Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 1, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources For Teaching/Learning About How To Write Compare/Contrast Essays

I recently realized that I have specific “Best” lists for many different types of essays (see All My “Best” Lists On Teaching & Learning How To Write – In One Place!), but I’ve never created one for Compare/Contrast.

So, here goes:

Here are instructions for a compare/contrast unit project from one of my class blog.

Writing to Compare and Contrast from Citelighter on Vimeo.

When you are writing to compare, how should you organize your writing? What types of words should you use to make comparisons? Learn more about how to write engaging compare and contrast essays.

I use a lesson comparing/contrasting photos to introduce the concept to Beginning English Language Learners. Here are some posts specifically related to that activity:

“Blog challenge: compare and contrast photo”

Blog challenge: compare and contrast photo – this is from EduLang.

Finding Similar Images To Use For Compare/Contrast Prompts

Describing photos (comparing, contrasting and speculating) is from EFL Smart.

Here are some NY Times posts for ELLs where I’ve discussed writing compare/contrast essays:

Students separate run-on sentences in this interactive about International Dance Day, and use it as a model for creating their own.  In addition, they can view a variety of dance videos and write a compare/contrast essay.

Study the 9/11 terrorist attacks through a K-W-L chart and Venn Diagrams that lead to writing a compare and contrast essay.

A mixture of activities, including ones on idioms, recipes,  developing neighborhood tours and writing a compare/contrast essay.

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August 1, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources For Using “If This Animal Or Image Could Talk” Lesson Idea In Class

A fun writing lesson for English Language Learners is showing videos or images of animals and asking them to write down what they think they believe the animal might be thinking. I’ve written a number of posts related to these kinds of lessons and variations on it (having paintings or parts of the earth talk) and thought I’d bring them, and additional resources, all together in one “Best” list (feel free to contribute your own ideas!):

Video Challenge For Students: What Is This Lion Thinking?

“What Is This Animal Thinking or Saying (If It Could Talk)?” Is A Fun Language Development Exercise

What Would This Animal Be Saying And/Or Thinking?

What Are People In This Painting Thinking?

I share similar ideas in my New York Times post headlined Teaching and Learning About Animals.

Nature Is Speaking is an amazing series of videos where celebrities give voice to parts of nature that are being threatened, including the ocean, coral reefs, etc. The could be good models for a more serious use of this instructional strategy.

There is a YouTube channel by Chris Cohen that he calls Animal Translations, where he puts his voice to animal thoughts. The accent is a bit thick, so it might be difficult for ELLs to hear everything, but they’d certainly get the idea. Then, students could create their own internal dialogue they could perform while the video was shown on a screen without sound.

Here the two samples:

I’m adding this post to The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons.

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July 30, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources For Learning About The Blue Moon

From CNN:

If anything unusual happens to you Friday, you’ll be right to say it was “once in a blue moon.”

The July 31 appearance of the month’s second full moon will be the first such occurrence in the Americas since August 2012. Every month has a full moon, but because the lunar cycle and the calendar year aren’t perfectly synched, about every three years we wind up with two in the same calendar month.

But Earth’s satellite will most likely not appear blue at all.

Here are some additional resources on Friday’s event:

Thought to be called

Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

You might also be interested in these other moon-related “Best” lists:

The Best Sites To Learn About The Apollo 11 Moon Landing

 

The Best Resources About The “Supermoon”

The Best Resources For “Moon Day”

The Best Resources For Learning About The Blood Moon

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July 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Tools & Lessons For Teaching Information Literacy – Help Me Find More

As a companion “Best” list to The Best Resources For Learning Research & Citation Skills, I thought it would be useful to create this one.

I’m using the term “information literacy” here to describe assisting our students developing critical thinking skills to evaluate both web and content in other media forms. I’ve seen the term used to describe broader skills, too. Let me know if you think I’m off-based with my definition.

So, using that definition, here is a beginning Best list, and I hope readers will contribute more:

Show Me Information Literacy Modules

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Sarah Bolanos made a great suggestion – Education Resources For Web Literacy from November Learning.

Guest Post: A List Of Useful Resources On Teaching Information & Digital Literacy

How to Teach Students to Evaluate the Quality of Online Information is from Edudemic.

