So far I have managed to hold the attention of my oral communication students by reading stories and doing activities from this book:
Because the book gives many prompts for writing and activities, I decided to have the students make homemade journals with construction paper and lined paper inside. The first activity was to decorate the cover, showing their own culture vs. their American culture. This came out of a reading about identity, and how ELL students often live in 2 worlds: their school world and their home world. Sometimes, they begin to identify more with Americans, but still feel a part of their culture when at home. The duality of their worlds is something with which many ELL students as well as students of color are familiar.
I modeled the assignment for them by making my own journal cover:
Here are some of the covers they did:
We will keep adding more to the journals, and, they don't know it yet, but we'll have some sort of presentation where we invite all their other teachers as well. Here are some of the journal cover explanations.