What Needs to Be Included in a Successful ELA block for ELLs?

Structuring Your ELA Block

Structuring an English language arts (ELA) block can be a challenge. Students often have unique needs and may be at different stages in their language development. However, with careful planning, it is possible to create an ELA block that meets the needs of ELL students and supports their language development. Here are some tips for structuring an ELA block for ELL students:

  1. Start with a language warm-up: A language warm-up activity can help ELL students get started on the right foot and get their brains ready for language learning. This might include activities like word games, tongue twisters, or vocabulary review. 

2. Include explicit language instruction: ELL students often benefit from explicit language instruction, which focuses on teaching specific language skills or structures. This might include grammar lessons, vocabulary development, or phonemic awareness activities.

3. Scaffolding and Differentiation ELL students may need extra support and scaffolding as they work on language and literacy activities. This might include the use of visual aids, graphic organizers, or partnering with a proficient English-speaking peer.

4. Use authentic texts and materials: Authentic texts and materials, such as news articles, stories, or videos, can provide ELL students with real-world language exposure and help them build their comprehension skills.

  • Newsela
  • Commonlit
  • Readtheory
  • Wonderopolis
  • Scholastic


5. Interactive activities: Interactive activities, such as group work, discussions, or role-playing, can help ELL students practice their language skills and engage with the material in a meaningful way.


By following these tips and being mindful of the unique needs and abilities of ELL students, you can create an ELA block that is both effective and engaging for their students.

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