Closing the Learning Gaps In English Language Arts

The Pandemic has created massive disruption to our education system and it is most recognizable in the areas of teaching and learning. Few students will emerge on the other side of this without learning gaps. Fortunately, there are some things we can do to mitigate the loss of learning. For a brief refresher see, what are learning gaps? and Techniques For Identifying Learning Gaps.

If students are showing weakness in their reading skills, the first thought of many schools is to swap out Social Studies and Science and add more ELA. A better solution is to simply highlight the ELA standards as they occur in the Social Studies and Science lessons. It so happens that the Social Studies and science standards are laden with the skills and concepts targeted in academic standards for English Language Arts. So, instead of swiping left on the Boston Tea Party and the fall of Saigon, here are some ways to solidify reading and writing skills, while maintaining our pursuit of well rounded and knowledgeable future citizenship.

Example:

Closing the Learning Gaps In English Language Arts

Here are the 5th ELA standards that are already explicitly addressed in this lesson:

5.RI.1  Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. 

5.RI.2  Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

5.RI.3  Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, based on specific information in the text. 

5.RI.4  Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent. 

The key to mastery is to point out the ELA connections to your students! Here’s how;

“We’re going to evaluate one of the key events of the civil rights movement.  Do you recall learning how to identify the “cause and effect” of an event in your ELA classes? Well, today you will use those same skills to evaluate the Montgomery Bus Boycott.”

As for Social Studies teachers, they simply need to quickly highlight the verbiage in their lesson plan that matches the ELA standards. It’s that easy!

For more see, Closing the Learning Gaps In Reading and Closing Learning Gaps With Our Lowest Performing Students.

About Jackie Hardiesty

Jackie is a teaching and learning consultant and founder of Edify Consulting. She is a former Director of STEM Integration, Principal and former teacher.

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