This course emphasizes the consolidation of the literacy, communication, and critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success in academic and daily life. Students will analyse a range of challenging literary texts from various periods, countries, and cultures; interpret and evaluate informational and graphic texts; and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms. An important focus will be on using academic language coherently and confidently, selecting the reading strategies best suited to particular texts and particular purposes for reading, and developing greater control in writing. The course is intended to prepare students for university, college, or the workplace.

The Strands are as follows:
1. Oral Communication:
  1. Listening to Understand: listen in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes;
  2. Speaking to Communicate: use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes;
  3. Reflecting on Skills and Strategies: reflect on and identify their strengths as listeners and speakers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in oral communication situations.

2. Reading:
  1. Reading for Meaning: read and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of literary, informational, and graphic texts, using a range of strategies to construct meaning;
  2. Understanding Form and Style: recognize a variety of text forms, text features, and stylistic elements and demonstrate understanding of how they help communicate meaning;
  3. Reading With Fluency: use knowledge of words and cueing systems to read fluently;
  4. Reflecting on Skills and Strategies: reflect on and identify their strengths as readers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after reading.
3. Writing:
  1. Developing and Organizing Content: generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience;
  2. Using Knowledge of Form and Style: draft and revise their writing, using a variety of literary, informational, and graphic forms and stylistic elements appropriate for the purpose and audience;
  3. Applying Knowledge of Conventions: use editing, proofreading, and publishing skills and strategies, and knowledge of language conventions, to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively;
  4. Reflecting on Skills and Strategies: reflect on and identify their strengths as writers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful at different stages in the writing process.
4. Media Studies:
  1. Understanding Media Texts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts;
  2. Understanding Media Forms, Conventions, and Techniques: identify some media forms and explain how the conventions and techniques associated with them are used to create meaning;
  3. Creating Media Texts: create a variety of media texts for different purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques;
  4. Reflecting on Skills and Strategies: reflect on and identify their strengths as media interpreters and creators, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in understanding and creating media texts.

Students participate in a variety of classroom activities including group and individual work.
Students are encouraged to determine their learning style and use this knowledge to enhance their learning in all of their courses. Teachers typically administer diagnostic tests that help to determine the learning styles of their students and this helps to guide their instructional practice.
The course is usually divided up into units of study that may follow a thematic structure or is based on genre (essay, poetry, short story, novel, drama).

Examples of the types of activities in the classroom:
  • roundtable discussions
  • four corner debates
  • oral class readings
  • group brainstorming sessions and analyses
  • small group presentations
  • watching, reading, and listening to video clips, articles, and podcasts relevant to course material
  • culminating thesis proposal or culminating essay outline
  • personal reflections
  • producing podcasts based on their own work: poetry, essay, article, opinion
  • research of a particular topic for their essays, short stories, web site, play
  • deconstruction of essays, short stories, poems, films
  • presentation of various work done individually or in groups. The best lessons learned are those students can teach, so teachers assign student groups to teach the class a variety of concepts.
  • dramatic plays performed in class, some are re-enactments of scenes from Shakespeare's plays
  • writing outlines for essays or short stories
  • generating mind maps (bubbl.us), brainstorming diagrams, story boards etc.

Major assignments are usually given at the end of each unit of study. This assignment would typically incorporate the skills that students have been
taught throughout the unit. The assignment would serve to hone and stretch these skills and give students a chance to create original work.
Some examples:
  • essay presentation
  • “What is” persuasive essay
  • Satire project
  • Shakespeare Imagery and Globe Theatre product assignment
  • creative poetry assignment (found and blackout)
  • essay including annotated bibliography
  • Socratic Seminar
  • short story
  • screenplay
  • short film
  • web site
Book Blog: students create a blog based on a novel of their choice. The blog is designed around the themes of the book. Students use the blog to
post Socratic questions about their novel in order to generate discussion. The author can be invited to participate in the discussion. Fellow students then respond to some of the questions. The themes of the book are explored in depth through links to other resources, podcasts, videos, and discussions. Students stretch their imaginations by proposing alternative endings or characters or rewriting/embellishing a chapter. Students can create a screenplay from the book or a short film from one of the major events in the novel. Students also post an essay written on the novel, based on a theme explored in the novel. The blog becomes a fully functioning, fully developing work that has the novel as its anchor. This is the Culminating Activity for the course.


**Hamlet's World of Woe** is a wiki based on the themes of Hamlet and using gaming parameters. Students earn points by going on a mission in their chosen theme. They then go on a series of quests. The CSI Quest involves deconstructing the text of Hamlet. The Facts Quest involves creating resources about their theme. In the Challenge quest students are given a wide choice of ways in which to create a product based on their theme - essay, interactive essay, short story, screen play, blog, web site, short film, etc.