February 2015

In this issue, you'll find lots of great strategies and ideas for content-area instruction with ELLs. These include some new articles as well as tried and true favorites!

Type of Newsletter: TELLEGRAM
Date: February, 2015

Dear Subscribers,

This month, we offer lots of great strategies and ideas for content-area instruction with ELLs. These include some new articles as well as tried and true favorites!

We also have included a list of the 2015 Pura Belpré Award winners and a new video interview with Ezra Hyland from the University of Minnesota. Enjoy!

The Colorín Colorado Team

Don't Miss...

Congratulations to the 2015 Pura Belpré Winners!

The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. Honorable mentions are listed as "Honor" books.

Pura Belpré Author Award
I Lived on Butterfly Hill, written by Marjorie Agosín and illustrated by Lee White

Author Honor books include:

  • Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes, written by Juan Felipe Herrera and illustrated by Raúl Colón

Pura Belpré Illustrator Award
Viva Frida, written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Illustrator Honor books include:

  • Little Roja Riding Hood, illustrated by Susan Guevara and written by Susan Middleton Elya
  • Green Is a Chile Pepper, illustrated by John Parra and written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
  • Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight for Desegregation, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh

For more information about Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian to be hired by the New York Public Library system, and the award named in her honor, take a look at our Pura Belpré resource section and videos!

This Month's Highlights

Black History Resources

Colorín Colorado is pleased to present our updated booklists:

  • Stories from Africa Booklist: The books in this collection highlight traditional folk tales, stories about historical events through the eyes of young children, and contemporary portraits of kids exploring their world. Featured countries include Eritrea, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Somalia, and Ethiopia.
  • Black History in Latin America and the Caribbean: This booklist shines a spotlight on Black immigrants, national heroes, and historic figures who hail from Latin America or the Caribbean. Many of the stories address the prejudices that celebrated figures such as Martín de Porres, Roberto Clemente, and Celia Cruz had to overcome throughout their lifetime. Others depict special traditions that immigrants in the U.S. remember and pass on to younger generations. Story settings include Trinidad, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Peru, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the U.S.

Read Across America is coming!

The beginning of March heralds the annual Read Across America event from the National Education Association, held on Dr. Seuss's birthday. Take a look to see if there are any events in your neighborhood or check out ideas for celebrating from Reading Rockets and Seussville!

New on Colorín Colorado

Meet the Expert: Ezra Hyland & The African-American Read-In

Ezra Hyland teaches Multicultural Literature and Thinking Through Art at the University of Minnesota, as well as in the College of Education & Human Development's Post-secondary Teaching and Learning First Year Experience Program. Mr. Hyland is also responsible for the African-American Read-In (AARI) program at the University. The African-American Read-In is a national effort sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English to raise awareness of African-American literacy specifically and American literacy in general.

In this interview with Colorín Colorado, Mr. Hyland discusses the AARI program, some of his favorite events involving families sharing literature, and his young reading life during elementary and high school.

Rethinking Language Goals in Science with Three-Dimensional Learning

In this article written for Colorín Colorado, Emily Miller, a bilingual elementary science teacher and member of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) writing team, and academic language expert Rita MacDonald offer ideas for ways to develop more effective and appropriate language objectives in science instruction using a three-dimensional model of learning and numerous classroom examples.

Common Core Corner

Seven Steps to Using Next Generation Science Standards with ELLs

In addition to her work mentioned above on language goals, Emily has also been receiving a lot of emails emails from science teachers asking for guidance on using the NGSS with ELLs. Emily has put together a seven-step framework that strengthens students' ability to engage in academic discourse and shows how to use it with a science lesson about sound, detailed in this Colorín Colorado blog post.

Common Core Math Posts

These posts from our blog focus on materials and strategies that can help English language learners meet the Common Core State Standards in math, including lesson plans, examples of vocabulary lessons, and recommended online resources.

Recommended Resources

Professional Books: Content Instruction for ELLs

These books offer ideas for strengthening connections between language and content, including guidelines for teaching vocabulary, assigning homework, and managing assessment.

In the Classroom

Informational Text and ELLs

In order for ELLs to succeed academically, they must be able to use informational text and textbooks effectively. These articles offer a number of tips for helping students develop their non-fiction reading skills, from discussing the lay-out of a content-area textbook to modeling what good readers do as they work their way through a piece of informational text.

Video Bonus: To see some of these strategies in action, take a look at our related video playlist!

Cognates: An Important Tool for ELLs

Cognates are an important bridge for ELLs whose language is related to English, as in the case of Spanish speakers. They can be particularly useful in content areas such as Science, Math, and Social Studies. These strategies offer ideas for using cognates to develop comprehension. We also provide a list of English-Spanish cognates for reference!

Connect Students' Background Knowledge to Content in the ELL Classroom

As you teach content areas to ELLs of diverse backgrounds, you may find that they approach the content from very different perspectives. Drawing on your students' background knowledge and experiences can be an effective way to bridge those gaps and to make the content more accessible. This article from Kristina Roberston offers a number of suggestions to classroom teachers as they find ways to tap into the background knowledge that students bring with them.

Parent Resources and Outreach

Parent Tips: Make History Come Alive with Books!

A great way for young children to develop an interest in history is through books! Here are some ideas that for getting started. While the tips are geared towards parents, they can be applied in classrooms too. This article is also available in Spanish.

Books & Authors

I Lived on Butterfly Hill

By Marjorie Agosín
Illustrated by Lee White

Product Description: Celeste Marconi is a dreamer. She lives peacefully among friends and neighbors and family in the idyllic town of Valparaiso, Chile — until the time comes when even Celeste, with her head in the clouds, can't deny the political unrest that is sweeping through the country. Celeste's parents — her educated, generous, kind parents — must go into hiding before they "disappear." To protect their daughter, they send her to America. As Celeste adapts to her new life in Maine, she never stops dreaming of Chile. But even after democracy is restored to her home country, questions remain: Will her parents reemerge from hiding? Will she ever be truly safe again?

Accented with interior artwork, steeped in the history of Pinochet's catastrophic takeover of Chile, and based on many true events, this multicultural ode to the power of revolution, words, and love is both indelibly brave and heartwrenchingly graceful.

Viva Frida

Written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales

In this visually stunning tribute to Frida Kahlo, artist Yuyi Morales offers a representation of Kahlo's creative process with stop-motion puppet and paintings, photographed by Tim O'Meara. The result is a treasure lovingly created to honor Kahlo, and Morales shares her own process of creating the book in this video. Since the text is limited, more biographical information can be found in the books featured on our Diego & Frida children's booklist.