Sheltered Instruction

Try it in your classroom today!

Why choose sheltered instruction?

Sheltered teaching "has been called the missing link for those students who need to learn academic English and engage skills mastered in the first language. Sheltered instruction offers a solution to those schools that have a number of language groups to serve with limited staff."

-Linda Northcutt Gonzales

What Sheltered Instruction Strategies can be used in Elementary Classrooms?

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Real-Life Activities

Give your students a real-life activity that actually allows them to model or apply what they are learning. These activities might include surveys, letter writing, simulations, or constructing models. For example, if they are learning how to add and subtract, have them use small attachable blocks to model the operations.


It is very important to make use of objects and materials from everyday life as teaching aids. These help the students apply the concepts they are learning in the classroom to life outside of school. For example, if you are teaching a unit on banking skills, you can have your students actually practice filling out checks and deposit or withdrawal slips.
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Reduce the Linguistic Load of Teachers' Speech

How do you do this? Slow down your speech, enunciate more clearly, use more pauses between phrases, use more consistent vocabulary, include lots of gestures and body language, and more. Be sure to clarify terms and vocabulary. For example, if you are teaching a science concept, begin the lesson by identifying words that relate to the topic that they may not know. It will be much more difficult to understand the lesson if they don't know the meaning of the words being used to teach it to them.


Timelines can be extremely useful in enabling a student to understand the "big picture" of events. For example, if you are teaching your class about how Texas became a state, it may be difficult for your students to memorize specific dates or the exact order of events that occurred. However, visually displaying the sequence of events that led to the annexation of Texas in a timeline can be extremely helpful for those students to understand the process as a whole.