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EWC4U, English

The Writer’s Craft, EWC4U, Grade 12, University Preparation

Policy Document: The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 to 12,, English,, 2007, Ministry of Education of Ontario Reference: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/english1112currb.pdf

Course Description

This course emphasizes knowledge and skills related to the craft of writing. Students will analyse models of effective writing; use a workshop approach to produce a range of works; identify and use techniques required for specialized forms of writing; and identify effective ways to improve the quality of their writing. They will also complete a major paper as part of a creative or analytical independent study project and investigate opportunities for publication and for writing careers. Prerequisite: English, Grade 11, University Preparation

Summary of Units and Timelines

Below is the suggested sequence of course unit delivery as well as the recommended number of hours to complete the respective unit. For complete details of targeted expectations within each unit and activity, please see each Unit Overview found in the course profile.

Unit Order

Unit Name

Suggested Time

Unit 1

The Tools of Writing

35 hours

Unit 2

Narrative Writing

20 hours

Unit 3

Poetry

15 hours

Unit 4

Informational Writing

15 hours

Unit 5

Course Summative (Major literary work)

25 hours

   

Total: 110 hours

Fundamental Concepts Covered in This Course

The English curriculum is dedicated to developing the knowledge and skills on which literacy is based – that is, knowledge and skills in the areas of listening and speaking, reading, writing, and viewing and representing. Students need language skills in order to comprehend ideas and information, to interact socially, to inquire into areas of interest and study, and to express themselves clearly and demonstrate their learning. As students read and reflect on a rich variety of literary, informational, and media texts,1 they develop a deeper understanding of themselves and others and of the world around them. Students use and develop important language skills as they read and think about topics, themes, and issues in various subject areas. Language facility helps students to learn in all subject areas, and using language for a broad range of purposes increases both their ability to communicate with precision and their understanding of how language works. Students develop flexibility and proficiency in their understanding and use of language over time. The English curriculum is based on the belief that language learning is critical to responsible and productive citizenship, and that all students can become successful language learners. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills that they need to achieve this goal. It aims to help students become successful language learners. Successful language learners:

  • Understand that language learning is a necessary, life-enhancing, reflective process;
  • Communicate – that is, read, listen, view, speak, write, and represent – effectively and with confidence; make meaningful connections between themselves, what they encounter in texts, and the world around them;
  • Think critically;
  • Understand that all texts advance a particular point of view that must be recognized, questioned, assessed, and evaluated;
  • Appreciate the cultural impact and aesthetic power of texts;
  • Use language to interact and connect with individuals and communities, for personal growth, and for active participation as world citizens.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teachers will bring enthusiasm and varied teaching and assessment approaches to the classroom, addressing individual students’ needs and ensuring sound learning opportunities for every student. The activities offered should enable students to relate and apply these concepts to the social, environmental, and economical conditions and concerns of the world in which they live. Opportunities to relate knowledge and skills to these wider contexts will motivate students to learn in a meaningful way and to become life-long learners. Teachers will help students understand that problem solving of any kind often requires a considerable expenditure of time and energy and a good deal of perseverance. Teachers also will encourage students to investigate, to reason, to explore alternative solutions and to take the risks necessary to become successful problem solvers. Effective instructional approaches and learning activities draw on students’ prior knowledge, capture their interest, and encourage meaningful practise both inside and outside the classroom. Students will be engaged when they are able to see the connection between the mathematical concepts they are learning and their application in the world around them and in real-life situations. Due to its importance, students will have opportunities to learn in a variety of ways- individually, cooperatively, independently, with teacher direction, through hands-on experiences, and through examples followed by practice. The approaches and strategies teachers use will vary according to both the object of the learning and the needs of the students. Teachers will accomplish this in an on-line environment with the use of on-line simulations, animations, videos, discussion forums, live chat and other interactive objects.

Online & Offline Components

The design of this course is intended to offer a rich balance between online and offline elements. The following is a summary of the course components and their delivery format. Please refer to the individual unit outlines for specific details. Course content & instruction: online Communication between teacher and students: online & offline Collaboration between students: online Assessment & evaluation: online & offline Practice exercises, textbook work, readings etc: offline Experiential work experience, volunteering, etc.: offline

Assessment & Evaluation for Student Achievement

As summarized in Growing Success 2010, the primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to improve student learning. Information gathered through assessment helps teachers to determine students’ strengths and weaknesses in their achievement of the curriculum expectations in each course. This information also serves to guide teachers in adapting curriculum and instructional approaches to students’ needs and in assessing the overall effectiveness of programs and classroom practices. As part of assessment, teachers provide students with descriptive feedback that guides their efforts towards improvement. Evaluation refers to the process of judging the quality of student work on the basis of established criteria, and assigning a value to represent that quality. All curriculum expectations must be accounted for in instruction, but evaluation focuses on students’ achievement of the overall expectations. A students’ achievement of the overall expectations is evaluated on the basis of his or her achievement of related specific expectations. Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine which specific expectations should be used to evaluate achievement of overall expectations, and which ones will be covered in instruction and assessment but not necessarily evaluated. In order to ensure that assessment and evaluation are valid and reliable, and that they lead to the improvement of student learning, teachers must use assessment and evaluation strategies that:

  • Address both what students learn and how well they learn;
  • Are based both on the categories of knowledge and skills and on the achievement level descriptions given in the achievement chart
  • Are varied in nature, administered over a period of time, and designed to provide opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
  • Are appropriate for the learning activities used, the purposes of instruction, and the needs and experiences of the students;
  • Are fair to all students;
  • Accommodate students with special education needs, consistent with the strategies outlined in their Individual Education Plan;
  • Accommodate the needs of students who are learning the language of instruction;
  • Ensure that each student is given clear directions for improvement;
  • Promote students’ ability to assess their own learning and to set specific goals
  • Include the use of samples of students’ work that provide evidence of their achievement;
  • Are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year and at other appropriate points throughout the school year.

The achievement chart for English outlines four categories of knowledge and skills. They include; knowledge and understanding, thinking, communication and application. Teachers will ensure that student work is assessed and/or evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories. A final grade is recorded for this course, and a credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student’s grade is 50% or higher. The final grade for this course will be determined as follows:

  • Seventy percent of the grade will be based on evaluations conducted throughout the course. This portion of the grade should reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration should be given to more recent evidence of achievement. This 70% will be distributed in the achievement chart categories as follows: 25% knowledge and understanding, 25% application, 25% communication and 25% thinking and investigation. Student work will be assessed and evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories within each unit.
  • Thirty percent of the grade will be based on a final evaluation in the form of one summative project, a major written literary work.

Accommodations

All students can succeed. Some students are able, with certain accommodations, to participate in the regular course curriculum and to demonstrate learning independently. Accommodations allow access to the course without any changes to the knowledge and skills the student is expected to demonstrate. The accommodations required to facilitate the student’s learning can be identified by the teacher, but recommendations from a School Board generated Individual Education Plan (IEP) if available can also be consulted. Instruction based on principles of universal design and differentiated instruction focuses on the provision of accommodations to meet the diverse needs of learners. Examples of accommodations (but not limited to) include:

  • Adjustment and or extension of time required to complete assignments or summative tasks
  • Providing alternative assignments or summative tasks
  • Use of scribes and/or other assistive technologies
  • Simplifying the language of instruction

Resources

Teachers will bring additional resources and teaching materials that provide a rich and diverse learning environment. There is no prescribed textbook for the course. Students should invest in a journal of some kind for developing their thoughts and ideas.

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