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English Language Arts

The study of English language arts enables each student to understand and appreciate language and to use it competently and confidently in a variety of situations for communication, personal satisfaction, and learning. All courses are skill based and will empower students to become competent and confident users of all six language arts through many opportunities to listen, speak, read, write, view, and represent in a variety of different ways. Additionally, Indigenous perspectives are applied to learning experiences for all students. Each course will address the perspectives and accomplishments of Indigenous peoples, and take direction and input from students to inform the learning experiences in the classroom.

In selecting learning resources and in planning instruction and assessment, teachers maintain an Indigenous focus, and achieve variety and balance in the use of the six language arts. Teachers will often use texts by and about Indigenous people to help students acquire a positive self-identity by exploring their histories, cultures, and lifestyles. All students develop understanding and respect and informed opinions on matters relating to Indigenous Peoples.

Instruction in all six language arts equips students for effective participation in a technological society in which information, communication, arts, and entertainment are increasingly conveyed in language forms other than print. Units for each grade level build upon the work done in the previous grades and at the completion of their studies, students have a well-rounded, fully developed understanding of all the language arts.

Listed below are the units covered in the ELA program from Grade 9 through Grade 12.

Grade 9 ELA – The Individual

Grade 9 English Language Arts sets the foundation for the senior years. The English language arts enable each student to understand and appreciate language. Language proficiency generates confidence and competence in communicating in a variety of situations, as well as facilitating personal satisfaction and learning. Students are exposed to several forms of writing including short stories, novels, visual texts, and plays. The central focus is on developing the skills of the student in identifying various aspects of literary content through the exploration of aesthetic and pragmatic texts. A variety of authors and genres are explored to provide students with a solid foundation upon which to build in future years. Grade 9 ELA includes a compulsory unit on Human Rights issues, exploring the Holocaust and "The Diary of Anne Frank" as the foundation document. The overall theme for this course is "The Individual".​

Grade 10-12 ELA

Independent Reading Program: All students enrolled in English Language Arts will read an independent novel (or novels) of their choice throughout the semester. They will be assigned journal tasks throughout the year, and a final book assignment that can be a published book review, IMovie book trailer, or another teacher approved option.

Article of the Week: Once or twice per month students in English 20F, 30S, and 40S will learn the process of reading, discussing, and writing a personal reflection on an "article of the week" (AOW).


The following courses are fluid, ever changing entities. The specific units, literature, and assignments used are always changing. Many additional language arts lessons/activities/assignments are embedded throughout and weaved between the big units used to organize the core of the language arts courses.

Grade 10 English (20F)

Term 1: Film Study – The Truman Show or Castaway

This unit will include various viewing and listening tasks, group discussion, personal reflection, and individual writing tasks. Culminating activity is a published piece of writing (film review or short story).

     Graphic Novel Study – 7 Generations

This unit will include reading, viewing, group discussion, writing, and representing. Culminating activity is a scene sketch to assess visual representation.

Term 2: Novel Study – The Maze Runner

This unit will include both reading and listening tasks, as well as group discussion and independent writing tasks. Culminating activity is a published piece of writing (Soundtrack assignment).

     Human Rights: Aboriginal Voices

This unit builds on student's prior knowledge of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and builds in different aboriginal perspectives. Culminating activity is a published poem.

Grade 11 English Comprehensive Focus (30S)

Term 1: Film Study – Into the Wild

This unit on survival will include various viewing and reading tasks, group discussion, personal reflection, and individual writing tasks. Culminating activity is an inquiry project on rebels and outcasts in society.

     Book Study – Strength and Struggle: Perspective from First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Peoples in Canada

This unit will include multiple reading tasks, viewing, group discussion, writing (including formal letters), and representing.

Term 2: Poetry and Figurative Language – The Secret Path

By using The Secret Path project, as well as other resources, students will listen, view, read, and write various forms of poetry, in addition to learning about the Residential School experience.

     Short Story Unit

This unit will include multiple reading tasks, group discussion, and independent written assignments. Culminating activity is a published piece of writing (short story).

Grade 12 English Comprehensive Focus (40S)

Term 1: Human Rights and Genocide

This unit on human rights will include many opportunities for small group and whole class discussion. It will include novel/film study of the Markus Zusak masterpiece "The Book Thief", analyze the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and culminate with a research essay in APA format that will demonstrate student understanding of genocide, and its many different contexts throughout history.

Term 2: Poetry Analysis/Writing

This unit will give students opportunity to analyze various forms of poetry, as well as creatively compose their own prose.

     The Art of Persuasion: Persuasive writing/journalism/modern media

This unit will teach students different persuasive writing techniques, as well as reading various

     Provincial Exam Review

Although all classroom activities and assignments will help prepare students for the Grade 12 English Language Arts Provincial Exam, the last few weeks of the course will focus on specific aspects of the exam, including sample questions and readings, which will help prepare students to perform to the best of their abilities on the exam.​

Grade 12 English Transactional Focus (40S)


Term 1: Current Environmental Issues

This unit on environmental issues will include a film study on the National Geographic documentary, "Before the Flood." It will conclude with inquiry research to complete a formal research essay in APA format.

     Podcast Unit

Students will analyze the form and purpose of a podcast, and listen/read two podcasts: The first season of "Serial", and the CBC produced "Who Killed Alberta Williams?" This unit will conclude with a persuasive essay where students will analyze evidence, and provide a written verdict on the case.

Term 2: Book Study: Strength and Struggle: Perspective from First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Peoples in Canada

This unit will begin with analyzing short non-fiction writing from various Canadian Indigenous authors from the above mentioned text. It will culminate with an inquiry research project within the theme of Indigenous Heroes. Student completed project will be celebrated during our school Heritage Fair.

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