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Problem Based Enhanced Language Learning

iteachELLs, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University

Teachers: Meghan Garland, Hannah Grade/Subject: US History 9th grade

Collison, Laura Dicochea

Title of Experience/Topic: Esperanza(Hope) for Immigration

Problem (framing words + person + action + audience1):

Relevant to students
Addresses real-world problem
Allows for multiple solutions
How are Esperanzas experiences as an immigrant in the 1930s similar to the experiences of
immigrants today and how can we design a plan to ease the transition process for immigrant
children in Arizona schools?

Time Frame: (number of sessions and length of sessions)

6 days (60 min/day)
Content Standard(s):

9th Grade US History:

Strand 1, Concept 9, PO3
Describe aspects of post World War II American society:
E. Shift to increased immigration from Latin America and Asia

ELP Standard(s):
Listening and speaking:
Standard 1: The student will listen actively to the ideas of others in order to
acquire new knowledge.
B-7: responding in complete sentences to questions and statements in
academic discussions by asking questions and sharing ones views on facts,
ideas, and/or events.
Standard 2: The student will express orally his or her own thinking and
B-8: delivering a prepared presentation that includes the main idea,
detailed information and explanations, and a valid conclusion in simple and
compound sentences.

B-9: reading words with appropriate pronunciation using the knowledge of
parts of speech and the functions of inflectional endings.
B-2: reading grade-level subject matter passages silently with 90%

1 Buck Institute for Education (2011). Driving Question. Tubric 2.0. Retrieved from
Comprehending Text:
B-4: answering literal questions about text. (e.g., who, what, when, where,
when, why, which, and how)
B-14: drawing conclusions from information implied or inferred in a literary
B-23: locating information in print and electronic reference sources for a
specific purpose. (e.g., encyclopedia, atlas, almanac, dictionary, thesaurus,
website, etc.)

Writing Applications:
B-4: writing a paragraph based on research using topic sentences, main
ideas, relevant facts, details, and concluding statements.
B-5: writing original questions and predictions for further inquiry based on
the conclusions of scientific investigations.
Standard English Conventions:
syntax and sentence construction:
B-13: using imperative sentences in a variety of writing applications.
Writing Process:
B-3: using a prewriting plan (e.g., graphic organizer, KWL chart, log) to
develop a draft with main ideas.
Writing Process:
B-6: presenting writing in a format appropriate to audience and purpose
(e.g., oral presentations, timelines, paragraphs, manuscripts, multimedia).

Content Language Objective (Language Function + Content Stem + Supports2):

Students will be able to...
SWBAT recommend solutions to ease the transition process for immigrant children in
Arizona schools using sentence frames, group research, and a proposal outline.

Students can identify aspects of immigration during the 1930s
Students can identify aspects of immigration now
Students can discuss similarities and differences between immigration in
the 1930s and immigration today
Students can discuss the difficulties immigrants face when they come to the
United States
Students can research ways to solve the problems immigrants face
Students can outline a plan to solve immigration problems

2 World Class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium (2012). Model Performance
Indicator. Retrieved from https://www.wida.us/downloadLibrary.aspx
Esperanza Rising and History book;
Guided Notes on Post WWII American society;
Strategic Notes Template;
Graphic Organizer for compare and contrast;
Flashcards for Keyword Mnemonic Strategy (for vocabulary learning);
Index cards for Vocabulary Word Card Ring (they can carry this card ring
throughout the semester and they can keep adding index cards with
academic vocabulary, this way students will have them in handy and can
always refer back to it and add to it;
Advance organizer template.

Vocabulary taught prior to the Vocabulary developed during lesson

experience (social): (academic):

embroidered encourage
serenade ambushed
landowners compare
peasant describe
disembark similar
farmland different
housekeeper proposal

Academic Conversation:
What language function will students have the opportunity to practice? How will this
language be explicitly taught? How will this language be applied and practiced?

The students will be describing the similarities and differences in Esperanza

rising to immigration today.

How are ____ and ____ the same? Different?

Compare _____ and _____.
Describe ____. Now, describe ____.
What makes ____the same?
What makes ___ different?
______ face problems like_____.
Students who ____ from other countries.
In my opinion, _______because______.
Despite having________in common,_______is different than______because___.
As a result of________,_______.
Due to the fact that___________.
It seems to me that___________.
Establish the Problem:
How will prior knowledge be accessed? How will the problem be introduced to
students? How will students inquire about the problem (optional planning tool
attached) How are students using language (reading, writing, listening, and/or
speaking) and how are they being supported?

After reading Esperanza Rising, students will be introduced to the problem by first
describing Esperanzas experiences as an immigrant in the 1930s. After viewing a
powerpoint on immigrants in post-WWII American society and taking notes, students
will use a venn-diagram to compare Esperanzas experiences to the experiences of
immigrants today. Once they have completed this activity, students will be introduced
to the problem: How are Esperanzas experiences as an immigrant in the 1930s
similar to the experiences of immigrants today and how can we design a plan to ease
the transition process for immigrant children in Arizona schools?

