I was so happy to be a fan-girl on Thursday with Valentina Gonzalez. Not only do I love her new book with Melinda Miller, Reading and Writing with English Learners, but I love all of the awesome visuals that she creates and shares for ESL educators. Her giving and super-sweet demeanor makes you just know that her students loved her in the classroom. And side-note...her background is elementary and I am high school and I STILL take away so much!
So after I watched her demonstrate how she does the Picture Word Inductive Model in video, I knew I wanted to ask her some questions about the process in my little mini-series about looking at strategies that move students from the word to the discourse level. I have this strategy as a part of my online course and I knew an interview with someone who has used this strategy often would be great to include!
Here are some of the key takeaways from our talk about PWIM:
1. All you need is a photo and some markers. Valentina went through all of the steps and it pretty much starts with just those things. It is so low-prep and even more low-prep if you are using something like Google Jamboard or Google Slides. Here is a template I created on Google Slides if you want to take a peak.
Just make sure that as you follow the steps and start labeling the photo to have a system already in place. For example, students should know that you use red for nouns, green for verbs, and so on. It's your choice!
2. It engages students through all of the language domains and gradual release of responsibility. After you have your picture ready and your system in place, then get students talking about the photo and brainstorming ideas about what is happening in the photo. This should be connected to content you are learning and there is no limit to which content-area this works for. It's possible to do for math, social studies, English, science, etc. and all proficiency levels as well as native speakers.
After they have discussed, then you begin labeling with them and make sure you draw an arrow that connects the words to the part of the photo. So far, students have engaged in speaking and listening and they have only just gotten started!
Valentina recommends to have students repeat the words and sentence parts as you write. So here, they are reading along as you write. You are doing this together, so this is the "we do" portion of the lesson in the gradual release of responsibility model. The "I do" may have been when you explained a little about the content before getting started, and they actually did a "they do" as they discussed together. They will do the "you do" independently as they construct sentences either on their own or with sentence starters or stems (there's the writing language domain!).
3. It's a great springboard for other tasks. She mentions transitioning into writing on their own as their "you do" and she also says that this is a great way to do a little sentence patterning to bridge the writing and PWIM together! Check out more on this strategy with Dr. Katie Toppel.
In addition, the PWIM is a great way to warm-up for class, so your students are ready to continue reading your text or doing whatever else you have planned for them around the topic!
Have you tried the PWIM? How do you use in your classroom? Comment below!
I teach high school ESL and peer coach high school ESL teachers in my district. I enjoy sharing my strategies and materials online and love learning new things from other teachers of Emergent Bilinguals! Let's learn together!