English as Second Language

New England Foliage Unit

Caroline Whalen, 2008
Framingham High School
Framingham, MA
Intermediate ESL

This unit is designed for Intermediate English as a Second Language class with a Math, Science and Technology theme. The main question of the unit is What makes New England unique from other places in the world? The overarching hope is to encourage international students to become acquainted with the nature of the part of the United States in which they now live, while developing their vocabulary and writing skills. Students will learn about seasonal changes in New England and their impact on local animals, species of common trees and plants in the area, etc. While learning the names of common trees in New England, students will be responsible for collecting and displaying leaf samples, completing an essay about the weather and a making a short presentation on the project. Another included activity is a field trip to a local nature reservation. Although the unit will include quotations and short writings from American writers such as Henry David Thoreau, the bulk of the readings will be science related. Journaling will be used throughout the unit to help students develop their descriptive writing and observation skills.

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Thoreau – A Model for Today?

Caroline Yunta, 2006
Lowell high School
Lowell, MA
Intermediate ESL

This unit would be for an Intermediate ESL class, which could include grades 9-12 and speakers of several non-English languages. The Intermediate level concentrates on expanding English vocabulary, emphasizing correct grammar usage, and writing with fluency. This unit will incorporate those three components by studying who Thoreau was, what he stated in his writings relative to the use of time and resources, and the answering of the essential question “What’s Wrong With Materialism?” from each student’s point of view.

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Making Lowell Our Place: An ELL Writing Unit on Developing a Sense of Place in a New City

Ann Taylor, 2005
Lowell High School
Lowell, MA
ELL

This unit explores the theme of place-based community education for students new to the United States. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the public resources or public areas of the city they live in (in this unit, specifically Lowell, MA) and how they can use these resources. By learning about the public areas and an introduction to the history of Lowell, it is hoped that these ELL students can start to make Lowell their place. This is a field-based course that also incorporates observation, listening, and writing in many forms.

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Lowell Field Trips to Create a Sense of Place

Jan Barrett-Chow, 2005
Lowell High School
Lowell, MA
ELL

The goal of the unit is to use the textbook as a base to connect field trips to class activities, while enhancing a sense of place for students not from the United States. By participating in formal school staff interviews, observing Lowell’s monuments and learning what is important to the people of Lowell, creating their own personal monument, and allowing them to create a quilt about themselves will help students become more familiar with the school environment and the city in which they live, while also encouraging personal expression of who they are.

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