Ladybugs, Tornadoes, and Swirling Galaxies‏‎

Teaching Materials

Author: Brad Buhrow ; Anne Upczak Garcia
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
Details: Paperback; 187 pages; Pub.2006
ISBN: 1571104003


This book aims to help English language learners discover their world through inquiry. It rests on the idea that content comprehension is the obvious next step in comprehension strategy instruction. Here comprehension instruction and ELL best practices are skillfully blended to explore inquiry as a literacy pathway for English language learners.

The authors, both primary teachers in a diverse school in Boulder (CO) describe their classrooms and their teaching and show how literacy development for second language learners is the mediation of conceptual knowledge through visual imagery and oral interaction, coupled with the representation of these ideas in text.

The book is an engaging and vital resource for teachers endeavoring to address the needs of ELLs. It is full of photographs of student artwork that reveals the children’s inquiry process, and demonstrates the important role of art as a sign system in ELL literacy and language acquisition.

The authors 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.

This book is a must read for all teachers, parents, politicians, and especially for anybody pursing a career in education.

External Links

Ladybugs, Tornadoes, and Swirling Galaxies (

Ladybugs, Tornadoes, and Swirling Galaxies (

Related Articles

ICAL TEFL Resources

The ICAL TEFL site has thousands of pages of free TEFL resources for teachers and students. These include: The TEFL ICAL Grammar Guide. Country Guides for teaching around the world. How to find TEFL jobs. How to teach English. TEFL Lesson Plans....

read more

6 Tips to Make your ESL Classes More Effective

Teaching is undeniably a challenging job, in fact many consider it one of the most difficult careers you could choose. Nevertheless, being a teacher is an enriching experience. Through quality education and effective teaching methodologies,...

read more