Alberta Logonew LearnAlberta

English Language Arts and Literature

Collapse All

English language arts and literature is a subject that provides students with language and literacy skills required for success in the twenty-first century. From Kindergarten to Grade 6, students gain foundational knowledge and build on their language skills and experiences through reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and representing. These strands of learning are closely interrelated and complementary; literacy skills in each of these strands reinforce and strengthen skills in the others. Through practice and experience, students understand how language is used in a variety of formal and informal contexts. Studying English language arts and literature involves reading, appreciating, and becoming familiar with influential writers whose works illustrate the essence of the human condition. Through the study of great texts, English language arts and literature lays the groundwork for critical thinking as well as personal expression.
More Info
Collapse All
Prev
Collapse All
 
Grade 6
Next
Organizing Idea
Text Forms and Structure: Identifying and applying text forms and structures improves understanding of content, literary style, and our rich language traditions.
Guiding Question
How can understandings of text organization be applied to communicate about ourselves, each other, and the world?
Learning Outcome
Students analyze how the organization of a variety of texts can influence understandings of ourselves, each other, and the world.
Knowledge
Texts can be digital or non-digital.

The purpose of a text can be to
  • inform
  • entertain
  • persuade
  • inspire
Literary texts can be categorized by genre, including fiction and non-fiction.

Literary text forms can include
  • books
  • poetry
  • drama
  • letters
  • journal entries
  • short stories
  • photo essays
  • articles
  • speeches
  • hybrid
Hybrid is a type of text that includes both fiction and non-fiction text forms.

Narrative texts can be fiction or non-fiction and generally follow the structure
  • beginning
  • conflict
  • series of events
  • resolution of conflict
  • ending
Understanding
Text genres, forms, and structures can enhance and influence the communication of ideas and information.
Skills & Procedures
Identify the purpose of a variety of digital or non-digital texts.

Determine the genre of a variety of literary texts.

Determine the form of a variety of literary texts.

Describe a variety of literary forms and structures.

Identify if narratives are expressed in the first, second, or third person.
Knowledge
Text features can be digital or non-digital and include
  • images and graphics
  • titles and headings
  • sidebars
  • tables of contents and indexes
  • fonts
  • captions
  • maps
  • charts and graphs
  • glossaries
Understanding
Text features can help organize content, identify important information, and enhance understandings of texts.
Skills & Procedures
Identify a variety of text features that help organize content, identify important information, and enhance understandings of texts.

Include a variety of text features to help organize content, identify important information, and enhance personal expression.
Knowledge
Fiction sub-genres can include
  • traditional literature, including tall tales and myths
  • realistic fiction
  • historical fiction
  • mystery
  • fantasy
  • science fiction
  • comedy
Comedic text is amusing in tone and often has a cheerful ending.

Fictional texts can have structures, including
  • books with chapters
  • collections of stories related to a single idea
  • main plots with subplots
  • circular or parallel plots
  • a story within a story
  • flashback or flash-forward
Elements of fiction can include
  • characters
  • setting
  • plot
  • point of view
  • theme
  • conflict
Conflict is a struggle between individuals, groups, or forces that prevents the protagonist from achieving a goal.

Types of characters can include
  • round
  • flat
  • stock
  • protagonist
  • antagonist
A protagonist is the main character at the centre of a story who makes decisions, deals with consequences, and faces obstacles.

An antagonist is an opponent, or force, to the protagonist and often gets in their way or creates challenges.

Fictional texts can contain characters with multiple dimensions revealed by
  • what they say, think, or do
  • what others say and think about them
Understanding
Engaging with fictional texts can help students develop empathy and can inspire creativity.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between a variety of fiction sub-genres by content, characters, time, or place.

Identify fictional text structures that contribute to organization, clarity, or personal engagement.

Identify elements within a variety of fictional texts.

Describe characters based on what they say, think, or do or what others say and think about them.

Determine if characters in fictional texts are round, flat, or stock.

Describe the protagonist and antagonist in a variety of fictional texts.
Knowledge
Non-fiction texts can include
  • biographies
  • autobiographies
  • memoirs
  • procedural texts
  • content area texts
  • persuasive texts
  • speeches
  • interactions with people
  • land
Procedural texts can include recipes or instruction manuals.

