Seventh Grade Emerging English Language Learner Students Develop the Four Domains of Language and Meet California ELA and ELD Standards Through a Curriculum Unit on Poetry and Theme

The focus of this project was to develop a unit to assist emerging English Language Learner students (ELL students) in a general education seventh grade language arts class. The unit, entitled “Understanding Theme in Poetry: ‘The Highwayman’ and ‘Annabel Lee,’” presents nineteen lessons designed to grant emerging ELL students ample opportunities to exercise their four language modalities (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) while exploring theme in poetry using the poems “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes and “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe. Each lesson in the unit includes English Language Arts Common Core State Standards, English Language Development Standards, lesson objectives, language development support, materials, and instructional steps. Furthermore, the unit is informed by theories of second language development that consider students’ social, emotional, linguistic, and academic needs. Just as important, the Universal Design for Learning Framework and Specially Designated Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) strategies are imbedded in the unit to better support second language acquisition. The goal of this project was twofold: 1) support emerging ELL students in their learning process and 2) assist educators struggling to support emerging ELL students in their language arts classrooms.