices that readers use, and develop skills of analytic talk.
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Strategy Overview: Cooperative Strip Paragraph

This shared writing technique structures support for Multilingual Learners in content-based, academic writing. The cooperative learning structure offers students the chance to engage in the writing process in small groups with same language or English proficient peers.
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Video: Shared Research Project

This video provides guidance on how to support Multilingual Learners' content learning through shared research projects. A shared research project gives children the opportunity to participate in hands-on, inquiry-based experiences in small groups.
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Video: How to Support Concepts in Home Language

This resource discusses how previewing and reviewing learning material in the home language can support Multilingual Learners’ content learning. Previewing concepts in the home language helps to activate and build background knowledge prior to teaching concepts in English.
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Video: Center Extensions

In these videos, teachers discuss ways to align activities to an intentional message and anchor text to help teach target words. The videos also show how hands-on experiences help provide meaning to target words.
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