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ELL Newcomer Read Alouds

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Welcome to part 3- ELL newcomer classroom read alouds! I already posted about my favorite read alouds for high school and middle grade. So now let’s talk about ELL newcomer classroom read alouds. Newcomers are always tricky, but even they can (for the most part) access a read aloud. For those of your teaching a class of ELL newcomers because if you teach ELLs, newcomers are the toughest group.

**Note– If I have a completely new ELL student who is either a non-speaker and/or preliterate I skip the read aloud for the first few months, maybe a little longer depending on the student. As soon as they are able to produce some language and are understanding basic instruction and directions I push them to start really paying attention to the read loud– even if that means they only get the most general gist of what is going on in the story, just so they are listening and trying to understand something.

Classroom Read Alouds for ELL Newcomers



Teacher Notes:

Alabama Moon by Watt Key 710L Read my thoughts here.
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park 720L The tricky thing about this that there are two timelines which are a little difficult to have the newcomers understand at first. The story is so beautiful and moves along quickly so it is one of my favorites to read aloud.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate 570L One of the books I first read when kids are newly arrived. Quick and has illustrations. Good for mixed gender groups in middle school.
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate In verse, no lexile. This is a story about a boy who is a refugee of the war in Sudan. He has lost his family and his life. He has to learn how to live in America. Strong message of hope and tolerance and surprisingly FUNNY. Told in verse so it goes super quick. A great read for ELL students.
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo 610L I wouldn’t use this with any higher than sixth grade. But it has a dog in it and that seems to get most kids on board, most of the time. Watch the movie afterward.
Wonder by RJ Palacios 790L This is such a heartwarming read, and very accessible. It’s perfect for middle school because the kids love it and it teaches great lessons about kindness and tolerance.

That’s it for the read-aloud series! Check out part 1 and part 2 if you missed them! What read alouds do you like to use with your ELLs?

covers of young adult novels

Happy teaching!

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