I love any excuse to get students using their creative juices in the ESL classroom. One fun way for students to show off their artistic sides are by creating class storybooks. Art is a great way to show universal understanding of concepts and texts and serves as a great way to develop language skills. But don't just take my word for it, check out the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and how they integrate language and art!
This activity is super versatile because they can be physical or digital and used with fiction or nonfiction text. Students can easily do these on digital slides like Google Slides or PowerPoint and they can be printed out to make physical books for your classroom library, or students can do this on physical paper and they can be bound together for your shelves as well. You could bind the books together with washi tape or get fancy with some bookbinding techniques at Look Between the Lines.
Once you have the text that you want to use this with and have decided if you'd like to have students make these digitally or with paper, then it's time to assign students parts of your text. Let's pretend that you are reading Act 2, Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet. You could be reading a simplified version for your emerging to expanding multilingual learners an English learners, or the original text but chunked and amplified with text engineering.
In our pretend class, we have 5 students and we may be diving in for a couple of days in Scene 2. Reading aloud benefits all MLs, even high school learners, so I would read the scene aloud (chunking as I go), then have students partner, then individually read. After the reading process, it's time to follow these steps!
1. Assign each student a part of Act 2, Scene 2. Scene 2 is when Romeo sneaks into Juliet's orchard and sees her on the balcony as she says, "Romeo oh Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" You know the scene!
For each part, this is one page in the class storybook. This activity can also be stretched out for longer parts of texts, or can be detailed and for shorter parts like this example. It can also be used for longer texts and for extended units.
When students finish, they can share with each other and give each other feedback to get students interacting and SWiRLing! Language is also integrated by including vocabulary from the text and grammar focus and sentence structure that is seen in the text as well. In the example above, balcony and orchard are some vocabulary words and the sentence structure focus is compound sentences. I include a space for this to be included for any text you are reading with students in this class storybook lesson plan here!
If you are interested in more lesson plans with art integrated, check out this ESL Lesson Plan Bundle Art Integration for secondary students! We also have a monthly lesson plan membership for high school ESL teachers; check it out here!
Happy book making!
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