Content area texts refer to texts from subjects such as science, social studies, and fine arts.

Persuasive texts can include editorials and opinion pieces.

Structures within non-fiction texts can include
  • larger concepts and sub-concepts
  • cause and effect
  • compare and contrast
  • problem and solution
  • sequence
Non-fiction texts can be analyzed to help the reader form opinions based on the structure, content, or source of information.
Understanding
Non-fiction texts have structures that support factual information that can be evaluated for accuracy and authenticity.
Skills & Procedures
Identify ways that non-fiction texts can be organized to support factual information that can be evaluated for accuracy and authenticity.

Provide personal opinions regarding the structure, content, or source of information expressed in informational texts.
Knowledge
Poetry uses figurative language to create effects.

Poetic structures can include
  • verse
  • free verse
  • ballad
  • stanza
  • epic
Verse structures can facilitate recitation.

A ballad is a poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas.

A stanza is a series of lines grouped together in a poem that relate to a similar idea.

An epic is a lengthy narrative poem presenting characters who go on adventures.

Mnemosyne was the ancient Greek goddess of memory, whose nine daughters, the Muses, were the patronesses of the arts.

Calliope was one of the daughters of Mnemosyne and the patroness of epic poetry.

Ancient Greek epic poems were orally transmitted from generation to generation until written down by Homer.

Sources of Greek mythology include Homer’s epics.
Understanding
Exploring poetry of various origins, eras, and structures provides foundational knowledge.
Skills & Procedures
Listen to, recite, or sing poems, including a poem from a Shakespearean play.

Analyze figurative language that can develop empathy and inspire creativity.

Identify poetic structures that contribute to creative expression of ideas.

Identify the characters and plot of an epic poem.
Knowledge
Participating in dramatic works can develop communication and collaboration skills in a variety of authentic and dynamic situations.

In dramatic works, plot and characters are developed through dialogue and action.

Dramatic works can help improve vocabulary and develop appreciation for the power of language.

Appreciation of drama can be enhanced by knowledge of oral communication.

Classical drama captures timeless truths about human nature and society that are embedded in the context of ancient Greek and Roman society.

The themes of classical drama are of universal interest and are continually referred to in art and ideas over the last two millennia.

Ancient Greek theatre introduced the ideas of comedy and tragedy.
Understanding
Drama is language-rich and artfully presents ideas that transcend time and place.
Skills & Procedures
Listen to, read, or view dramatic works to identify ideas that transcend time and place.

Identify narrative structures in dramatic works.
Knowledge
Human-made structures of land that convey meaning can include
  • First Nations pictographs
  • First Nations petroglyphs
  • Inuit inuksuit
  • Métis lobsticks
  • Coastal First Nations totem poles
  • Pyramids (Egyptian and Mesoamerican)
  • Stonehenge
  • Neolithic burial mounds
  • Cave paintings at Lascaux and Chauvet
  • Mesopotamian dams and dykes
Land is a text that can be read for multiple meanings and understandings.
Understanding
Understanding land literacy can be enhanced through examining features of land.
Skills & Procedures
Describe how meaning is conveyed through human-made structures by First Nations, Métis, or Inuit and peoples from other parts of the world.
Organizing Idea
Oral Language: Listening and speaking form the foundation for literacy development and improve communication, collaboration, and respectful mutual understanding.
Guiding Question
How can understanding aspects of the history of oration enhance the quality and efficacy of oral communication?
Learning Outcome
Students connect historical aspects of oral communication to how ideas and information can be shared today.
Knowledge
Traditional First Nations’ agreements can involve processes and protocols that achieve group consensus, including
  • ongoing conversations
  • talking circles
  • respectfully acknowledging all voices
  • waiting to take your turn
  • active listening
  • focusing on the idea rather than on who gave the idea
  • ending with consensus
Understanding
Oral traditions can be the basis for decision making and negotiation for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

Oral communication content and delivery can be influenced by the time period, life experiences, and culture of the speakers.
Skills & Procedures
Examine oral traditions to determine methods used in decision making and negotiation.

Discuss First Nations, Métis, or Inuit cultures, images, lives, and stories to restore understanding and build relationships.
Knowledge
Intentionally combining verbal, non-verbal, and paraverbal language can enhance oral communications.

