Chapter 09

1. Find a lesson plan online at ReadWriteThink.org that relates to a literacy lesson in grades 4–8. Select three of the groups of diverse learners discussed in the chapter and plan ways to differentiate the lesson for their special needs, including differentiation by content, process, and product.

2. Interview a student whose first language is not English. Ask the student how he came to learn English. Ask about the student’s attitudes toward both English and his native language. Try to discover some of the problems the student experienced when translating from one language to another. Then use the information from this interview to identify the unique features of the student’s language (phonology, syntax, structure, semantics, and lexical questions). What differences and similarities of language do you have with this student?

3. Over a period of three to five days, observe a student with one of the special needs discussed in this chapter. What can this student do well, and what seems to be difficult for her? Summarize your observations, and make suggestions about how you could differentiate instruction to meet the needs of this particular student.
4. Begin to develop an annotated bibliography of novels and reference books, articles, poems, websites, videos, or other materials that deal with students who have overcome adversity due to learning disabilities, physical challenges, language diversity, behavioral issues, or social problems caused by giftedness or by conditions of poverty. Sharing such materials with students in similar situations can be a form of bibliotherapy. (The article by Landrum [2001] can help you get started.)