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Create Inclusive Hands-On Literacy Centers for English Language Learners

Your classroom is full of different types of learners. Because of this, we have to have resources to help all students learn. This is especially true for English Language Learners (ELLs). Why? It’s simple; many ELL students face additional challenges as they try to navigate not only a new language and culture in the classroom, but also their academic progress. A great way to do this is using inclusive hands-on literacy centers for English Language Learners in your classroom. 

Incorporating Inclusive Hands-On Literacy Centers for English Language Learners 

You already have your printable and digital centers from Farrah Henley Education. Now, you just need to make them more inclusive for ELL students by: 

  1. Incorporating multicultural materials 
  2. Providing support and scaffolding
  3. Encouraging collaboration and interaction 
  4. Differentiating instruction to meet students’ needs 

How to Support ELL students 

ELL students have a language barrier that can be hard to contend with when they are starting to learn academic language. Having hands-on literacy centers allows students to engage with language and literacy in a meaningful and interactive way. By using these centers, you are providing your ELL students an opportunity to develop their language skills and cultural awareness. In addition, inclusive hands-on literacy centers for English Language Learners can help students build confidence and gain independence. If you need literacy centers, you can find non-holiday themed centers for kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade at Farrah Henley Education. 

Check Out Our Centers Here!

So, how do we create inclusive hands-on literacy centers for ELLS in the elementary classroom? By following these stinkin’ simple tips! 

#1: Incorporate Multicultural Materials 

When you are choosing read-alouds, games, and supplemental texts or materials, you want to make sure you include a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. This can help not only ELLs feel seen and valued, but it exposes them and others to a wide range of language and cultural experiences. If you can find materials that reflect the make-up of your classroom, this can become even more personal for students. You might even see students adding information or taking more ownership in the book, game, activity, etc. Using reading response sheets and comparing the different types of texts can help you see what sparks ELL students’ interest. 

Check Out This Exclusive Resource Here!

#2: Scaffold Your Lessons 

When someone is learning a new language, it’s important to give them support and scaffolding as it is needed. This is also true when students are learning simply how to move around your literacy centers. You can easily support students by providing visual support like pictures and graphics. These can help provide context and clarify the meaning of academic terms and expectations. Another way to support ELLs is by providing verbal or written instructions in the student’s first language. These supports will help make inclusive hands-on centers for English Language Learners possible in your classroom. 

#3: Work Together! 

One of the hardest parts of inclusion is getting ELL students connected with non ELL students. One way to do this is with inclusive hands-on centers for English Language Learners because they provide an opportunity for ELLs to practice language skills with their peers. By encouraging students to work in partners or small groups, you are providing opportunities to share ideas and talk to their classmates using academic and social language. This not only helps build social skills, but it also helps students gain confidence!

#4: Meet Students Where They’re At with Inclusive Hands-On Literacy Centers

Finally, it’s important to always remember to differentiate instruction. When you have ELLs in your classroom, they are all going to have different language abilities. Therefore, they are going to have different language needs as well. You want to make sure you are providing materials at various levels of difficulty depending on where your students are at in their academic journey. If your students are at a lower level, you might want to check out this Phonics Intervention Hands-On Activities and Games Resource. Not only will this help reinforce phonics skills, but it can also help students become stronger readers according to the Science of Reader. 

Click Here for a Phonics Resource!

Knowing that you may need to provide additional support for some students while others will need you to challenge them more will make a huge difference in your literacy centers. Meeting students where they are and pushing them forward, helps create a growth mindset for students.

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Literacy centers are great to have in the classroom. However, knowing you can have inclusive hands-on literacy centers for ELLs is even better! Having these inclusive activities can be a rewarding and enriching experience not only for your students, but also for you! By incorporating multicultural materials, providing support and scaffolding, encouraging social and academic interaction, and differentiating instruction, you can create a welcoming and engaging learning environment. This environment not only will make students feel at him, it will also support student success inside and outside of the classroom.

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