Problem: Students sometimes have a hard time relating to--and consequently, comprehending--a historical novel. Much of the book may be foreign to a 4th or 5th grader: the era, the culture, and the setting. As teachers, we sometimes assume kids will "get" more than they actually do.
Solution: I created a 67 silde visual vocabulary PowerPoint slide show for Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. My purpose was to generate excitement for the text before reading and offer mental pictures for students to use when introduced to the unfamiliar terms.
Results: This 67 slide PowerPoint made a huge difference in my students' engagement with the text and understanding of the story. It has been a flexible teaching tool that has proven to be an excellent way to scaffold the text for ELL students, while all students benefited from the enriched historical background.
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