Literacy development

5J) Language-based supports

Provide language-based supports (e.g., graphic organizers, sentence starters), to help children begin and develop writing.

Stragegy Overview: El dictado

"El dictado" is a strategy that a teacher can use in Spanish or English to model and structure language practice for students in spelling, grammar, and fluency. This overview includes an example sequence for instruction, a rubric for assessment, and tips for differentiating the activity.
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Blog: Dictado with Dr. Mónica Lara & John Seidlitz

This blog post introduces the Dictado strategy and shares tips and pitfalls for teachers who hope to implement this strategy with Multilingual Learners.
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Strategy Overview: Creating Anchor Charts with Sticky Note Responses from Young Readers

This article is a description of an instructional strategy to use sticky notes with young readers as a means to co-construct anchor charts about reading. Sticky notes provide flexibility since they can be moved around, and children can both write or draw on them.
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Website Article: Are Your Writers Talking During Writer’s Workshop?

Talking about writing is a way to support the writing process itself, particularly for Multilingual Learners (MLs). This article reviews instructional strategies that a teacher can use to direct MLs to use all of their linguistic resources during a writer's workshop.
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Webinar: Using an Equity Lens for Writing Instruction

This webinar frames writing instruction as a means for achieving equitable instruction for Multilingual Learners. Six high-leverage writing practices are introduced and exemplified.
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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: Opinion Writing Strategies for the Second-Grade Classroom

A teacher talks through a sequence of opinion writing lessons in her 2nd-grade classroom. She designs the lessons with multiple opportunities for Multilingual Learners to work with peers, interact, and practice both oral and written language.
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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: Sentence Fluency Activities for Newcomer ELs

This resource includes a description of six strategies that focus on the sentence level of writing. They support Multilingual Learners to unpack specific language features (syntax, grammar, vocabulary) and engage in more complex writing.
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Strategy Overview: Helping Emergent Bilinguals Become Confident Writers

When sufficient supports and intentional instruction are in place, Multilingual Learners can develop into confident writers. In these resources, teachers can read about the dos and don'ts of writing instruction for Multilingual Learners.
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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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Strategy Overview: Supports for Writing and Discussion

This document outlines strategic scaffolding activities to support Multilingual Learners in writing and discussion, including sentence stems, signal words, and word banks.
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Podcast: Writing Matters with Dr. Troy Hicks ft. Andrea Honigsfeld & Maria Dove

This episode features a discussion about process-oriented writing with Multilingual Learners. The presenters mention studying the craft of writing, looking at mentor texts, using specific language supports, and using culturally relevant writing prompts.
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Strategy Overview: Graphic Organizers (Spanish)


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Lesson Plan: Comprehension Strategies for English Learners

This is a five-day lesson plan focused on building reading comprehension skills with Multilingual Learners. Lessons are structured to incorporate discussion, critical thinking skills, and incorporate numerous language-based supports.
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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 & Video Guide: Integrated Thematic Unit – 3rd Grade

This video provides a rich opportunity to look inside a classroom and note the intentional supports for English language and literacy development embedded in a thematic unit of study. The teacher implements a Daily 5 structure, which allows Multilingual Learners to learn both academic language and content across multiple modalities and learning activities. The accompanying guide suggests moments in the video to pause to notice teachers’ practice, along with prompts for reflection and discussion.
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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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Strategy Overview: Super Duper Sentence Builder

This resource describes the purpose and implementation process of the Super Duper Sentence Builder strategy with Multilingual Learners. Teachers provide developmentally appropriate writing activities and language-based supports by creating and writing increasingly complex sentences with children.
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Strategy Overview: Sentence Patterning Chart / La tabla de formación de oraciones

This resource introduces a strategy to model and write good descriptive sentences with Multilingual Learners. It combines language-based supports with opportunities for children to practice academic vocabulary and apply it to structured, content-based writing.
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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: 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: Super Duper Sentence Builder

This video provides guidance on how to use the Super Duper Sentence Builder strategy with Multilingual Learners. Teachers provide developmentally appropriate writing activities and language-based supports by creating and writing increasingly complex sentences with children.
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Video: Language Functions and Graphic Organizers

This video highlights the importance of using graphic organizers aligned to specific language functions, to help Multilingual Learners begin and develop writing. Graphic organizers can support children’s conceptual knowledge and several cognitive skills as they develop language in context.
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Video: Making Language Visible, Tangible, & Comprehensible

In this video, educators explain and demonstrate how to add meaning to words by making concepts more visible and tangible. For example, teachers can explicitly teach words through multiple modalities of writing, speaking, and listening, and use visual cues and gestures to accompany speech.
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