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Impact II: Colorful Family Memories 

HOW IT WORKS
Colorful Family Memories exposes ESL students to writing-workshop methods and incorporates four modes of learning. The students discuss family relationships and the influence these relationships have had on their lives. They listen to and read numerous picture books including The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, Loving by Ann Morris, Saturday Mornings by Joelie Hancock, We’re Good Friends, My Grandma and I by R.K. Hallinan, and Good Luck Gold by Janet Wong. The texts are presented as read-alouds or shared readings, and students respond to them in their classroom sketchbooks. The sketchbooks or journals are used for drawing and writing “seed” ideas for future pieces. The responses may be in the form of a list, semantic map, quickie write, free write, or sketch. The teacher can specify the form, giving the students a structured approach.

Next, students choose several responses to elaborate on. They share their writing and experiences with their peers in small collaborative groups, enabling them to discuss familiar ideas in English. In the final phase, the writers develop specific strategies, using two texts as models. As elsewhere, teacher modeling is essential. In My Family and Family Pictures by Carmen Lomas Garzo are incorporated in several mini-lessons. 

These two books model certain writing features and styles, and bring recognition to bilingualism in literature. The focus turns to creating sentences and developing paragraphs with main ideas and details that create images in the reader’s mind. Through drafting and peer editing, students publish narrative pieces in both English and their native language to express their understanding of family relationships.
Word processing programs are implemented to produce the final text, which is then incorporated into a bilingual class picture book enhanced with watercolor illustrations. 

THE STUDENTS
The program participants were twenty eighth grade ESL learners at the intermediate level. This program can be adapted to any grade and used with large or small groups. 

THE STAFF 
Nikoleta Moulinos has been an ELL/ESL teacher in the New York City public school system for four years. Prior to that, she taught at the elementary level for four years at a private institution. Along with participating in district and in-house workshops, she has met with various staff developers, enhancing her teaching skills in order to meet the needs of her students. 

WHAT YOU NEED 
A number of texts are used in this program. An overhead projector and transparencies are needed, along with art supplies including sketchbooks, watercolors, brushes, paper, and poster board. Computers with software programs such as ClarisWorks or Microsoft Word are necessary for publishing. 

OVERALL VALUE 
Colorful Family Memories shows students that they have a story to tell. In addition to meeting the language arts/ESL standards, students develop self-expression skills and an awareness of themselves as writers. They listen to, read, and extract meaning from stories, and produce guided, original pieces based on their experiences and ideas while developing skills that include responding to text; understanding main ideas and details; and drafting, editing, and  publishing. They use language reflecting an understanding of conventions through activities in listening, speaking, reading, and writing; read books on the same theme; and create and publish narrative stories and illustrations. As writers, they have an opportunity to express what they know, giving their ideas value and power.

CURRICULUM AREAS
Language Arts
ESL
Art
Technology

GRADES
Grade
6-8

MORE INFORMATION

Nikoleta Moulinos
Dr. Sun Yat Sen
Middle School-M.S.31
100 Hester Street
New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 219-1204
Fax: (212) 925-6386
nicimou@aol.com
Principal
Alice Young

IMPACT II 
Catalog 2002-2003
(pdf file: requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

 

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