Students will inquire about the problem first by learning about the experiences of
immigrants today and the difficulties that these immigrants face. They will learn about
these experiences through a lecture, the US History textbook, and their own research.
Students will use what they learn to help them compare the experiences of Esperanza
and immigrants today. The information students learn will also be used to help them
create an outline for a plan to ease the immigration transition process for kids in
Arizona schools. As students go through this process, they will be introduced to new
vocabulary terms, taught skills that will help them in their research, and shown how to
use academic language. To support students in learning new vocabulary, students will
be allowed to use dictionaries and will receive direct instruction regarding new
vocabulary terms. Students will use language to help them describe similarities and
differences between Esperanzas and present-day immigrants experiences, discuss
the difficulties faced by immigrants today, and develop a plan to help ease the
transition process for immigrants children today in Arizona schools.

Creating the Experience:

How will students work together to develop and present solutions? How are students
using language (reading, writing, listening, and/or speaking) and how are they being

After reading Esperanza Rising and learning about the factors currently involved in
immigrating to the United States, students will conduct research in small groups using
a variety of different text sources such as the internet, the US history textbook, and
other books or written text articles that they come across.

Day 1:
The beginning of the unit will feature a lecture that introduces the topic of immigration
and comparing the varying components with experiences that Esperanza faced in the
book. Students will complete a choral response to evaluate what students have
learned from the lecture. In addition, students will create a list of 10 things they have
learned that will help them work together in creating a venn diagram that compares
and contrasts immigration in the 1930s to immigration today.

Day 2 & 3:
Students will conduct research in groups using various text and electronic resources.
Students will be given a handout listing Google search prompts to guide their
research. Students will document any relevant research in a checklist as they discover
it. Students will have the opportunity of consulting a dictionary during the research
phase if they are struggling to understand what the research and their peers are trying
to say. and In addition, any individual research will be shared verbally with their group
to determine its relevance to the overall project. Students will have 5-10 minutes at
the end of each class to synthesize their research and discussions verbally through
round robins to make sure each student has an opportunity to share. Students will
also share their sources on a google doc as they are discovered to be evaluated by the

Day 3:
Each group will finish filling out a checklist using their research to determine a course
of action to help students ease into school when they immigrate to the United States.
The checklist should incorporate a proposal for community leaders as well as the
evidence that supports their proposal in the form of sources and relevant quotes they
have found. The checklist must be turned in at the end of day 3 to be evaluated for
student progress.

Day 4:
Using the proposal as a guide, students will write a letter to community leaders
describing their proposal and using their research to validate their reasons why their
proposed solution will help solve common immigration problems that students face
when they transition to school in the United States. Students will turn in a final draft at
the end of day 5.

Day 5:
Students will create a presentation using Powerpoint or any other relevant media. The
Powerpoint will be based on the letter to the community with a focus on persuading
the community leaders that their proposal would be the best option for students,
teachers, parents, and other relevant parties. Students can use the weekend to finish
their presentation if necessary.

Day 6:
Students will make their presentations in front of the entire community or class. All
students should speak as equally as possible. Presentations should last no more than 5
minutes with a minute or two at the end for their classmates to respond to the
presentation with any comments or questions they have.

When and how will you use formative and summative assessments to measure
student progress and learning (content and language)?

A formative assessment that will be used in the classroom will be choral

response. We want to ensure our students have learned about immigration
in the 1930s.

Students will list 10 things they have learned after the lecture and problem
has been introduced. It is imperative we know they have learned about
immigration in the 1930s and immigration from todays day.

A Venn Diagram will be given to students so they can compare and contrast
immigration from the 1930s to immigration from todays day.

Students will pair up and practice their academic sentence frames

throughout the research process, teachers will observe and evaluate the
students oral responses, and make sure they are using these sentence
frames correctly.

A journal entry will be assigned every 2 days. This journal consists of

documenting their findings and their progress in the project. Teachers will
provide prompts for each journal and will evaluate student progress every
time a journal is turned in.

A group checklist will be provided. This checklist consists of making sure the
letter to the community contains complete thoughts, it is well organized,
spelling is correct, uses correct punctuation, and sources and support for
their argument is documented before it is turned in. This checklist for
writing provides students and teachers with assessment information. The
checklist will also lay out a foundation for who will be in charge of what
pieces of the letter and presentation in the summative assessment.

For the summative assessment students will be able to present their

research findings in a presentation form. As a group, they will write a
proposal letter to the community suggesting solutions on how immigration
transition to the school settings can be eased in todays day. Students
should work evenly on both parts and present their findings equally.