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Scaffolded Summary

Supporting student writing using sentence stems

Overview

Writing a full summary of what you learned, read, or listened to can be seen as a simple task, but this is not always the case for students who are learning a new language and must try to master content and language simultaneously. This is why it is so important to build in strategic support and scaffolded options for students who are learning English (EL) to lean on when constructing sentences, paragraphs, and summaries of the material at hand. Using the “Scaffolded Summaries” strategy involves creating a framed paragraph that has strategic gaps for students to fill in with specific content items and details. Based on a student's linguistic needs, a teacher can add or reduce supports as needed to better meet students at their own level and promote language comprehension.

This example shows how a teacher built text around the content items to allow the students to focus on the content details and not the connectors between the items.