During second quarter, ESL (English as a Second Language) I & II students will be exploring the question, “How do families affect us?” The exploration began with a request from Paloma Gomes de Oliveria, a visiting student from Brazil, who asked her fellow students to share their family histories. Students were tasked with creating and sharing a family tree. Their excitement and eagerness to discuss their roots then helped facilitate further exploration and academic applications of their work.
Through the activity, students built background knowledge of families that will help scaffold further reading, writing, and discussion activities. Students will explore the question, “How do families affect us?” in more depth by reading various texts, including excerpts from The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and an article about genetics and heredity from a Biology textbook. They are excited to keep discussing family dynamics and how they differ between cultures.