Building Background

by Daniel-Marie Lebel

If you were creating a SIOP lesson, how will you activate students' prior knowledge and build background?

If I were creating a SIOP lesson, I would activate students' prior knowledge by having a written problem, vocabulary, or posted visual on the board about the main topic. I would then have the students take out paper and make a KWL chart. I would then have the students put down what they already know about the problem and what they want to know. According to Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2008), "by preserving and referring to word banks, outlines, charts, maps, and graphic organizers, teachers have tools for helping students make critical connections." The Know and Want to Know of a KWL chart are the parts that explain what the students already know about the topic and what seems to interest the students about it. Those interests are the critical connections. I would then have the students discuss with one another in small groups what they wrote down for their K and W sections.

What connection to past learning can you make?

The connection to past learning I can make is that I have used the SIOP lesson plan format in high school. I always tried to make sure to differentiate my lessons to tailor to students' learning needs. According to Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2008), "a variety of supplementary materials also supports different learning styles and multiple intelligences because information and concepts are presented in a multifaceted manner." These supplementary materials that can be used are books, pictures, videos, and audio recordings.

What are key vocabulary words and how will you teach them?

Key vocabulary words are words in the content and the standards that the students are able to use in the future. Vogt (n.d.) states that the third component of building background is "focused attention to key vocabulary and academic language of the lesson." I would teach vocabulary by having the students come up and model what they think the vocabulary means.