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"Who ARE You?"... School People and Places: Unit 3 ESL Newcomer Curriculum

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

Unit 3 for middle and high school students is the final unit we work through to learn about school. It focuses on school people and places as well as some basic adjectives and verbs that students will see and use again and again in English environments. There are many words that students learned in Units 1 and Unit 2 that will be repeated again as students work through this unit. I also want to mention that all three of the school units are bundled together for 20% off here. By now, students should really be building on the English foundation we began in prior units. ***** Covid-19 Update: Classrooms in 2020 look more different than ever. Rest assured this unit has been updated to fit your needs. It can be used on-site as well as in hybrid or totally online distance learning models. The digital resources included are compatible with Google Classroom.




This unit reviews pronouns, the simple present tense, and using be-verbs in positive and negative sentences. It introduces questions using be-verbs, do & does, and has & have. It takes a little over 3 weeks. I teach it in nine 80 minute block periods, but you can easily make adjustments to fit your students’ needs.



Students begin to write a little more in this unit. Instead of fill in the blank sentences, they have to create sentences from scratch. Having word walls posted from all three units they have covered so far helps with this process. I tell students I can see the dendrites in their brains making connections as they struggle (in a good way!) to create sentences on their own.


I have students translate to their native languages in some of the writing activities. I didn’t do this for the first few years I taught ESL, and I regret not doing so. I eventually found that students may have been filling in the blanks correctly, but they did not know what they were actually writing. Translating their sentences helps them continually review the unit vocabulary and know what they are writing. I have bilingual student tutors who can usually double check the native language, but having those more advanced students is not necessary. You can also just Google Translate a few of the answers to make sure students are trying their best and being honest. Perfection is the enemy of progress after all, so know this part is more for students than for you and it may not be perfect work, especially if students are weak in their L1. I have students translate less and less the more we move through units because I have found students pick up individual words and phrases so much more easily the more English they learn.


In addition to the unit flashcards, worksheets, fluency paragraph, and bell work, there are four speaking practices. One is a card game that reviews do and does.



In addition to this unit, I am continuing to teach alphabetical short sounds. I use Words Their Way to teach this. Students are also reading this library on their own. I spoke more about my reading process in my Unit 2 blog if you are interested. Lastly, I am also beginning to read the stories in Unit 1 of Edge Fundamentals with students. We read each story several times and work on the reading skill of visualization in this unit. Students draw pictures to demonstrate their reading comprehension as suggested in the textbook.


Please visit TPT Unit 3 to learn more specifics on this unit including the list of vocabulary terms and other phrases. Helping English learners excel is my number one priority, so if you have feedback for me I would love to hear it. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.


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