Different styles of speaking for different situations can include
  • formal
  • informal
  • colloquial
  • slang
  • heightened
Heightened delivery is an elevated style of speech that uses verbal, non-verbal, and paraverbal language.

Sounds can be stylized to create effects.
Understanding
Oral communication style and delivery can be influenced by the connections between verbal, non-verbal, and paraverbal language.
Skills & Procedures
Evaluate the effectiveness of verbal, non-verbal, and paraverbal language used in oral communications.

Select a speaking style to fit a text or situation.
Knowledge
Oral communication content, style, and delivery can vary depending on the purpose and audience.

Organization and preparation for presentations support confidence.

Selection of digital or non-digital tools or formats can enhance presentation delivery and capture the interest and attention of the audience.

Effective speaking can be supported through pausing or adjusting volume.

Feelings of excitement or nervousness can be calmed through strategies, including relaxation and breathing.
Understanding
Oral communications can be adjusted to share ideas and information for specific purposes and audiences.
Skills & Procedures
Develop and deliver presentations for specific purposes and audiences.

Adjust presentations to demonstrate knowledge of audience background, motivation, or interests.

Reflect on the preparation, content, delivery, and audience reaction of oral communications and consider opportunities for improvement.

Employ calming strategies to prepare for speaking.
Knowledge
Collaborative dialogue can empower individuals or groups to
  • voice ideas
  • express understandings
  • consider a variety of perspectives
  • improve thinking
Collaborative dialogue can include generating innovative ideas during conversational exchanges.

Collaborative dialogue can be used as a process to solve problems.

Collaborative dialogue can increase individual or group confidence through the development of trust and the building of relationships.

Respectful language can advance collaborative dialogue.
Understanding
Collaborative dialogue can be used to expand ideas and deepen understandings of self, others, and the world.
Skills & Procedures
Offer relevant information and logical reasoning to enhance collaborative dialogue.

Examine alternatives to make decisions, solve problems, or select courses of action.

Consider varied perspectives or opinions to make dialogue more collaborative.

Share new, expanded, or adjusted learnings derived from collaborative dialogue.
Knowledge
Oration is a formal speech given on a special occasion.

Throughout history, great orators were trained in rhetoric.

Rhetoric is the art of effective speaking and can be used to
  • share information or understandings
  • influence change
  • persuade
Great orators are able to combine the musicality and rhythmicity of the spoken word with the power of their messages.

The three pillars of persuasive speech are
  • ethos (showing good character to win audience)
  • pathos (appealing to emotion and empathy)
  • logos (use of logic, reason, and convincing evidence)
(These three pillars were first taught by Aristotle about 2400 years ago and are still taught to public speakers today.)

Students of public speaking today learn some of the same lessons studied in ancient Rome, including
  • use of gestures
  • control of the voice
  • choice of vocabulary
  • speaking notes
  • humour
  • eye contact
The five elements of giving a speech are
  • invention
  • arrangement
  • style
  • memory
  • delivery
(Cicero developed these elements over 2000 years ago. Great speeches, as well as wisdom about speaking, can endure beyond the life of the speaker.)
Understanding
Examining how great orations are delivered can provide models and inspiration for oratory today.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss the message and impact of rhetoric in daily life.

Identify the impact of language use and context in a variety of speeches.

Read aloud excerpts from great speeches.

Identify the message shared in 3–5 great speeches to persuade or engage an audience.

Plan and deliver a speech with confidence.
Organizing Idea
Vocabulary: Communication and comprehension are improved by understanding word meaning and structures.
Guiding Question
How does vocabulary and context vary depending on the intentionality of communication?
Learning Outcome
Students evaluate how vocabulary enhances understanding and provides clarity.
Knowledge
The English language has been influenced by people, places, and events in history.

Vocabulary is contextual and influenced by emerging or changing conditions, including technology.

Many words with Greek or Latin roots are still in use today.

Words that are specific to Indigenous culture can be found in the people, places, and things that surround us.

Many words in the English language have French origins.

Suffixes, including
<en> and <ize>, change the meaning of a word when applied to a base.

Prefixes change the meaning of a word when applied to a base and can include <pro>, <com>, <con>, <en>, and <oc>.
Understanding
Word origins and morphemes can reflect the past and influence how we understand the present.
Skills & Procedures
Examine the historical origins of words in the English language.

