A thinking process for embedding authentic resources into lesson plans

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Once you have collected a variety of authentic resources on a particular theme or topic and you have established your learning targets (can-do statements), the next step is to make decisions about how each of those resources will fit into your unit plan and lesson plans.

Let’s begin by brainstorming a list of ways you might use authentic resources in your lesson plans.  One organizing framework would be to think about the gradual release of responsibility model.  Which authentic resources will be used as introductory activities, which ones will work for guided activities and which ones will fit best into the independent phase?

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Or, you might identify how each authentic resource will be implemented based on the communicative modes:

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How will the authentic resources be used to provide opportunities to students to operate in the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes?

One approach to thinking about how to make authentic resources work for you is represented through the game board below called “Embedding Authentic Resources into Lesson Plans.”

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Think of each authentic resource you have for a theme as a puzzle piece looking for its “best fit.”

In the Introductory Phase, authentic resources might be used as:

  • a lesson hook
  • the basis for a free write
  • the basis for an interpersonal partner exchange
  • the basis for introducing new vocabulary
  • the basis of discovering grammar in context

In the Guided Phase, which authentic resources might you use to model a routine or conduct a “think aloud”?

In the Independent Phase, which authentic resources might be used as the basis for:

And, will you add an expressions list or a graphic organizer to support learners through the task?

What does your planning puzzle picture look like?

For examples of how this thinking process might play out, go to:


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