Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

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September 10, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Is The Revised & Updated Three-Day 9/11 Lesson I Did This Week (With Hand-Outs & Links)

New York NY ~ Manhattan ~ NYC ~ Old World Trade Center ~ My Photography 1996 ~ Destroyed                                                                             Onasill ~ Bill Badzo via Compfight

I’ve previously shared the three-day lesson I usually do with my English Language Learner History classes, and this past week did it again. I made some changes, however, and thought readers might find it useful for me lay-out exactly what I did (and if readers don’t find it useful it will at least be helpful to me next year when I do it again!).

You might also be interested in The Best Sites To Help Teach About 9/11.


First, I had students create a K-W-L chart titled 9/11 and had them write what they thought they knew about it. Students then broke into groups of three to share and add anything they might have heard from their group members. Most knew very little, if anything – “people died,” “terrorists attacked America,” “bin Laden did it” were the comments from the few who had heard anything about it prior to Wednesday. I had people share to the entire class and added to a class K-W-L chart on the document camera.

Next, I asked students to write down at least two questions to which they wanted to learn the answers about 9/11. We repeated the sharing process and added to the class K-W-L chart.

I then told the class we were going to watch a few videos and I wanted them to write at least ten new pieces of information they learned from them – particularly the answers to the questions they listed. I showed these videos, stopping often to highlight pieces of information for them to add to their chart:

Brainpop 9/11 Movie (It’s available for free)

10 Iconic 9/11 Images

First Plane Crashing Into The World Trade Center

Second Plane Crashing

Interest and engagement steadily increased during the class, with lots of questions and comments.

I then shared a short video, along with images, from the New York Times about the 9/11 Museum.

I then gave students homework which was a list of questions they had to ask their parents/guardians. I’ve uploaded it here if you want use it or make changes, and will also share it in this post:

Please ask your parents or grandparents these two questions:

1. What do you remember about the terrorist attack in New York City ten years ago on September 11th?

2. What major acts of political and/or criminal violence do you remember in your native country? Please describe what happened.

How did it affect you and your family? How did it make you and them feel?

How did it affect our native country?

Lastly, I asked students to think for a moment how they think 9/11 might have affected their life in any way, had them share with a partner, and then with the class.  All the Muslim students (Afghani refugees) said basically the same two things – “Now people think all of us Muslims are terrorists” and “We probably wouldn’t be here in the United States” – and all the non-Muslim students couldn’t think of anyway it affected them.  We had a brief discussion of how the attack disrupted potential immigration reform.  This last part went okay, but was clearly the weakest part of the lesson.  I need to think more about it, and am open to hearing suggestions — about this and all part of the whole thing!


I asked students to take out their K-W-L charts and reminded them about the last video we had seen — about the 9/11 museum.  I explained we were going to watch another video about it, and asked that they add new information they learned to their chart.

I showed this short ABC News video about the opening of the museum.

I then asked them to think about this question without saying anything:

Why do you think they have a museum there?

After a minute, I asked students to share their answer with a partner and we then shared in the class.  There were several responses, including “To remember them.”

I then passed out this “Remembering People Who Died” chart.  You can download it at the link, and here are the questions:

Think of important people who have died — in your family, in your home country.

Who are they?

1. _________________________________________________________________

2. __________________________________________________________________

3. ___________________________________________________________________

How do you remember them?

When do you remember them?

Why do you remember them?

Why do you think we try to remember the people who died on 9/11?

I modeled the “Who are they?” section and listed my father, first wife and Muhammed Ali, and encouraged students to pick people who they are close to and people who might be more well-known.

Then, I modeled a response to “How do you remember them?” (think about them, look at pictures), and then students wrote down their answers.

Next, I modeled a response to “When do you remember them?” (family events), and then students wrote their own.

Then, I had students write answers to “Why do you remember them?” without modeling an answer, and did the same with the last question, “Why do you think we try to remember the people who died on 9/11?”

Students then shared in groups of four, and I called on different ones to share with the class.  There were several many moving responses, though the answers to the last question were all fairly vague – “They were important” or “We want to honor them.” I shared my response, which was two-fold: One, to honor people who help others – all those firefighters and police who sacrificed their lives to save people.  Before I gave my second response, I asked one of the Afghani students to share her comment from the day before about how 9/11 affected her  and she shared that people think all Muslims are terrorists.  I then said another important reason to remember 9/11 was because there were only nineteen Muslim terrorists and asked students how many Muslims they thought were in the world.  They answers millions, and we talked about how nineteen is a small number compared to that large number.

