After having my newcomers in class for roughly 14 weeks, I've decided to create an assignment where each student would work independently to demonstrate literacy skills in English.
I showed students all the books in the "Welcome Newcomers - Fundamental" kit published by Saddleback Publishing (FREE sample in link), and had each student choose a book of choice.
I told students that they were going to read the book "in English" and provide a book report. They were not too intimidated to do the work since we had been working with Saddleback books during small groups. They knew to use the following strategies to help them understand the book:
The Scaffolds to a Successful Project
Modeling and Shared Writing Pre-reading Q&A
Analyzing the book cover and answering pre-reading questions about the book is a great way to build background and activate prior knowledge about a book we're about to read. I personally ALWAYS read the book's jacket to get an idea of what the story is about and make connections with previous readings.
I modeled our pre-reading activity using these questions on a Jamboard, and I had students help me answer the questions using my book of choice. It was a very engaging activity where I modeled answers using complete sentences and using part of the question to complete my answers.
Students were given a Canvas assignment with the pre-reading questions and spent the rest of class answering the questions using their book of choice.
One-Pager Rainbow Book Report
The one-pager rainbow book report idea came from the article "30 Creative Book report Ideas" -- I wanted my students to have fun reading the book, but at the same time, provide some accountability or turn-in work after reading it.
This article has several great ideas but the rainbow book report caught my attention. I created the example by myself without students' help because I didn't want them to do it exactly like mine. I left it up to them how they wanted to present their project as long as the required topics/questions were covered in the project.
These were the required topics to cover:
Completed Book Projects
Students worked hard and their final projects look amazing!
Extension to Project!
Once everyone had completed their book project, I thought it would be fun to have students share their book reports with a partner.
So, I paired them up and showed them a structured partner conversation plan they were to use. The structured conversation sentences were based on the same required items to create the report. I showed them how a single word can be placed in a question statement with a period AND and answer to each question using proper punctuation.
Here're the questions and answers students used. I gave them time to practice the sentences before having the partner conversation.
Click HERE to make a copy of the conversation sentences.
I went around the room listening to students as they had a full conversation about their book. It was amazing to hear LOTS of English speaking coming from our newcomers. They all were very comfortable. The environment was so welcoming that students were able to take risks regardless of their level of proficiency.
I hope you see my students' work as amazing as I see it. Thank you for taking the time to read about my students. If you and your students replicate this activity, please share it in the comments. We would love to know about your students' success.
Thank you for reading!