Bancroft Elementary
Jeri Schultz
KP Powell
Amy Cortright
If students listen to recordings of and reflect on their own production of target academic language in response to prompts, will they a.) increase their use of target vocabulary and language forms, and b.) improve articulation and volume?

Brief description of Learning Circle plan:
Using content standards, WIDA Can Do descriptors, and site-based IB units of inquiry we are developing MPIs to support EL's acquisition of content specific and technical language. We are looking to incorporate iPads as a tool for capturing student production of oral language, and for providing the students with feedback on their own efforts to use the target language.
Plan to measure results:

• informal pre-assessment of
animal vocab
• begin teaching specific/technical
- body coverings
- animal feet
- other animal features
• students & teacher create a
rubric for detailed description
of an animal
• students complete an initial
recording describing an animal
• reflection on recording, rubric:
ideas for improvement
• subsequent recordings with
• Write-up and reflection on
results of animal description
with Showme
• Collaborative creation
of MPIs for other
standards/IB units
and possible uses of
iPad for support
• Ongoing: research of available
apps and collaborative brainstorm
for technological and interactive
supports for lang. acq.

Work & Progress:

Kindergarten IB Unit of Inquiry: Sharing the Planet
MPI: Students will describe an animal with details about the animal's feet, body covering and other features looking at a picture of the animal embedded in a Showme (iPad application) document. The students' description will be recorded, via Showme, with audio capture of the student's voice and video capture of the features the student signals by outlining with their finger while describing.


Methods for building background and vocabulary
• Animal feet
- Teacher's Domain video Animals on the Go - small group discussion of how different bodies facilitate different kinds of movement
- Read alouds about animal feet (public library and Bancroft library trade books)
- Picture sorts with headings for fins, claws, paws, webbed feet, hooves (small group)
- Exploration of animal footprint casts from Science House
- Student-created posters with sentence, photos, labels and prints from footprint casts for each type of animal feet
- Communicative partner matching game describing animal feet with technical noun + adj (size, color, shape)

• Animal body coverings
- Read aloud and discussion about animal body coverings (gathering vocab for word bank- fur, feathers, skin, scales, spines)
- Small group reading of leveled readers about body coverings (a-z)
- Sorting and labeling of photos into categories of body coverings
- Student-created posters with photos, labels and sentence for each type of body covering
- Communicative partner matching game describing animal body coverings with technical noun + adj

• Other animal body parts
- Read alouds and discussion to gather vocab for other parts (beak, nose, tail, ears, teeth, eyes)
- Labeling diagrams of animals - small group and individual

iPad ShowMe animal description project

I can describe animal bodies with details.
I can reflect on my work.
· Students will orally describe physical characteristics of an animal stating body part nouns and adjectives referring to color, shape, and size, viewing and marking a photo embedded in a Showme document, supported by a word/image bank of pictures and text for animal feet, body coverings and other animal body parts, and cues for color, size and shape.
· Students will review their description, reflecting on their production of targeted content language and strategies for improved language production.
· Students will record a second description of the same photo in a second Showme document, implementing strategies for improved use of target language, projection, and marking of document.
· Students will compare their two descriptions and identify improved production of targeted content language.

Science: Use observations to develop an accurate description of a natural phenomenon and compare one’ s
observations and descriptions with those of others. Identify the external parts of a variety of plants and animals including humans.

English Language Arts: Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media …by questions about key details. Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional
detail Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail. Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly With prompting and support, create an individual or shared multimedia work for a specific purpose (e.g., to share lived or imagined experiences, to present information, to entertain, or as artistic expression.)

(In prior lessons students have built vocabulary and comprehension of content by referencing prior knowledge, participating in choral reading, read-alouds, shared reading, viewing of video, playing of communicative/descriptive games, and experience of realia. Throughout the lessons, teacher has emphasized importance in scientific work of communicating observations of natural phenomenon with detail.)

Day A
1. Present objectives (I can statement with simple drawing of student speaking into an ipad) and explain that today they will use the words they have been working on to make a video with an animal picture, their voice and marks that they draw to show what they mean on an ipad.
2. Review the word/image bank and student-created posters with students: nouns they have worked on to identify animal body parts, and adjectives they’ve practiced to add detail to their descriptions.

3. Model the process of describing and marking an animal photo embedded in Showme. Listen to it together, then create a shared description together, allowing students to try marking the picture. Listen to the shared description, and reflect on what they notice about: use of language, voice projection, proximity of speaker, marking of picture to clarify oral statements, background noise.

4. Have students take turns choosing a picture of an animal, then creating a description, as modeled and collaboratively practiced, of their picture. (Other students may work at desks on labeling pictures of animals to provide student who is recording with some privacy during the first attempt)

5. Look back at the day’s objectives, and ask students to think about how much they met the goals. Tell them that tomorrow we will work together to reflect on how they did, and think of ways to make their descriptions even better.

Day B
1. Present objectives from prior lesson, add today’s additional objective of reflection. Emphasize that scientists reflect on their own and each other’s work to see how they could communicate their ideas even better. Establish essential agreements for constructive feedback, creating visual for steps (Listen, state a success “I notice I/you…..,” state a suggestion “Next time I/you could ….”)

2. As a group review previous day’s Showme document descriptions, reflecting on each and establishing goals and strategies for improvement on the next recording. Review objectives and direct students to visualize themselves making suggested improvements to their descriptions, to help them remember today’s work.

Day C
1. Review prior objectives of describing and reflecting, and goals/strategies for improvement.
2. Record a second description of the original photo for each student on a second iPad
3. Ask students to think about the goals and strategies they set yesterday for their new recording, and whether they used them for today’s work. Tell them that tomorrow they will compare both of their descriptions to look at how they’ve improved.

Day D
1. Briefly review the objectives they’ve already met. Present today’s objective of comparing their first and second recordings, so they can identify how they improved.
2. With the two iPads side by side, view each students two recordings. Have the students follow the rubric (as represented in the image/work bank) to pinpoint improvements in the recordings. Applaud together for each students’ work.
3. Re-emphasize how important it is for people –including scientists- to communicate with clear, detailed descriptions. Complement their progress in this important skill, and show them you will post their work on the school website so they can see it again. Encourage students to share their work with their families at home or the public library.

Materials needed:
student-made posters with body part nouns/images
image/word bank for animal body nouns and adjectives
two iPads
simple drawings of animals for students to label independently while others are recording

Target vocabulary:
describe reflect communicate
fur feathers scales
skin beak tail
eyes legs back
ears mouth head
paws claws hooves
fins webbed feet several colors
big, large small, tiny oval
round moon-shaped pointy
triangle-shaped long short


Student work on Showme docs may be viewed via the following link. Scroll down to the links under students' names:
Kinder animal descriptions with Showme

Analysis of oral language production in Showme animal descriptions, rounds one and two

number of nouns used in description
number of technical nouns used
number of times an adj was used to describe a noun
number of different adjectives used
•It was difficult to direct students toward photos that would work particularly well for meeting all the criteria of the project as collaboratively created with our group poster (word/image bank).
•The Showme app did not allow me to embed photos ahead of time, or to create a selected file of photos. I would need to establish a dropbox account and archive photos there in order to preselect.
•Students' use of technical language for body coverings and feet fell short of what I expected.
•The criteria of using adjectives to describe the nouns was challenging for students to remember. Different syntax was discussed and acceptable for this project. For example, "The (noun) is (adj)." or "It has (noun). It's (adj.)."
• Review and reflection of the initial descriptions led to a refinement of the rubric, and represented by the image/word bank
• Review and reflection on the initial descriptions led to significant increases in students' use of adjectives in their second descriptions.