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  Sheltered Instruction

         Sheltered instruction is:

  • a means (method) for making grade-level academic content (e.g. science, social studies, math) more accessible for English language learners while at the same time promoting their English language development;
  • the practice of highlighting key language features and incorporating strategies that make the content comprehensible to students;
  • an instructional approach used in all programs that serve English language learners including structured English immersion, transitional bilingual education, two-way bilingual programs, and mainstream education classrooms;
  • an instructional approach that can extend the time students have for getting language support services while giving them a jump start on the content subjects they need for graduation.

The Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA) developed by Ana Chamot presents learner strategies to help ELLs develop academic English. The following is a scope and sequence for presenting the strategies and sample lesson plans developed by our teachers during a workshop on CALLA.

The following are successful strategies for sheltered instruction to use in the classroom:

The following grids highlight some of the Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes (ELPBO) that will be most applicable in planning content sheltered English instruction. However, the documents lack the specificity and detail included in the actual ELPBO document and are meant to assist teachers in planning language objectives in math, science, and social studies.

          Checklist Grades K-4

          Checklist Grades 5-8

          Checklist Grades 9-12

Emphasizing vocabulary is an essential component of sheltered English instruction. The following are useful word lists that include the Dolch high frequency words, cross content academic words, and general service list.

          Compiled Word Lists

The following is an organizer to help teachers think of ways to incorporate the elements of sheltered English instruction into a lesson.

          SIOP Lesson Plan

Please also take a look at our sample lesson plans.

           SIOP Lesson Plan Sample

           Grade 2: Science Animals Work to Meet Their Needs

           Grade 2: What Animals Do to Protect Themselves

           Junior High Cell Structure and Function

           High School Geometry: Finding the Area of Regular Polygons

           High School: Finding the Area of Triangles and Trapezoids


Ms. Cho, fifth and sixth grade structured immersion teacher at the Angelo School, has developed the following note taking sheets for her students where students are asked to write the objectives and also the vocabulary.

          Note Taking Skills

Other links for information on sheltered instruction:

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