Summer 8-31-2020


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Gorrilla, M. (2020). Writing and Reading Partnership: A Focused First Grade Writing Curriculum that Benefits ELL Readers

Research indicates that there is a strong relationship between English Language Learners’ (ELLs) reading and writing skills. Yet, there is a lack of writing curriculum and instruction in many schools. It is evident that reading curriculum and instruction takes precedent. My capstone project research revolved around the following question: How might a first grade writing curriculum benefit English Language Learners’ (ELLs) reading comprehension skills? The curriculum follows the Thematic-Based learning model, and incorporates explicit reading comprehension and writing instruction. The first grade writing curriculum designed for this project uses research-forward practices to provide students with structured time and resources to write in school, something they do not currently have. Each unit is aligned with both the Minnesota first grade writing standards and WIDA standards. Within three units over the course of fifteen days, students have the opportunity to read and discuss a text based on the topic of the unit, learn reading comprehension strategies, and practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills using academic language. At the end of each unit, students’ performance is based on their written work, which is the Curriculum Embedded Performance Assessment (CEPA). Students’ reading comprehension is also assessed at the end of each unit. The goal of this project is to create a successful writing curriculum that will demonstrate how the purposeful teaching of writing and performance of written tasks can aid in ELL students’ reading comprehension abilities.

Project Type









School of Education Student Capstone Projects