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July 26, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources On Assisting ELLs With Special Needs – Help Me Find More

I’ll be publishing a piece in my Education Week Teacher column later this year on how to best assist English Language Learners with special needs, and educators have contributed some great responses. I thought I’d also get a head-start on collecting and sharing related-resources by publishing this list and inviting more suggestions.

Here’s what I have so far:

Report Offers Guiding Principles to Support ELLs With Disabilities is from Learning The Language at Education Week.

I published a post awhile back seeking advice on this topic, and received some helpful comments.

ELs With Special Needs: Combining Language Goals With Learning Strategies is from The TESOL blog.

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July 26, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Comic Strips For Students & Teachers In 2015 – So Far

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Here’s a late addition to my mid-year “Best” lists (you can see the rest of them here)…

You might also be interested in:

The Best Comic Strips For Students & Teachers In 2014

The Best Comic Strips For Students & Teachers In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Comic Strips For Students & Teachers In 2012 — So Far

The Best Comic Strips For Students & Teachers In 2011

Part Two Of The Best Comic Strips For Students & Teachers — 2010

The Best Comic Strips For Students & Teachers — 2010 (And Earlier)

Of course, teachers and students can also make their own comic strips. Check out The Best Ways To Make Comic Strips Online.

Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments section of this post.

Here are my picks for The Best Comic Strips For Students & Teachers In 2015– So Far (if you’re reading this on an RSS Readers, you’ll probably have to click through to see them):

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July 23, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources On Getting Student Writers To “Buy-Into” Revision – Help Me Find More

Many teachers, including me, have experienced the struggle of getting our students to buy into seriously revising their original drafts.

I’ve tried modeling my own writing process, and have met with limited success.

I’ve previously posted this sixth-grader interviewing President Obama. He cut the President off when he began talking about students needing to revise their writing, and that reflects many students’ feelings about it:

I was prompted to think about this by finally getting around to reading a late March New York Times column titled What’s More Important to You: the Initial Rush of Prose or the Self-Editing and Revision That Come After It?

I thought that this excerpt, in particular, would be a good one to share and have my mainstream students (I think it might be too difficult for my ELLs) respond to a prompt along the lines of:

According to Cheryl Strayed, what kind of relationship do original writing and the process of revising it have with each other? Do you agree with her? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.

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John Spencer has also written a very helpful post titled NINE WAYS TO HELP STUDENTS EMBRACE THE REVISION PROCESS.

Here’s a great tweet to use:

Reader Tony shared this advice:

One of the best examples of revision is in the appendix of Stephen King’s book “On Writing”. He shows the first page of one of his novels, then shows a scan of his original draft, complete with hand-written revisions and notes. He then justifies each revision.
Could be a good piece to use with students.

Video: Ta-Nehisi Coates On The Importance Of Revision

What are your other suggestions?

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

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July 12, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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All My “Best” Lists On Teaching & Learning How To Write – In One Place!

I’ve published quite a few posts and “Best” lists related to teaching writing, and I thought it would be useful to me and to readers to bring them all together:

The Best Posts On Writing Instruction

The Best Online Tools That Can Help Students Write An Essay

The Best Websites For K-12 Writing Instruction/Reinforcement

The Best Places Where Students Can Write Online

The Best Sites For Grammar Practice

Not “The Best,” But “A List” Of Mindmapping, Flow Chart Tools, & Graphic Organizers

The Best Resources For Researching & Writing Biographies

The Best Resources For Learning How To Write Response To Literature Essays

The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience”

The Best Online Interactive Exercises For Writing That Are Not Related To Literary Analysis

The Best Online Resources To Teach About Plagiarism

The Best Resources For Learning Research & Citation Skills

The Best Online Resources For Helping Students Learn To Write Persuasive Essays

The Best Spelling Sites

The Best Sites For Gaining A Basic Understanding Of Adjectives

The “Best” Sites For Helping Students Write Autobiographical Incident Essays

The Best Sites To Learn “Feelings” Words

The Best Sites For ELL’s To Learn About Punctuation

The Best Resources To Help Students Write Research Essays

The Best Sites For Learning To Write A Story

The Best Writing Advice From Famous Authors

The Best Resources On Punctuation

The Best Ways To Use Mistakes When Teaching Writing

The Best Funny Videos To Help Teach Grammar – Help Me Find More

The Best Video Clips On The Benefits Of Writing Well — Help Me Find More

The Best Resources For Teaching/Learning About How To Write Compare/Contrast Essays

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