I then had students take out their homework and we did a “speed-dating” sharing with students lined up across from each other recounting the responses they received from their parents.

We were then running out of time, so I showed a couple of other short videos about 9/11: from Fox News and from The Telegraph.

Third Day

Students converted the answers they received from their parents and their K-W-L chart into a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting 9/11 with violent events in their own country (I used print-outs from Read Write Think – Venn Diagram and Compare/Contrast Planning, along with this model Compare/Contrast essay.

Please leave comments with suggestions on how I can make this a better lesson next year!

September 8, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Excellent Ideas On Using Photos In Lessons


As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of using images in teaching both English Language Learners and more English-proficient students (see The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons and The Best Resources On Close Reading Paintings, Photos & Videos).

The New York Times Learning Network has just begun sharing a new regular resource called Picture Prompts and has published a very helpful blog post headlined How to Teach With Our Picture Prompts (and Other Times Images).

It shares lots of great ideas (and I’m not just saying that because it includes some of mine :) ).

September 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

NY Times Publishes Best Piece On Restorative Practices That I’ve Seen

Our school has been working hard over the last two years to implement restorative practices, and The New York Times today published a big feature on another high school whose story echoes ours in many ways.

It’s headlined An Effective but Exhausting Alternative to High School Suspensions, and it’s definitely worth a read.

Here’s an excerpt:



I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Restorative Practices – Help Me Find More.

September 5, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“The World’s Largest Lesson” Takes Place During The Week Of September 18th


UNICEF is sponsoring the second “World’s Largest Lesson” during the week of September 18th, which encourages educators to focus teaching on the United Nations 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

They have quite a few lesson plans on their site, though they seem to me to be of mixed quality, but some I looked at appear pretty good.

They also have this video, which I think is decidedly better than the one they did last year

September 4, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Every Teacher Who Has An ELL In Their Class Should Watch This “Immersion” Film


The WIDA Consortium tweeted out a short clip to a 12 minute film titled “Immersion,” which was unknown to me. The film also has it’s own website.

Fortunately, I was able to find the full film online at Snag Films, and have embedded it at the bottom of this post.

There are so many good things to say about it and how it provides a glimpse into the challenges facing our English Language Learners. The film was made a few years ago and, with luck, changes made by The Every Student Succeeds Act (see The Best Resources For Learning How The Every Student Succeeds Act Affects English Language Learners and The Best Resources For Understanding The Every Student Succeeds Act) and future changes here in California dependent on what happens in the November ballot (see The Best Resources For Learning About The Multilingual Education Act Ballot Initiative In California) will help mitigate some of the problems portrayed in the film.

However, no matter what happens with those laws, the key points made by the film will remain important.

I’m adding it to The “All-Time” Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of English Language Learners and to The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes.

And you can bet I’ll be showing it to students in my Sac State teacher credential program class!

August 30, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Photos: Ready To Begin New School Year!

Our school year begins on Thursday, and my classroom is ready!

I’m excited, though a little concerned feeling this exhausted after spending two days preparing things – how am I going to feel after the first two days of teaching? Thankfully, I’ll have a three-day weekend to recover and, by then, I hope I’ll have my “teaching legs” back!



August 29, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Milestone – There Are Now Exactly 1,600 “Best” Lists!


With the posting of my most recent “Best” list, the total number of them has hit 1,600!

You can see them all categorized here: My Best of Series!

You can see them all in chronological order of posting here: My Websites Of The Year

As regular readers know, I am continually adding new links to many of the lists.  Over the years, I’ve also haphazardly been periodically revising them completely and cleaning out dead links.

However, a few months ago I began a more systematic revision, and have done full revisions on two-hundred of them so far.

I hope you’ve found them as useful to your teaching as I’ve found them to mine!

August 29, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: “Navigating the Common Core with English Language Learners”

I did this interview/presentation on English Language Learners and the Common Core (based on my latest book) with the Learning First Alliance earlier this summer. Unfortunately, they used the Blab platform to record the interview, and Blab just closed down.

Fortunately, they were able to migrate the video to YouTube, so here it is (I have since installed a much better webcam on my computer :) ).

I’m adding this video to The Best Resources For Learning About Common Core Standards & English Language Learners.

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