Project ideas to engage an ESL student with disabilities
March 5, 2017 4:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm an ELL teacher and one of my students is a fifth grader. I have him for 17 minutes a day (really) and he has disabilities which mean he is at a pre-K reading level. We've been working on building vocabulary but nothing really seemed to grab him until I agreed to do a baking soda and vinegar volcano with him. He loved watching videos of others doing the same experiment, learning about Pompeii and other volcanic eruptions, and learning some volcano vocabulary. It provided a great reason for him to challenge himself to speak about new topics. BUT how do I top it next week?

I'm looking for ideas for similar projects that we could do together that would provide a hook. I'm not actually a science teacher but I'm fine with any content area that might be interesting and give an opportunity for hands on learning. Ideas?
posted by chaiminda to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Use more videos! SciShow Kids is great and can lead to lots of fun projects. This video has lots of science experiments for kids that could also be fun.
posted by guster4lovers at 5:01 PM on March 5

Mentos and Pepsi? Use it as a segue to foods and drinks? Experiment with sifferent liquids and if any get similar results (and you can continue with vinegar and baking soda from last week).
posted by raccoon409 at 5:03 PM on March 5

So, I did some googling and I found this and I think it has some neat science ideas, and some interesting examples of ways to present them to a kid with disabilities and language barriers.
posted by Northbysomewhatcrazy at 6:16 PM on March 5

Depending on what he liked (the science, the mess, the explosion, the mayhem, the hands-on):

Blender smoothies = totally doable in 17 minutes with just one electrical outlet.

My kids love youtube videos of, like, trucks running into too-short bridges, could be some vehicle/road/etc. vocab there.

Small LEGO kits, especially from the "city" series, where you can build fireplugs and trashcans and whatnot, and have garbagemen and police and so forth.

Is there an outdoor space where you can go do some grass/tree/bird/mud vocabulary?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:55 PM on March 5

Water rockets might be cool, if you can get outside.

NASA has a resource about the space station and rocketry called 3... 2... 1... Liftoff! Educator Guide which is aimed at pre-K to 2nd grade.

Maybe he would enjoy something from the NASA Kids Club.

This page lets you search NASA educator resources, and you can filter it by grade level.

The best NASA mission of all time has a resource for kids 5-10 called the Webb Telescope Fun Pad (pdf).

The Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute has an education program called Amazing Space.
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:56 PM on March 5

Building kits might be fun, like where you can make a radio or Snap Circuits. Even just a bunch of hardware, basic tools, and wood pieces might be engaging.

In the other direction, if the appeal was the mayhem, go in a funny direction by creating comical collages - people from advertisements saying ridiculous things you and the student cobbled together from headlines.
posted by lakeroon at 8:04 PM on March 5

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