Helping ELLs Feel the Love

We wish it were not so, but many of our ELLs are feeling negativity right now.  More than ever, we need to share ideas to help our students feel welcomed, safe and loved.  They need to see examples of the people that are on their side.  Today’s post is my example.  It is a simple lesson but an effective one.

Content Objective: I will determine the theme of a text by summarizing the central message into one sentence.

Language Objective: I will write using newly acquired vocabulary.


So today we made Valentines.  (This could be done as a Random Acts of Kindness lesson any time of year.) We first went over a few more paragraphs in Michelle Obama’s Farewell speech for theme.

Thanks to Ms. McHale, awesome Eng III teacher, we had the text version of this so we could adapt her lesson for my newcomers.  We are just chorally reading the speach and discussing meaning/theme of each paragraph.  More on her speech & where I got the above photo here:

For paragraph 2 & 3, we decided that Ms. Obama wanted us to know that diversity is what makes our country great and that we all have a place here.

Then we reviewed a bit about Martin Luther King, Jr.  He had some great quotes about love so we made some connections to current events and history.  These are the ones we used:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness.  Only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate.  Only love can do that.”

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”  

“I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear.”  

We then looked for examples of love and kindness around us.  1) The school newspaper did a very positive article on our class.   2) Parent Teacher Student Assn just named Ms. Salva their nominee for the School Bell award because “she makes our ESL program so welcoming.”  We all felt like that was very kind. 3) We also have volunteers coming a lot now.  Everyone agreed that they make us feel loved.

So we made a huge valentine for our school & community.

I was amazed at how the students worked on these and other valentines to deliver to people.  They used the English phrases we practiced.  Many used the MLK quotes.  But most importantly, they smiled and laughed and they felt good.

I love this comment on my Facebook page I just saw from one of the students.

“Today is a great day.”   Yes. Yes it is.

Thank you for reading through to the end.  And thank you for sharing love for ELLs and with ELLs.



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