This paper will explain how to incorporate the SIOP lesson plan for Literary Arts at the 5th grade reading level which can be found at the completion of the paper. It takes into account the language acquisition stages of development when presenting the lesson. The standard being followed for the lesson is reading, analyzing and interpreting literature. The content objective is from the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards which states, “students will be able to compare the use of literary elements within, among texts including character(s), setting, plot, theme and point of view”. The language objectives chosen to align with the content objective were taken from the Pennsylvania Standard Aligned Systems which states, 1) “students will effectively use language in a group setting of their peers to verbally communicate information”, 2) “students will be able to identify character(s), setting, plot, theme and point of view”,3) “students will be able to retell the story using key vocabulary as a guide” and 4) “students will listen for context clues to appropriately identify definitions of new vocabulary”.
The novel chosen for the lesson is entitled “Shades of Gray” written by Carolyn Reeder. The novel is set in the Civil War era about a twelve year old boy. The teacher should complete background knowledge before beginning this lesson plan to learn what knowledge the students have of the Civil War era. Pre-reading activities of displaying visuals should be set throughout the classroom to assist students in building background knowledge such as a large, student friendly map of the United States form 1865 pre-war era with the North and South clearly defined as well as the location of where the main character lived. Key vocabulary words of character(s), setting, plot, theme and point of view should be displayed for students. Through group discussion and teacher modeling the key words will be defined through use of student dictionaries and accessing the computer. Teacher will draw upon background knowledge to obtain examples of the key vocabulary.
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The Beginning or “pre-production” stage of the language acquisition is when the student displays little comprehension of written or oral language. The teacher at this stage should provide the student with an abundant amount of listening opportunities. This can be done throughout this lesson plan by usage of taped text, teacher modeled reading aloud during group instruction, paired partnering in which the student is paired with a student who is a native English learner or in the advanced stage of language acquisition. “Move It” is another way to assist limited English Language Learners when reviewing read passages for comprehension as the teacher uses signals for student interaction with in a lesson such as hand signals for yes/no, true/false and I understand/I sort of understand or I don’t understand. (Vogt & Echevarria, 2008).
Beginning or “early production” stage is when the student has limited English comprehension but can deliver one or two word oral responses. The teacher for this stage can use pictures from the text or Civil War era and have the students label the pictures then place them in sequential order to assess comprehension of the text. Teachers may also consider having the students create pictures regarding the character(s) and setting. Teacher should utilize the map while reading the text. An activity the teacher may want to utilize with learners in this stage is verbal scaffolding which includes techniques such as think alouds, paraphrasing, repetition, careful enunciation and frequent review of contextualized vocabulary. (Vogt & Echevarria, 2008)
Beginning or “early speech emergence” stage is when English Language Learners are capable of speaking simple sentences and have a high understanding of oral and written information. They can respond to open ended questions and the teacher should encourage them to write and discuss personal experiences in relation to the story a comparison to living in “their “ time. This is a good stage for the teacher to use personal dictionaries and adapted texts. Students will have a photo copy of the text in an enlarged font so that they may highlight new vocabulary words and write notes in the margin. Students will then use their personal dictionary to write down new vocabulary words with the definition, synonyms and a simple sentence using the word. They can also add pictures to assist with remembering the definition.
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The Intermediate or “early” stage of language acquisition is when English Language Learners have some proficiency in communicating simple ideas. Development and extension of sight word vocabulary should continue in this stage. Before reading each assigned text the teacher should model how to look over the text to find “unknown” vocabulary words and the process of defining them using contextual clues. Journaling is of course important at any stage however in this stage it is when students should practice their grammatical sentence structure.
To maintain the theme of the Civil War Era the teacher should bring in a re-enactor of this time period who can bring visuals of clothing, reading material, food, and pictures. By using tea stained paper the students can write letters home to family members expressing what it would be like being a member of the North of the South or they can journal about what it would be like to be a child of that time period writing to a family member who is serving in the army.
Intermediate stage is where teachers should provide explicit instruction in figurative languages, predictions and using text features to read. (Vogt & Echevarria, 2008) Students personal dictionary can have a section in which students can write record idioms found in the text and work with partner to decipher meanings. An activity to assist students in gaining understanding would be “Idiom Match Up” where they can use illustrations or simple notations as the meanings then they can play a game with a partner using index cards that display the phrase or word on one card and the meaning on another.
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In the Early Advanced Stage, English Language Learners are able to communicate well and have good comprehension of information. The teacher should provide various ways for students to engage in realistic writing and speaking opportunities. (Vogt & Echevarria, 2008) Questioning prompts can be used at any stage of language acquisition, when using it for this stage the student will be required to respond to “why” questions when looking at sequential events from the text or when requested to do a summation of the previous read text. Students at this stage would be appropriate to pair with learners at the beginning level stage of pre-production.
The last stage is “Advanced” and students in this stage have near native speech fluency. The student has a good comprehension of information in English as well as a n expanded vocabulary. At this stage students are able to lead group discussions so a great activity for them to participate in is “Squeepers” which has readers use predicting, self-questioning, monitoring/clarifying, evaluating and summarizing of text. (Vogt & Echevarria, 2008) Squeepers follows a six step framework which includes 1) survey- students using background knowledge to set the stage of the text to be read, 2) question- students developing questions about the text they surveyed, 3) predicting- builds upon the questions developed by the students, 4) reading- completed with partners or in small group soe everyone finishes at the same time, 5) respond- group discussion about the questions developed earlier and 6) summarize- all summarize the key concepts read in the text.
Assessment of the lessons can be completed in various ways depending on the stage you students may be in at the time. Assessments should be varied from oral to written dependent on the stage as well. The assessment can be reflective of the ongoing lesson and include the activities incorporated such as journal writing or cloze handouts, tasks completed such as the personal dictionary and projects completed such as a book summary. It is important to know the different stages and which may apply to the class during this particular unit.
Vogt, M. & Echevarria, J. (2008) 99 Ideas and activities for teaching English Language Learners with the SIOP model. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. Pennsylvania State Board of Education. (July 1, 2010).
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Standards Aligned System. In Reading Comprehension. Retrieved October 26, 2012, from http://www.pdesas.org/Standard/Views#110|786|0|0. Pennsylvania State Board of Education. (January 16, 1999).
State Academic Standards. In Reading,
Writing, Speaking and Listening. Retrieved October 26, 2012, from http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/state_academic_standards/19721