Arts-based projects are a great option to support and encourage English-language learners (ELLs). Arts tools offer a variety of media for creative expression -- from comic strips to radio production to virtual art collections -- that can help ELLs feel more comfortable practicing their English and communication skills while embracing their own cultural backgrounds.
These free websites are accessible options to try in any classroom. And check out our Digital Storytelling for ELLs page for even more great recommendations, tips, and advice for empowering all types of learners.
This unique comic construction tool stresses positivity, awareness, and self-acceptance. The site also offers lesson plans specifically for ELLs. Students begin by choosing a character and emotion from the site's library; then they can add captions with dialogue, tinted backgrounds, and objects. Thought-provoking exercises and activities help kids identify feelings and stress both empathy and self-assessment.
This site is part of a nonprofit that provides training for kids in all aspects of new media. The Classroom section features short kid-created media, and the Creative Studio features performances by youth based on their lives. Not only is Youth Radio a rich resource for learning about media production, podcasting, and radio, but exploring the site can empower students to share their own stories and perspectives.
Google Art Project provides virtual access to more than 30,000 great works of art from around the world. Kids can search by museum collection or artist and browse user-created collections or curate their own. The high-resolution images and museum-mapping technology make hands-on art appreciation and the study of art history accessible for students everywhere. Great lessons, quizzes, and project ideas also complement this vast multicultural resource.