Developing Literacy Through Contemporary Art: Promising Practices for English Language Learners in Social Studies Classrooms

  • Bárbara C. CruzEmail author
  • Robert W. Bailey
Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 17)


This chapter describes an innovative approach for teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) that incorporates contemporary art in social studies instruction. A model lesson is included that explores the work of contemporary artist Mary Mattingly and has students consider the ecological footprints left by humans as they interact with their environment. ELLs simultaneously develop important academic skills called for by the Common Core State Standards—such as accurately using academic language, engaging in high-level discussions, and refining diverse and creative thinking—while reflecting on their role as “extractive beings.” A university-school partnership that employs curricular interdisciplinarity, relevance to students’ lives, and active learning is described. To achieve these goals, ELL-supportive classroom strategies such as rich visual content, word walls, and scaffolded cooperative learning are utilized and discussed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teaching and LearningUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.South Plantation High School, Broward County Public SchoolsFort LauderdaleUSA

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