January 22, 2012

Teaching pupils with EAL

Chosen text:

Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne.

This book was brought to my attention during a recent music seminar where I saw it's potential to be used to support children with EAL. The particular merit of this story include:

  • Clear sequence and pattern of animals and fruit.
  • Use alliteration, e.g. 'sweet smelling', and 'ripe red'.
  • Bright colourful illustrations, which support the text but also hold further information that can be used to explore the story.
  • The book is written in an active voice.
  • The story introduces, fruit, animals, numbers and colours. These can all be used to build on a childrens existing knowledge.

Supporting pupils in year one with EAL.

Learning objectives

Strand 7 Understand and interpreting texts

Strand 8b Visualise and comment on events, characters and ideas, making imaginative links to their own experiences.

Quadrant A (high context, low cognitive demand)

Activity one would focus on children's listening skills. After sharing the story with the group, bring in the real fruit that is used in the story, oranges, pineapples etc. This would provide a link between familiar fruits they may recognise, it also gives the story context that children can associate to. Have the fruit all in a basket and re-read the story. When each fruit is read out in the story have one child go a pick that fruit out. Children could also stand in a row in the correct order, showing the sequence of the story.

Quadrant B (high content, high cognitive demand)

Activity two would be a role play. It would be cross curricular as puppets could be made of the animals in the story, either glove puppets or pictures coloured in and placed on sticks. Working in mixed ability groups of three, with the EAL in the centre, the two other children acting as the 'more knowledgeable others'. This would increase and discussion and involve interaction with all three children. Have the three children re-enact the story in the correct sequence.

Quadrant C(low content, high cognitive demand)

Activity three would be a conservation poster, Give each group an animal to create a information poster for that animal. Supply the children with resources to research information about the animal, books, internet, fact sheets, pictures. Have a success criteria for each poster to find out; food they eat, habitat they live in, country they are from, how they move e.g. fly, swim. The poster offers opportunity for collaborative learning, and also reduces the pressure of producing a purely written piece of work but will encourage some form of writing. It also provides cross curricular links with geography and art.


- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. A great choice of text and lots of ideas of activities which I may be able to use on my next placement (thankyou!). I can understand how the book would really engage all children and be especially beneficial to EAL learners. It is also seems to cover lots of useful everyday words which children will need to learn, such as fruit and numbers, but it’s addressed in a fun and colourful way. Nice work Tim!

    01 Feb 2012, 20:33


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