Using "realia" to build background

Albuquerque teacher Ali Nava describes the "realia" activity she used to introduce Burro's Tortillas and some of the items she brought into the classroom for the lesson.

Teacher: Ali Nava
Grade: 2
School Name: Lew Wallace Elementary School, Albuquerque, NM

Using realia to build background knowledge

Ali describes the "realia" activity focused on tortillas and some of the items she brought into the classroom for the lesson.

Standards

Language Standards (K-5)

  • Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies. (L 1.4)
  • Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content. (L 2.4)

Discussion Questions

  • What differences do you see in the standards from one grade to the next?
  • How would you modify this Grade 1 lesson if you wanted to use it with Grade 2 students?

Lesson Summary

Ali Nava is an elementary teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico and a member of the first-grade cadre in our Common Core in Albuquerque project.
In this video, Ali describes the "realia" activity she used to introduce Burro's Tortillas and some of the items she brought into the classroom for the lesson. The activity included a discussion of how tortillas are made and included tools used, such as a metate (grinding stone) and tortillera (tortilla press).

Things to watch for:

  • Culturally relevant artifacts and activities
  • Building background by drawing upon students' existing knowledge
  • Drawing up on students' native language skills

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