Developing Art Lessons with At-Risk Youth and ELLs in

Delanie Holton
Art Teacher
Fletcher Primary and Intermediate Aurora, CO
Why the Arts Matter
Students who participate in the arts:
 Have
higher retention rates.
 Have higher standardized test scores.
 Demonstrate improved self-concept and self-efficacy.
 Have improved critical thinking skills, fluency, originality,
focused perception, and imagination.
 Have improved parent relationships, self-concept and
overall academic achievement regardless of
socioeconomic background.
 Develop an understanding of visual language.
At-Risk Youth
At-risk youth are those who lack the
cultural capital necessary to achieve in
a traditional academic setting.
 At-risk youth may struggle with:
 Self-concept
 Societal
 Cultural identity
SHARE: What are some lessons
you have in your tool box that
address these struggles?
Were your students “hooked”?
What Already Works
High quality art education is:
based on the visual world.
 about examining culture.
 hands-on.
 expressive.
 standards-based.
 integrated.
English Language Learners (ELLs)
English Language Learners
 Are
those whose first language is other than English.
 Because most ELLs are of minority status background,
they may be considered at-risk.
 School failure increases when staff is ill-equipped to
meet the unique needs of ELLs.
 A study conducted by Spina (2006) indicated that
students who participated in an arts program that used
appropriate interventions made gains in native
language retention and reading scores.
Why Shelter Instruction in Art?
You’re probably already doing it
Focus strategies
Increase interest and participation
Improve instruction
Meet the needs of all students
Sheltered Instruction for ELLs
Lesson planning with ELLs in mind
 The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) is
a model used to organize and implement Sheltered
Instruction strategies.
 Teachers use six strategies:
Clearly defined content objectives
 Clearly defined language objectives
 Content concepts that are age and background appropriate
 Extensive use of supplemental materials
 Differentiation and adaptation of content
 Meaningful activities that integrate lesson concepts
Key Features of SIOP
•Adaptation of content
•Links to background
•Links to past learning
•Strategies incorporated
•Guided practice
•Independent practice
•Comprehensible input
Grouping Options
•Whole class
•Small group
Integration of Process
•Linked to Objectives
•Promotes engagement
Writing Content Objectives
Clearly define goals of the unit and each lesson.
Align to curriculum and Visual Arts standards.
Clearly post and review objectives before and
during lessons.
State orally.
Choose objectives with students’ background,
abilities and interests in mind.
Writing Language Objectives
Anticipate basic language needs
 What are the essential language skills needed?
i.e., within reading, writing, listening, and speaking
Language Objectives are:
Key technical vocabulary and concept words
Language skills
Grammar or language structure
Language learning strategies
Predict, preview text, hypothesize
Give explicit and ample opportunity for practice
Read, take notes, explain a procedure
Language functions
Define, classify, compare, explain
Sample Language Objectives
In pairs, read and discuss a
Correctly spell 5 new concept
words in writing.
Identify and name the 7
elements of art.
Student will discuss the
artwork of Frida Kahlo in
small groups, make
Students will listen to critique
instructions and comment on
their partner’s artwork.
Students will pronounce
vocabulary words correctly.
and ask yourself what
language skills are
needed for the task.
SEQUENCE of Language
Use at least one
Comprehensible Input and Affective
Stephen Krashen
Input hypothesis
 Language acquisition occurs in increments
IMAGINE you are isolated in
a room and all you can hear
for years is the sounds of a
German radio station,
would you ever learn to
speak German listening to
that radio station?
i+1 (input + one new piece of information)
Language is presented as one “step” beyond what the
language learners already know
Affective filter
Language acquisition is affected by variables including:
 self-image
 motivation
 anxiety level
Making Instruction Comprehensible
Build on student’s prior knowledge.
 What do they already know?
 What do they need to know?
Move from concrete to advanced.
Use new vocabulary in context.
Use pictures, props, demonstrations,
and hands-on activities.
Talk about what you’re showing.
Simplify speech.
Structure written text carefully.
As art educators, we are
good at
demonstrating and
using realia. Take a
moment to REFLECT
on lessons that have
been most successful.
 What got kids
 Did they “get it”?
 Did you use any of
the SIOP strategies
without knowing it?
 Were the kids doing
more than you were
Meaningful Activities
Content objectives are
Ample practice time for new
Activities support content and
language objectives
Activities are linked to student
interest and prior knowledge
•How do you link art
making to concept
development? Is it
Differentiation and Adaptation
Adaptation is not about lowering expectations!
 Differentiation and adaptation is meeting the unique needs
of all students in meaningful ways.
Adapt texts by:
Scaffold instruction:
high-lighting important vocabulary.
using comprehensible texts linked to visual cues.
Help the learner get there a bit at a time
EXAMPLE: You demonstrate first, the class explains the steps, the
student produces independently.
with high-quality, higher-order production in mind.
Plan ahead.
Lesson Plan Template

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