Release of Middle School ELA Unit Video Cases: Persuasion across Time and Space

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Stanford University’s Understanding Language (UL) initiative launches a set of six videos around our middle school ELA unit titled Persuasion across Time and Space, in partnership with Teaching Channel and Denver Public Schools.

Filmed in Denver Public Schools, the UL team worked closely with Teaching Channel to capture key instructional moves as two seventh grade English Language Arts teachers implemented a unit focused around the development of language and literacy skills for English Language Learners (ELLs) in their classrooms this past spring.

The set of six video clips begin with a short overview by UL ELA work group members George Bunch (University of California, Santa Cruz) and Aída Walqui (WestEd). This overview video discusses the key shifts found in the Common Core for ELLs and the opportunities for ELLs to grow their disciplinary knowledge and English language skills in heterogenous classrooms. The subsequent set of five videos highlight ways that these ELA teachers prepared their learners by activating prior knowledge, scaffolded comprehension of complex texts, and developed ELLs' disciplinary language practices in ELA classrooms.

These video resources are intended for all educators who work with English language learners including teachers of ELLs, mainstream content teachers, coaches, professional developers, and district and network leaders. This work is meant to highlight the opportunities for discipline-specific language learning for ELLs in content area classrooms and ways that teachers can accelerate learning for all students in preparng them for college and career.

Teaching Channel (Tch) is a thriving online community that is revolutionizing how K-12 teachers can learn and improve. With its best-in-class video library of teacher practice and award-winning website, Tch has emerged as a leading educational resource for its 375,000+ members. With a specific focus on the Common Core State Standards, Teaching Channel's mission is to help teachers grow to improve outcomes for all students.

For more information about Understanding Language (UL) and this set of videos with Teaching Channel, visit Tch on the web at

Also, check out Rebecca Greene's blog about this video series: