The ELL Buzz

November Newsletter

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Give Thanks for Books!

November 14th is National Young Readers Day. Co-founded in 1989 by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Pizza Hut, Young Readers Day encourages students to LOVE reading. Visit the link below for great book ideas for children, teens and young adults. Read on!

Conversation Circles

One activity to include in your lesson plans that builds background knowledge and promotes listening and speaking are conversation circles. No preparation is needed, other than choosing the topic. Students get to use language to communicate meaning and share their lives. They enjoy telling about their thoughts, opinions and feelings and you get to know your students better. Here are some tips to getting conversation circles started in your classroom:

  • Use props or pictures to begin the conversation.
  • Use sentence stems for language support.
  • Be flexible.
  • Be a participant.
  • Guide the discussion with questions and comments.
  • Draw out quiet students.
  • Have fun! Students love this activity.

Hot Topics: Conversation Starters for ESL Classes. (2012, April 15). Retrieved November 9, 2014, from

The First Thanksgiving Story Bracelet

After students listen to a read aloud of the story of Thanksgiving, help them create a visual representation they will remember and can retell. This activity incorporates listening, speaking and reading, three of the language domains ESL students need to become proficient in English.

Find an online story of Thanksgiving HERE.

Click HERE for the story students can choral read and retell.

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Thanksgiving Vocabulary

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How Can I Help You?

Veronica Law, M.Ed.

Bilingual/World Languages Coordinator