Supplementary Materials Appropriate for ELLs
Hands-on manipulatives – These can include anything from tangrams for math to microscopes for science to interactive maps for social studies. Manipulating objects physically can reduce the language load of an activity; beginning students in particular can still participate and demonstrate their understanding.

Realia – These are real-life objects that enable students to make connections to their own lives. Examples include bank deposit slips and check registers for a unit on banking or historical realia such as photos, recordings and clothing from the 1920’s Jazz Age.

Pictures -- Photographs and illustrations depict nearly any object, process or setting, and magazines, commercial photos and hand drawings can provide visual support for a wide variety of content and vocabulary concepts and can build background knowledge.

Visuals -- These can include overhead transparencies, models, graphs, charts, timelines, maps, props, and bulletin board displays. Students with diverse abilities often have difficulty processing an inordinate amount of auditory information and are aided with visual clues.

Multimedia – A wide variety of multimedia materials are available to enhance teaching and learning. These range from simple tape recordings to videos, DVDs, interactive CD-ROMs, and an increasing number of resources available on the WWW. Brief video clips at united are effective tools. For some students and tasks, media in the students’ native language may be a valuable source of information. It is important to preview websites for appropriateness and readability, especially when using them with beginning and intermediate level students.

Demonstrations – Demonstrations provide visual support and modeling for ELLs. If you have a lesson task that include supplementary materials, then you can scaffold information by carefully planning demonstrations that model how to use the materials and follow directions. Students can then practice these steps in groups or alone , with you or other experienced individuals nearby to assist as needed.

Related literature – A wide variety of fiction and non-fiction can be included to support content teaching. Many content teachers create classroom libraries with trade books on key topics. Students can read these as supplements to the textbook. They offer a more relaxing way to look at a topic in more depth.

Hi-lo readers – Some publishers are now offering classic literature as well as fiction and non-fiction selections in a hi-lo format. The stories are of high interest but lower readability levels and tend to include many visuals. Some books are grouped thematically and can accompany different content areas and language arts courses. Some have different reading levels within a thematic set. They are useful for students at lower English proficiency levels.

Adapted text – A type of supplementary reading material that can be very effective for English learners, as well as struggling readers, is adapted text. Without significantly diminishing the content concepts, a piece of text (usually from a grade level textbook) is adapted to reduce readability demands. Complicated lengthy sentences with specialized terminology are rewritten in smaller chunks. Definitions are given for difficult vocabulary, if possible, in context. Major concepts should be retained and just the readability level of the text reduced

Taken from Making Content Comprehensible for Secondary English Learners: The SIOP Model
Echevarria, Vogt and Short, 2010