In our ELL Geography class, we’re learning about climate.
After we studied in our textbooks the factors that influence climate (apart from human-made climate change – that comes next), students created a poster describing the seasons in their home countries, including academic language they used when reading the textbook. Next, they presented them to their advanced group of students. Finally, we used my favorite iPhone app, Shadow Puppet, to photograph the poster and record students recording what they wrote.
We only had time to record three students on Friday. We’ll finish the rest on Monday. Then, we’ll show it to my entire ELL Geography class (the advanced group did this project — the Beginner and Intermediate groups will do it next, with assistance from the more Advanced students).
ReadWorks.org has a zillion free reading passages available for download and in many subjects.
They come with comprehension questions, but I wouldn’t use them. The passages themselves, however, are rated by reading level, and could be very useful for English Language Learners – particularly in Social Studies. I could use them with students to help them develop knowledge preceding their beginning a more complex text on the same topic, or use them to supplement content in our ELL history books. It would also be easy to modify their reading passages into clozes or other reading exercises.
I’d say their content is similar to what you could find on Edhelper, which I’ve used for years to get passages to use for similar purposes. One key difference is that ReadWorks is free, while Edhelper charges (a small amount).