Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Look Back: “My ELL Gratitude Lesson – With Student Handout”


(Editor’s Note: I originally published this post in 2015)

I’ve previously posted about A Simple & Effective Classroom Lesson On Gratitude, one that I’ve done with my mainstream and Advanced ELL classes.

I’m modifying it this year for my Low Intermediate English Language Learner students.

I’ll first explain the Thanksgiving holiday, and the word “gratitude.”

Then, as in the “original,” I’ll be showing the Soul Pancake video that’s embedded below. The subtitles appear to be ones the video’s creators made and not the automatic ones YouTube generates, so that means they actually reflect what people are saying and not gibberish.

Next, I’ll go over this student hand-out. Here’s what it says:



Thanksgiving is a holiday in the United States.   Many use this time to think about what gratitude. Gratitude is feeling thankful about something or someone.

Close your eyes and think about someone who is important to you. You can think about more than one person, too.

Why is this person important to you?


I am grateful to have _______________________________________________________ in my life

because ___________________________________________________________________. He/she

makes me feel ______________________________________________________________. I would feel

________________________________________________________________ if he/she was not in my



I am grateful to have _______________________________________________________ in my life

because ___________________________________________________________________. He/she

makes me feel ______________________________________________________________. I would feel

________________________________________________________________ if he/she was not in my


I’ll model completing the form.

Next, I’ll call my wife, put her on speakerphone, and say what I wrote about her. I’ll invite students to do the same. As in previous years, I suspect a fair amount of tears will be shed.

We’ll end the lesson with students turning what they’ve written into cards to give the people they’ve written about, or posters we can use with a Shadow Puppet app narration that could also be sent to those in other countries.

Here’s the video I’ll be using:

Feel free to offer suggestions on how I can make this a better lesson.

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On “Gratitude.”

November 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Ways To Talk With Someone Who Disagrees With You

People On Internet Argue About Dress Colour

Creative Commons License studio tdes via Compfight

It’s holiday time, which means many of us might be with family members who have different political views. One way to handle that situation is to avoid potentially controversial topics.

Another possibility, however, might be to be strategic in how we handle the issue.

I have some related resources in The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change (as well as in The Best Posts & Articles On How To Teach “Controversial” Topics), but I thought a separate “Best” list might be useful – both for lessons with students and for our own conversations.

Here’s what I have so far:

Good Advice On Talking With Anyone (Including Students & Colleagues) About Doing Something Differently

5 Ways to (Respectfully) Disagree is very accessible and is from Teen Health.

4 tips for talking to people you disagree with is from TED.

Here’s a TED-Ed lesson on the topic.

10 Tips for Talking to People You Can’t Agree With is from Psychology Today.

How to Safely Talk Politics During the Holidays is from City Lab.

The Post-Trump Thanksgiving is from Slate.

Your Uncle Said What? How to Talk About Social Justice With Your Family During the Holidays is from Yes!

Of course, another option is to just play an Adele song, as they did in this famous Saturday Night Live sketch about a Thanksgiving dinner family discussion:

November 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Five Most Popular Posts Of The Week

Here’s the latest edition of this regular feature . These are the posts appearing this blog that received the most “hits” in the preceding seven days (though they may have originally been published on an earlier date).

You might also be interested in The Twenty Most Popular Posts From This Blog In 2017 ; Tenth Anniversary Of This Blog — What Have Been My Most Popular Posts? (Part One) and Part Two: Tenth Anniversary Of This Blog — What Have Been My Most Popular Posts?

Here are this week’s top posts:

1.A Simple & Effective Classroom Lesson On Gratitude

2. The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games

3. Make An Amazing Number Of Different Learning Games With “GameBuilder”

4. The Best Sites To Teach and Learn About Thanksgiving

5. TOK Essay Prompts For May, 2018 Just Released – Here They Are, Along With Supporting Resources

November 20, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

My “All-Time” Favorite BAM! Radio Episodes


I’ve been doing weekly eight-to-ten minute BAM! Radio shows for a few years now to accompany my Education Week Teacher advice column.

You can see all of them at All My BAM Radio Shows – Linked With Descriptions (and there are many episodes!), but I thought I’d make a list of my “All-Time Favorite” ones to add to All Of My “All-Time” Best Lists In One Place!

