ESOL in Action: Bridging Content and Language in Science Class

Get up and act it out!

Lindley Sixth Grade scholars have fun and build confidence as they act out vocabulary words needed to be successful in their Science class.

Bridging content and language is the focus for the English Learner (EL) scholars in Faith Castellano’s Science class at Lindley Sixth Grade Academy. Ms. Castellano knows that increasing her students’ confidence by engaging them in actively using the academic language of Science is key to their success. During her dynamic lesson, the EL scholars demonstrated their mastery of the content vocabulary in multiple ways.  If you are having a hard time expressing your understanding with words, then act it out!

Ms. Castellano first modeled a movement matched to each vocabulary word.  Then, using a graphic organizer called a Frayer Model, she had the scholars describe each term, draw an illustration, and provide an example and a non-example.  Next, students had fun actively participating in acting out the movement associated with each term. Pairing movement with language reinforced the concepts and allowed less proficient English Learners to easily demonstrate their understanding. Following the activity, the scholars collaboratively worked on a graphic organizer in which they provided the cause, effect, and a diagram for key scientific terms, while Ms. Castellano reviewed concepts with other students in small groups.

At the conclusion of the lesson, the EL scholars displayed their mastery of the content by completing a cloze notes study guide focused on the essential academic vocabulary.  Ms. Castellano assessed the scholars based on their individual English Language Proficiency levels and allowed those who needed extra support to use visual dictionaries to help them complete their study guide. Lindley Sixth Grade scholars were actively engaged and motivated in bridging content and language!


Tiffany Honoré, Director
Title I

Delores Thompson, Supervisor
Title I

Natalie Hutchins, Supervisor
Engage I

Contributing Author: Dr. Elizabeth Webb, Supervisor, ESOL/Title III

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