Sheltered Instruction (SI)

The purpose of sheltered instruction (SI) is to deliver grade level subject matter content (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Health, PE, and Art) in a manner that is accessible to all learners. In sheltered instruction classes, delivered by a core teacher, students receive comprehensible core content instruction throughout the day. The content is from grade level curricula taught using instructional strategies that scaffold the content learning by building background knowledge and through the use of visuals, gestures, manipulatives, paraphrasing, etc. Lessons have clear grade level, content and language objectives.

Sheltered Instruction Components Preparation, Building Background, Comprehensible Input, Strategies, Interaction, Practice/Application, Lesson Delivery, Review/Assessment

Class Language Profile  use e-sis data to create the profile

Language Objective Template (large format)

Lesson Planning Template

Extended Lesson Planning Template 

Brief Description of Sheltered Instruction Strategies  The document is contributed by David Burmester, PPS Science Curriculum Guide Leader, and Margaret Raszek, Science teacher at Lincoln HS. (Modified)  - Gallery Walk, FQR, Cornell Notes, Carousel, Lines of Communication, Final Word, Creative Response, Jigsaw, and more

Instructional Strategies Checklist by ELP Levels 

SI Classroom Observable Characteristics (Look Fors)

TransACT Communications helps you create documents for your students' parents in many different languages, contains various forms and documents already translated in other languages. Print out welcoming posters in multiple languages for your classroom.  Register and log-in. Your log-in is your district e-mail address. Your password is your district e-mail password.

Work Sample Options for ELLs

  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

 Resources on Sheltered Instruction for teachers of all contents: 

  Visual Directions support the needs of all learners in any classroom.  They help students to be prepared for the lesson, and outline what to expect by guiding them through what will need to be done, how to work on a specific task independently, how much time to spend on an assignment, where to turn the work in, and what to do when finished.  Students can always refer to these directions, and unnecessary interruptions and disruptions can be avoided.  Using visual directions supports classroom management providing structure and scaffolding.

 Content vocabulary and key concepts may present a challenge for many learners.  Making sure that all students understand the meaning of key vocabulary words and concepts is an important step in providing all students with access to content knowledge.  Such concepts and key vocabulary need to be carefully identified and explicitly taught. A variety of scaffolding strategies can be implemented for explaining and clarifying the meaning of such words. Paraphrasing, providing cognates, antonyms and synonyms, identifying Greek and Latin word parts, establishing interdisciplinary connections, color-coding, visual images, and role-play are some of the specific strategies supporting comprehensible input.




Language demands of a content text may pose additional challenges for students. Language and content are complimentray and closely related. Determining the language focus of the lesson and identifying the cognitive task can guide a teacher in designing a lesson's language objective.  While engaging students in a structured language practice, a teacher can then work on specific language forms that will be required to accomplish the cognitive task.  Purposefully constructed sentence frames will provide ELLs with much needed language scaffolding and will in its turn support content vocabulary and knowledge practice and application.

Click on the link below to download the materials you might need:

Resources for teachers and parents of ELLs by content and grade level:

K-5 Literacy

Language Arts Grade 6-8

  • EMC Masterpiece Series Adoption Components include Spanish resource for ELL, and Manual Para Padres e Comunidades  (manual for parents), Audio Recordings are available.
  • Spanish Resource for English Language Learners (Grades 6-10) 

They are designed to enhance the ability of Spanish-speaking students to understand the selections, participate in class discussions, and make the transition to English-language learning. Blackline masters, in Spanish, of the study materials for before, during, and after reading, including Guided Reading questions are available.

  • Manual para Padres y Comunidades

Spanish version of the Parent and Community Involvement Handbook helps Spanish-speaking parents assist their children with their studies, includes study log blackline masters, parent guides, activity lists, suggested reading lists, and additional references . It is Available free with the program upon request.

Language Arts Grades 9-12

Math K-5

Math Grades 6-8 

 Math 9-12

Social Studies