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Lesson Plan

Let's Read It Again: Comprehension Strategies for English-Language Learners

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Christine Kalemba

Port Richey, Florida


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



One of the most effective ways to engage English-language learners (ELLs) and help them comprehend and read English is through repeated readings and retellings of appealing bilingual picture books. Using Con Mi Hermano/With My Brother by Eileen Roe, this lesson has second grade Spanish-speaking ELLs identify the main idea of the story, construct meaning from text and illustrations, and learn English words. They then demonstrate their knowledge and practice writing in English by writing a poem and a retelling of the story. This lesson (which can be adapted using bilingual books in other languages and for other ages) also has older struggling readers read with younger students. Finally, it encourages English-speaking students in mixed classrooms to learn Spanish words for familiar people and objects.

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  • Flip Book: Have students use this interactive to create bilingual dictionaries with basic Spanish vocabulary.

  • Concept Web Worksheet: Students can use this printout to record activities the boy likes to do with his brother. This web can be adapted to work for a variety of topics.

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Vardell, S.M., Hadaway, N.L., & Young, T.A. (2006). Matching books and readers: Selecting literature for English learners. The Reading Teacher, 59(8), 734741.

  • English-language learners (ELLs) have great cognitive demands put on them as they try to learn English and content quickly. They need practice using English in "purposeful, authentic contexts."

  • Exposure to meaningful, age-appropriate texts is critical to helping ELLs become readers and writers in English.

  • Numerous illustrations help ELLs with limited word knowledge figure out the meaning of what they are trying to read, helping them to read independently and improving their confidence.

  • Content should be a consideration when choosing books for ELLs; the story should be accessible and the language direct. Books should include key vocabulary about day-to-day activities and topics that students new to their surroundings need to learn.

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