ELL Ideas: Learning About the Environment


These articles, websites, and books provide a great way for students to learn about the environment through language-rich activities.

Resource Sections

Science Instruction for ELLs

Science can provide exciting opportunities for students to make discoveries and use their language skills, especially through inquiry-based lessons. This section offers strategies, resources, and guidance for helping ELLs succeed in science, as well information about the Next Generation Science Standards.

Learning Together at Home: Science

Kids are natural scientists. What makes a rainbow?  Why do bananas get brown?  These activities help kids explore the big, wild world and think about what scientists do through processes like observation and conducting experiments. Don't worry - you don't have to be a scientist yourself to try them!


Going Green with English Language Learners

David Royal has been teaching ESL for over thirteen years. He has taught in Taiwan, Hawaii and China, and is currently an Associate Director of the University of South Florida's English Language Program. His website, ESLetc.com, pulls together resources for ESL teachers interested in bringing global and environmental issues into their classes. In this article written for Colorín Colorado, he describes the ways he ties environmental awareness into his language instruction.

New Freedom Park and the Immigrant Families Who Designed It

New Freedom Park is a Denver community park and garden which opened in 2012, built through a partnership between Denver Parks and Recreation Department and The Trust for Public Land. The local community of refugees played a significant role in the park's design and planning, and in this interview with Colorín Colorado, the park's Project Manager Wade Shelton describes the process of engaging the refugee community in the park's design.

Booklist: A World Filled with Wonder

I Know the River Loves Me

Whether it's Earth Day or any other day, young readers will find themselves drawn to the stunning environments and creatures portrayed in these books. From the waterfalls and hummingbirds of the Iguazú to the Truffula Tress of The Lorax, these bilingual books will get kids thinking about the Earth and their place on it.

Science Fun: Bilingual Books for Kids

These science titles for kids introduce exciting topics across a range of subjects — from hurricanes to popcorn to bugs! Many of the titles are bilingual and are part of a series published in both English and Spanish.

Larry Ferlazzo's Best Earth Day Sites

Larry Ferazzo has compiled a number of multimedia sites on his blog, including websites about Earth Day, environmental issues, water use, "Earth Hour" and much more!

Ideas for ELLs: Earth Day and the Environment

With both Earth Day and Arbor Day this month, The New York Times' Learning Network dedicates this edition of "Ideas for ELLs" to the environment. Compiled by Larry Ferlazzo, the resources include videos, classroom activities, and a recent student opinion survey, "What's the Coolest Thing You've Ever Seen in Nature?"

Recommended Earth Day Websites for ELLs

These websites include student-friendly ideas and activities, as well as environmental lessons targeting language development.


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