Identify words with meanings that have changed over time.

Research the meaning of words with Greek or Latin roots that are still in use today.

Study the origin of Indigenous words in local environments.

Identify words in the English language that have French origins.

Identify words or sayings that are new to the English language and are based on recent innovations or changes in society.

Analyze how adding affixes changes the meaning of words.

Add affixes to bases to build new words.
Knowledge
Words can be categorized by
  • forms of writing
  • parts of speech
  • content
  • context
  • definition
Understanding
Vocabulary learning involves an intentional desire to deepen knowledge of words.
Skills & Procedures
Observe and record interesting words from presentations and dialogues.

Categorize and record interesting words and phrases gleaned from a wide variety of texts.

Apply multiple word-solving actions in flexible ways to determine multiple meanings.

Analyze word parts and cross-check with context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words.

Read for enjoyment outside of familiar forms of writing to enhance vocabulary.
Knowledge
Figurative language can include
  • imagery
  • hyperbole
  • simile
  • personification
  • analogy
  • idiom
  • metaphor
  • irony
Irony is when something happens that is opposite from what is expected.

Phrases with meanings that are influenced by context can include
  • figurative language
  • sayings
  • proverbs
Understanding
Precise vocabulary leads to engaging, clear, concise, and intentional communication.
Skills & Procedures
Use similes, metaphors, and analogies to compare words or clarify word meanings.

Analyze the meanings of words or phrases expressed figuratively.

Apply tier 2 words across subjects to enhance precise communication.

Apply tier 3 words in subject-specific contexts.
Organizing Idea
Comprehension: Text comprehension is supported through applying varied strategies and processes, and considering both particular contexts and universal themes.
Guiding Question
How does strategic reading enhance interpretations of texts?
Learning Outcome
Students analyze texts and interpret contexts to build comprehension.
Knowledge
Comprehension strategies that can be used to understand and interpret increasingly complex texts include
  • predicting
  • inferring
  • making connections
  • summarizing
  • synthesizing
  • evaluating
Evaluating is a comprehension strategy where readers make judgements based on an analysis of textual evidence.

Self-monitoring skills that can support comprehension and interpretation of texts read independently can include
  • rereading
  • adjusting reading rate
  • asking questions
  • using context clues
  • using supporting resources
  • metacognition
Understanding
Comprehension, interpretation, and management of information from increasingly complex texts is enhanced through application of a variety of strategies and skills.
Skills & Procedures
Incorporate a variety of strategies to comprehend, interpret, and manage information from texts.

Evaluate the effectiveness of comprehension strategies used to interpret texts read independently.

Apply a variety of self-monitoring skills to comprehend and interpret texts.
Knowledge
Making connections, including text to self, text to text, and text to world, can support analyzing, summarizing, and synthesizing texts.

Analyzing texts includes reading closely to examine ideas and information in texts separately and in relationship to each other.

Text analysis of specific details can include
  • character development
  • plot
  • point of view
  • mood
  • main idea
  • information
Understanding
Comprehension of texts can include analyzing, summarizing, and synthesizing information and ideas.
Skills & Procedures
Respond to texts by summarizing main ideas and providing supporting evidence from the texts.

Make connections between new ideas and information in texts and known ideas and information.

Analyze details used to enhance texts.

Synthesize texts to determine specific details.

Identify multiple dimensions of a character.
Knowledge
Conclusions can be judgements reached based on information that is stated in or inferred from texts.

Context clues in texts include
  • words
  • phrases
  • punctuation
  • dialogue
  • information in pictures, diagrams, charts, or graphs
Understanding
Comprehension and interpretation of texts requires attention to explicit or implicit contextual information and ideas.
Skills & Procedures
Address predictions based on new or additional information and sources.

Infer meanings from texts based on contextual clues.

Draw conclusions and develop interpretations about texts using stated and implied ideas or information.

Distinguish among facts, inferences, and opinions.

Analyze ideas and information using text evidence.
Knowledge
Perspectives can evolve for a variety of reasons, including
  • passage of time
  • experience
  • context
  • new information
Authors can explicitly and implicitly share perspectives through text creation.

