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Teaching & Learning: Curriculum - English Language Learners

 

Changes Units

SEASONS AND WEATHER
(Fall Changes & Weather and the Water Cycle)

Grades 1-5 English Language Learners
(Beginning English Proficiency) Draft, Fall 2006

Intended Grades: K 1 2 3 4 5
Intended ELPBO Proficiency Level:  I II III

Introduction

The "Changes" theme will be introduced to Beginning proficiency ELL children in the fall and can be included as part of year-long activities and routines. Children at the earliest levels of English proficiency will learn words for size, color, number, shape to describe objects and actions that they observe. They will compare those objects, noting similarities and differences. They will learn numbers as they weigh and measure objects they are examining. They will begin to record their observations (such as daily weather conditions) as "data" to discover patterns, cycles (such as the changing seasons), and to answer questions they raise.

Topics from the state science Frameworks that are conducive for the beginning stages of language development include but are not limited to: properties of objects, materials and tools, position and motion of objects; living and non-living things; weather, seasons, patterns of the sunshine, moon phases; life cycles of plants and animals; energy, rock and soil formation, water cycle, changes in Earth's surface.

Mathematics standards to be included in these contexts are: attributes of objects, sequencing and classifying, parts of the day, the calendar, units of measurement, and using data to organize and report findings.

ELL beginners and their teachers need NOT address all of these topics. Topics that can generate sustained curiosity, thinking, and meaningful language use will be most promising as the children begin to build their English skills for academic purposes.

Fall Changes Essential Questions

  • What things around us stay the same and what things change?
  • What can we predict about living and non-living things?
  • Why is it helpful to know about changes?
  • (List students' "want-to-know" questions to list as appropriate.)

Fall Changes Culminating Unit Performance Assessment

The children will work in pairs to create a visual that answers a question they have raised about something that changes in the fall (weather, trees, leaves, other). The format of the visual will represent a before/after comparison, which the children will orally present to their peers. They will use words and structures that identify the "before and after" aspect of the change, and they will answer questions from the peer group about their project.

Weather and the Water Cycle Essential Questions

  • What makes weather change?
  • What are the four seasons and how do they affect our lives?
  • How does the water cycle affect climate?
  • How have Arlington and other places changed over time?
  • (List students' "want-to-know" questions to list as appropriate.)

Weather and the Water Cycle Culminating Unit Performance Assessment

The children will work in pairs to create a visual that answers a question they have raised about something that changes in the weather. The format of the visual will demonstrate their understanding of the water cycle and its effects on weather, clouds and/or forms of precipitation. They will use words and structures that identify the "before and after" aspect of weather/seasonal changes, and they will answer questions from the peer group about their project.

View Sample "Fall Changes" Curriculum.

View the "Fall Changes" Framework Connections.

Click thumbnail to view larger image.
u1_001 u1_012 u1_003 u1_004-2
u1_004 u1_008 u1_021 u1_029

   

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