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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Acids and bases

Year Level Duration
Year Level Duration
9-11 5 2 weeks

The learners' language knowledge

School data shows the ESOL students are behind their peers in academic language. In the beginning unit activities Mr G will build his SourcesOfStudentInformation (Word 34KB) on the student's knowledge of scientific language and prior knowledge of acids and bases.

Curriculum links

Science strand Achievement objectives
Making Sense of the Material World

The students will be able to:

  • investigate their ideas about some important types of substances and the way they change chemically in everyday situations (for example, acids, bases).
Scientific skills and attitudes Achievement objectives
 Focusing and Planning

The students will be able to:

  • use their science ideas and personal observations to make predictions
  • identify questions suitable for scientific investigation
Information Gathering
  • record observations
Processing and Interpreting
  • identify trends and relationships in observations
  • present what they did and what they found out in their investigations in ways and forms appropriate to their peer groups.

Overall language and learning outcomes

Making Sense of the Material World

Investigating in Science

 The students will:

  • work collaboratively sharing their knowledge about acids and bases
  • ask questions, find evidence and carry out appropriate investigations to develop simple explanations for the physical and chemical properties of substances and how some substances change chemically in everyday situations.

Learn the 'language' of chemists:

  • the formulae of common acids and bases
  • the scientific language used to describe the physical and chemical properties of substances and how some substances change chemically in everyday situations
  • the language for investigative group work - suggesting, identifying, inquiring/questioning, agreeing/disagreeing
  • the differences between scientific talk and writing.

Teaching and learning activities

Learning task 1
Provide context - embedded support that scaffolds the learning of ESOL students so they can achieve the same learning outcomes.

Learning task 2
Provide a language focus for each lesson. For example - using academic scientific language, especially the present passive tense verb, to explain what bases are used for in the home.

Learning task 3
Ensure a balance between receptive and productive language such as as joint construction of text or Say It!

Learning task 4
Provide multiple opportunities for authentic language use such as dictogloss.

Learning task 5
Use differentiated learning strategies - jigsaw reading.

Learning task 6
Explicitly model metacognitive strategies, for example in the three level reading guide.

Assessment activities

Both content and scientific language knowledge will be assessed. There will be ClearLinks (Word 26KB) to learning outcomes including language.

  1. Teacher and student organised structured overview.
     acids, bases, dilute, concentrated, corrosive, sour, alkali, properties, solution, neutral, hydrogen ions, increase, decrease, concentration, pH scale, litmus paper, Universal indicator, lemons, milk, measure, sour, hydrochloric acid, synthetic, man-made, fizzy drink, reduce, hydronium ions, solution, reactive, conversely, substances
  2. Each student uses appropriate scientific writing to create a fact sheet about acids and bases. Each fact sheet contains two or three untruths. These sheets are exchanged with a partner. The partner's task is to rewrite the sheet. Both sheets could be handed in to the teacher and assessed for depth of conceptual knowledge and appropriateness of scientific writing.
  3. Students self evaluate their writing about acids and bases. How well can I write a fact sheet about acids and bases using scientific writing?

Published on: 19 Feb 2018