Casey Seeling


Spring 2020


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Trish Harvey

Content Expert

Andrea Wenker


The aim of the project was to create a unit on spatial awareness language for Spanish-speaking English learners (ELs) to help them understand the meanings of positional words and use them in the correct way. The guiding questions investigated in this capstone project were: How can Spanish-speaking ELs develop their spatial awareness language? What role do cross-curricular connections play in developing spatial awareness language? The topic was chosen because for the past decade, I have found myself struggling with teaching spatial awareness language to ELs. Through my teaching experience, I have noticed that several ELs have had difficulty using positional words, such as on top of, between, next to, or in front of , in the correct context. The setting is for a Kindergarten classroom, where all of the content areas are taught. I chose Spanish-speaking ELs because that is the dominant EL group in the school. The project was influenced by literature on Hispanic ELs, spatial awareness language, and cross-curricular connections. Howard Gardner’s framework about Multiple Intelligences also helped influence the content of the project, specifically the visual-spatial intelligence. The unit consists of eight social studies lessons that focus on reading a map and using positional words. The lessons have two main objectives that include: recognizing where an object is in a given picture after listening to directions that include spatial awareness language and identifying where objects are in the given picture by using spatial awareness language. Exploring my personal and professional journeys throughout this capstone project has offered me more insight on ELs and their language development. By creating this unit, I gained more knowledge on what kind of support ELs need to help them learn a new language. I set expectations of what I wanted the unit outcomes to be, how to gradually release the lessons and which assessments would be used.


ESL/ ELLs, spatial awareness language, cross-curricular connections








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