1st Edition

Ladybugs, Tornadoes, and Swirling Galaxies English Language Learners Discover Their World Through Inquiry

By Brad Buhrow, Anne Upczak Garcia Copyright 2006

    Brad Buhrow and Anne Garcia are primary teachers in a diverse school in Boulder, Colorado. In Ladybugs, Tornadoes and Swirling Galaxies, you will see how they blend comprehension instruction and ELL best practices to explore inquiry as a literacy pathway for English language learners. As teachers and students engage in learning science and social studies content they also discover multiple ways to make meaning. The book is full of photographs of student artwork-including a color insert-that reveals the children's inquiry process, and demonstrates the important role of art as a sign system in ELL literacy and language acquisition. Brad and Anne provide explicit detail on the process they use as they move step-by-step with students from personal narrative through the independent inquiry process. They also discuss use of the Gradual Release Model, authentic assessment, and bilingual identities. Appendices in Spanish and English help to round out this informative and charming resource.

    Introduction; Chapter One: Creating a Classroom Environment; Chapter Two: Creating a Culture of Thinking; Chapter Three: Telling our Stories; Chapter Four: Launching Readers; Chapter Five: Fostering Questions and Gathering Information; Chapter Six: Guided Inquiry; Chapter Seven: Moving Into Independent Inquiry—Keep the Questions Coming!; Chapter Eight: Outcomes: Kids' Work on Display; Chapter Nine: Investigating Content Topics; Chapter Ten: Using Assessment to Differentiate Instruction


    Brad Buhrow teaches at Columbine Elementary School in the Boulder Valley School District, where culturally and linguistically diverse first and second graders continue to help inform his praxis. Brad has presented at state and national conferences, and he and his students are featured in the professional development video, Reading the World (Goudvis and Harvey, Stenhouse 2005). Anne Upczak Garcia has lived and worked in Latin America and in the United States for more than a decade with both children and adults learning two languages. She holds a Masters Degree in Multicultural, Bilingual, and ESL Education from the University of Colorado and also teaches at Columbine Elementary School. Her passions are her family, writing fiction, and traveling to anywhere.