Here are my choices (not in order of preference), and I’ll add to them on an on-going basis:

What Are the Habits of Lifelong Readers, How Do We Instill Them? with Donalyn Miller

How Can We Get All Students in Our Classes Thinking and Learning All the Time? with Bill and Pérsida Himmele, Jim Peterson

How Can We Differentiate Instruction More Effectively? with Carol Tomlinson

Dissecting Grades: What Do They Mean, What Are They Worth? with Rick Wormeli

Second Thoughts: Teacher Attire, Does it Really Matter? with Roxanna Elden, Renee Moore

What Is the Best Way to Train Student Teachers? with Emily Geltz, Linda Rief

What Are the Myths and Misconceptions Around Formative Assessment? with Nancy Frey

Can We Effectively Evaluate Teachers Based on Factors Teachers Completely Control? with Ben Spielberg and Ted Appel

How Can We Increase the Ranks of Teachers of Color? with Gloria Ladson-Billings

What Are the Differences Between Project-Based, Problem-Based and Inquiry Learning? with Jeff Wilhelm, Suzie Boss

Exploring the Difference Between Student Participation and Student Engagement with Jennifer Gonzalez, Bill and Pérsida Himmele

Encouraging Other Teachers Who Work with English Language Learners with Sonia Nieto, Alicia Lopez

Closing the Teacher Diversity Gap: What It Takes with Dr. Travis Bristol

What Is Grit? Can Grit Be Taught? Who Is Responsible for Grit? with Ebony McGee, Kristi Mraz, Christine Hertz

My Biggest Teaching Mistake and What I Learned from It with Ekuwah Moses, Julia Thompson, Roxanna Elden

Bridging the Cultural Barrier with Immigrant Parents with Rusul Alrubail, Anna Bartosik and Jordan Lanfair.

I Want My Kids to Feel Comfortable Making Mistakes, but… with Doug Lemov, Danny Woo and Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski.

Handling “Controversial” Issues In The Classroom with Lorena German, Stephen Lazar and Adeyemi Stembridge, Ph.D.

Using the First Language of English Language Learners with Melissa Eddington, Wendi Pillars, and Tracey Flores.

Teaching Student to Transfer Learning to New Problems with Nancy Frey, PhD and Adeyemi Stembridge, PhD.

How Can Teachers Approach Race and Bias in the Classroom? with Dr. Sanée Bell, Raquel Ríos, Ph.D., Adeyemi Stembridge, Ph.D., and Ruchi Agarwal-Rangnath

November 20, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Using Questions That ‘Position Students as Meaning-Makers'”

Using Questions That ‘Position Students as Meaning-Makers’ is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column.

In it, Sean Kelly, Sidney D’Mello, Shelly Lynn Counsell, Dr. Jennifer Davis Bowman, Rachael Williams, and Jeffrey D. Wilhelm contribute their advice on how teachers can use questions with students.

Here are some excerpts:

November 20, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

Five years ago I began this regular feature where I share a few posts and resources from around the Web related to ESL/EFL or to language in general that have caught my attention.

You might also be interested in  The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2017 – So Far. and  The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2017 – Part Two.

In addition, look for our next book on teaching ELLs, which will be published in the Spring of 2018.

Here are this week’s choices:

Jr. Naver has quite a few songs designed to teach English.

The role of metacognition in the success of reading and writing tasks across cultures is from The British Council. I’m adding it to Best Posts On Metacognition.

How Readability Factors Are Differentially Associated With Performance for Students of Different Backgrounds When Solving Mathematics Word Problems is from The American Educational Resource Journal. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Teaching Common Core Math To English Language Learners.

Gap-fill, Sentence Writing or Composition – Which Task Leads to Better Vocabulary Learning? is from ELT Research Bites. I’m adding it to The Best Tools For Creating Clozes (Gap-Fills).

I’m adding this video to The Best Christmas Videos For English Language Learners – Help Me Find More:

November 20, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Ed Tech Digest

Four years ago, in another somewhat futile attempt to reduce the backlog of resources I want to share, I began this occasional “Ed Tech Digest” post where I share three or four links I think are particularly useful and related to…ed tech:

Three versions of personalized learning, three challenges is by Dan Willingham. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding “Personalized Learning”

Three Options for Adding Voice Comments in Google Docs is from Richard Byrne. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Use Google Docs/Google Drive.

Removing digital devices from the bedroom can improve sleep for children, teens is from Science Daily. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teens Learn About The Importance Of Sleep.

11 Essentials for Excellent Digital Portfolios is by Vicki Davis. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Developing Student Portfolios.

How to Use Social Media in Your Career is from The NY Times and is a great introduction to social media for anyone new to it. I’m adding it to My Best Posts For Tech Novices (Plus A Few From Other People).

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