Bias is the favouring of one thing, person, or group over another, usually in a way that is considered to be unfair.
Understanding
Interaction with texts can deepen comprehension, expand perspectives, and help readers learn more about themselves and the world.
Skills & Procedures
Analyze varied perspectives in texts.

Connect perspectives reflected in texts to personal experiences.

Analyze factors that cause characters in texts to change their perspectives.

Compare personal perspectives to varied perspectives found in texts.

Select the information needed to support a perspective.

Share how differences in perspectives can influence meanings of texts.

Analyze how authors can reveal their personal perspectives in texts.

Consider whether an author or a creator presents information with or without bias.
Knowledge
Texts are situated in and can be influenced by specific historical, social, and cultural contexts.

Specific historical and social contexts influence understandings of text.

Historical contexts include time and place.

Social contexts include beliefs.

Contexts can change and affect how texts are understood.

Artifacts as texts can provide insights into contexts of people, time, or place.
Understanding
Historical, social, and cultural contexts can support readers in examining influences on texts.
Skills & Procedures
Analyze texts to determine contextual information that supports how a text can be understood.

Identify information in a text that implies or confirms that the context has changed.

Identify changes in context that affect actions, behaviours, or feelings.

Explore events or artifacts from a particular time and place to deepen understandings of context.
Organizing Idea
Writing: Ideas and information can be articulated accurately and imaginatively through the use of writing processes and an understanding of the author’s craft
Guiding Question
How is precise writing influenced by ongoing craft and process development?
Learning Outcome
Students refine and adjust ways to craft writing that reflects individuality and proficiency as developing writers.
Knowledge
Writing processes used to organize and enhance messages can involve
  • planning
  • drafting
  • revising
  • editing
  • publishing
Planning can include
  • consideration of audience, purpose, and form
  • idea generation
  • narrowing a topic
Written expressions of ideas or information can follow organizational structures, such as
  • introduction, opening, or lead
  • details in order of sequence or importance
  • transitions
  • conclusions
Sentence fluency is the rhythm and flow of language in written text.

Variety in sentence length and structure can enhance writing fluency and reader engagement.

Fluent writing invites expressive oral reading that brings out the writer’s voice or style.

Revision may involve adding or deleting portions of text, moving pieces of text around, or restructuring sentences.

Revision can ensure writing is
  • clear
  • focused
  • informative
  • engaging
Publishing can involve consideration and selection of a variety of text features to enhance writing.
Understanding
Writing can cultivate expression, problem solving, and critical thinking.
Skills & Procedures
Create written texts for a variety of audiences and purposes.

Create written texts in a variety of forms and structures.

Use organizational processes, methods, or tools to support the creation of written texts.

Organize ideas to fit the purpose, audience, and form of writing.

Write multiple paragraphs that engage the interest of the reader.

Write responses that demonstrate understanding of texts, with interpretations supported by text references and prior knowledge.

Organize writing around clear ideas or positions that are supported by examples or relevant evidence.

Use a topic sentence to begin an introductory paragraph, ideas and supporting details for the body, and a convincing final statement within the concluding paragraph.

Use a variety of transitions to link ideas and connect paragraphs.

Revise to refine or enhance writing.

Edit writing for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

Publish selected writing, incorporating graphics, captions, charts, or other text features as appropriate.
Knowledge
Words selected to include in texts may change depending on the audience, purpose, or context.

Words can create effects or emphasis, including
  • simplicity
  • clarity
  • colourfulness
  • strength
  • precision
  • appeal
Word choice can reflect the author’s voice or style, including in texts that
  • are brief, clear, and to the point (e.g., recipes, business letters)
  • use specialized vocabulary (e.g., research reports, informative posters)
  • provide the author the freedom to use unique or unexpected words or phrases (e.g., poetry, stories, advertisements)
  • express opinions (e.g., speeches, personal responses, opinion statements)
Tone expresses the writer's attitude toward or feelings about the subject matter and audience.
Understanding
Creative writing can develop empathy as writers broaden their perspectives and develop personal voice.
Skills & Procedures
Analyze the descriptive language and word choice of professional authors as models for writing.

Write to entertain, using a variety of expressive forms (e.g., a short play, song lyrics, limericks) that employ figurative language, rhythm, dialogue, emphasis, or effect.

