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ELLs and Common Core: Denver Students Dig Into Persuasive Reading, Writing

A handful of middle school teachers in Denver became among the first to test drive a new, rigorous English/language arts unit designed for English-language learners.

The five-week unit—a common-core instructional resource developed by Stanford University's Understanding Language team—focuses on persuasive speeches and texts. I wrote about the unit earlier this year just as the Denver teachers, along with some of their colleagues in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., and Chicago, were starting to roll it out in their classrooms.

Now, you can see the Denver lessons for yourself, and hear from the unit's main authors, in a new series of videos recently released on the Teaching Channel.

Called Persuasion Across Time and Space, the unit—meant for ELLs who are at least at an intermediate level of proficiency—requires students to read complex, informational texts and write arguments. Engaging with complex texts is a key goal in the common standards, and the unit is meant to demonstrate how English-learners, with the right supports, can do so to deepen their content learning and language learning.

You can see the overview video below, but visit the Teaching Channel to see the entire series.

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