Write narratives that develop setting, plot, and character using suspense, figurative language, and dialogue.

Enhance style and voice through careful selection of words to create emphasis or effects.

Analyze writing for development of tone and point of view through language use.

Use a thesaurus to identify alternative words and meanings.
Knowledge
Research
processes can involve management of information, including
  • questioning
  • gathering
  • organizing
  • recording
Topics that are broad may need to be narrowed into a manageable size for focused writing.

Sources of information can be digital or non-digital and can include
  • people
  • Knowledge Keepers or Elders
  • places
  • print text
  • images
  • observations
Protocols for accessing information may vary by source or context.

Methods and tools can be used to gather and organize information, including
  • note taking
  • graphic organizers
  • lists
Written expressions of ideas or information can follow organizational structures, such as
  • openings or leads
  • details in order of sequence or importance
  • transitions
  • conclusions
Research findings can be shared in a variety of digital or non-digital forms, including
  • reports
  • presentations
  • visual images
  • graphs, tables, or charts
Ethical use of information includes
  • asking permission to use, share, or store information
  • citing basic information used to inform writing
Understanding
Research processes can support systematic and objective management and sharing of information.
Skills & Procedures
Write to inform, explain, describe, or report.

Narrow research questions to determine a clear, well-defined topic.

Support the main idea or topic with relevant facts, details, examples, and explanations from multiple sources.

Summarize and organize ideas gained from multiple sources using a variety of methods or tools.

Analyze the validity and reliability of information and sources.

Access and use information ethically.
Knowledge
Written communication can be created using a variety of digital or non-digital methods or tools, including
  • printing
  • keyboarding
  • cursive handwriting
The selection of digital or non-digital tools for written works can be adapted according to audience, purpose, form, or context.
Understanding
Written communication involves making choices to effectively convey messages.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with methods or tools to enhance communication or create effects.

Select a method or tool to present written works that supports clarity or voice.

Use printing, cursive handwriting, or keyboarding to support legibility and writing fluency.
Organizing Idea
Conventions: Understanding grammar, spelling, and punctuation makes it easier to communicate clearly, to organize thinking, and to use language for desired effects.
Guiding Question
How does the understanding and application of conventions enhance proficient written communication?
Learning Outcome
Students demonstrate and apply conventions accurately and skillfully in written communication.
Knowledge
Capitalization is used for
  • first word of a sentence
  • proper nouns
  • days of the week and months
  • titles
  • headings
  • abbreviations
Abbreviations can include
  • titles
  • days of the week
  • time
  • measurements
  • addresses
Punctuation can include
  • a comma
  • quotation marks
  • an apostrophe in contractions and possessives
  • parentheses
  • a colon
A colon can be used to
  • introduce a list
  • give an explanation
  • give an example
Understanding
Varied use of capitalization and punctuation can strengthen and enhance written communication.
Skills & Procedures
Apply capitalization appropriately in written communication.

Apply punctuation appropriately in written communication.

Experiment with capitalization and punctuation to create a variety of effects.
Knowledge
Tense should be maintained throughout written or oral expression and can include
  • present tense
  • past tense
  • future tense
A simple sentence contains one independent clause.

A clause is a group of words with a subject and a verb, and is not always a complete sentence.

An independent clause expresses a complete thought and can stand on its own as a sentence.

A dependent clause does not express a complete thought and cannot stand on its own as a sentence.

A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses that are usually joined by a conjunction.

A complex sentence contains one or more dependent clauses and one independent clause.
Understanding
Communication is enhanced when correct conventions of grammar are maintained.
Skills & Procedures
Maintain consistent use of tense throughout communications.

Use correct subject-verb agreement in communications.

Identify independent and dependent clauses in sentences.

Differentiate between simple, compound, and complex sentences.
Knowledge
Spelling accuracy can be supported by the application of complex patterns.

Spelling accuracy can involve understanding how words are created by manipulating prefixes and suffixes to a base (derivation).
Understanding
Spelling accuracy can be enhanced by recognizing patterns and spelling-meaning connections through the study of words.
Skills & Procedures
Apply spelling patterns within and across words.

Apply knowledge of spelling patterns to spell unfamiliar words.

Apply knowledge of bases and affixes to spell words.