Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course Grade 12, Open (OLC4O) CONTACT US
Course Title : Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course, Grade 12 (OLC4O)
Course Name : Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course
Course Code : OLC4O
Grade : 12
Course Type : Open
Credit Value : 1.0
Prerequisite : Eligibility requirement: Students who have been to write the OSSLT at least twice and who have been unsuccessful at least once are eligible to take the course. (Students who have already met the literacy requirement for graduation may be eligible to take the course under special circumstances, at the discretion of the principal.)
Curriculum Policy Document: English, The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 and 12, 2007 (Revised)
Course Developer: USCA Academy
Department: Social Science and Humanities
Development Date: June 2019
Most Recent Revision Date: June 2019

Course Description

This course is designed to help students acquire and demonstrate the cross-curricular literacy skills that are evaluated by the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Students who complete the course successfully will meet the provincial literacy requirement for graduation. Students will read a variety of informational, narrative, and graphic texts and will produce a variety of forms of writing, including summaries, information paragraphs, opinion pieces, and news reports. Students will also maintain and manage a portfolio containing a record of their reading experiences and samples of their writing.

  • Demonstrate the ability to read and respond to a variety of texts
  • Demonstrate understanding of the organizational structure and features of a variety of informational, narrative, and graphic texts, including information paragraphs, opinion pieces, textbooks, newspaper reports and magazines stories, and short fiction
  • Demonstrate understanding of the content and meaning of informational, narrative and graphic texts that they have read using a variety of reading strategies
  • Use a variety of strategies to understand unfamiliar and specialized words and expressions in informational, narrative and graphic texts
  • Demonstrate the ability to use the writing process by generating and organizing ideas and producing first drafts, revised drafts, and final polished pieces to complete a variety of writing
  • Use knowledge of writing forms, and of the connections between form, audience and purpose to write summaries, information paragraphs, opinion pieces, news reports, and personal reflections, incorporating graphic elements where necessary and appropriate
  • Demonstrate understanding of the importance of communication skills in their everyday lives- at school, at work, and at home
  • Demonstrate understanding of their own roles and responsibilities in the learning process
  • Demonstrate understanding of the reading and writing processes and of the role of reading and writing in learning
  • Demonstrate understanding of their own growth in literacy during the course

Outline of Course Content

Unit No.

Unit Title

Hours

1

Reading and Writing for Personal Success

In this introductory unit, students will reflect on their own personal information, experiences and interests. With this information, students will write self-reflections in a variety of forms. Key activities will include paragraphs introducing themselves, conversations between strangers, and

also using that information to write resumes and cover letters. Students will be guided as to how this information can be used to present themselves in through a variety of mediums to differing

audiences.

27

1

Interpreting and using narrative forms

Students will be introduced to various forms of narratives, and their commonalities and differences. Both fiction and nonfiction will be covered, and the necessity of the 5Ws (Who, What, Where, When and Why) in creating complete picture for their audience. Students will also be taught the elements of the differences between narratives that discuss current events such as news articles and how the differ from the elements of storytelling, and to apply that knowledge.

27

2

Persuasive Writing and development

Students will be presented a variety of texts to read, and asked to pay attention to the format of writing both persuasive paragraphs and essays. Students will be taken step by step through the writing process (brainstorming, outlines, and drafting) to help them with organizing and editing their ideas before presenting

their positions on a given subject.

27

2

Interpreting Informational and instructional text

Students will be presented a variety of texts to read, and asked to pay attention to the format of writing both persuasive paragraphs and essays. Students will be taken step by step through the writing process (brainstorming, outlines, and drafting) to help them with organizing and editing their ideas before presenting their positions on a given subject.

27

Total

Culminating Activity (15%)

Final Exam (15%)

 

2 hours

Assessment Plan
OLC40

POC O/F/A
P = Product O = Assessment OF Learning
O = Observation F = Assessment FOR Learning
C = Conversation A = Assessment AS Learning

Unit number

Assessment

O/F/A

Expectations

POC

25%

25%

25%

25%

Term Work 70%

1.

Literacy Assignment

O

A1.1, A1.2, A1.3

P/O

25

25

25

25

 

Graphic Text Assignment

O

A2.31, A2.32

P/O

25

25

25

25

 

Informational Text Assignment

O

A2.11, A2.12, A2.13

P/O/C

25

25

25

25

 

Narrative Text Assignment

O

A2.21, A2.22

P/O/C

25

25

25

25

 

Discussion and Reflection of Unit

F/A

A1, A2, A3, A4

         
 

Total

     

100

100

100

100

                 

2.

Information Paragraph/News Report Assignments

O

B1.1, B1.2, B1.3, B1.8 B2.8, B2.9, B2.10

P/O

25

25

25

25

 

Opinion Essay

O/F/A

B1.1, B1.2, B2.12

P/O/C

25

25

25

25

 

Discussion and Reflection of Unit

Observation/Conversation

F/A

O

B1, B2

O

P/O/C

5

5

5

5

 

Total

     

55

55

55

55

                 

Total Marks in Term Work

155

155

155

155

Final Evaluation 30%

Project

(15%)

Final Exam

(15%)

Total

Total Course Marks

 

O

O

All strands

All strands

P

25

25

50

205

25

25

50

205

25

25

50

205

25

25

50

205

     

Category Weighting

25%

25%

25%

25%

  • Whole-class lecture, small-group, and individual instruction;
  • Make appropriate and effective use of technology
  • Use a variety of media resources (e.g., newspapers, Internet, magazines)
  • Provide practice and extension opportunities
  • Provide regular, informal assessment
  • Provide feedback for students in order to improve their
  • Make connections between the concepts learned and potential careers

General and Specific Principles Guiding the Assessment of Student Achievement in the OSSLC

The general principles guiding the assessment of student work are outlined in the ministry document Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools, 2010. These principles apply to the assessment of student work in this course.

In addition, to promote the growth in reading and writing skills of students taking this course, teachers need to ensure that their assessment practices:

provide opportunities for frequent diagnostic assessment before the introduction of new learning (e.g., review of the OSSLT Individual Student Report [ISR]; reading and writing interviews; observation of students at work);

provide varied, frequent, targeted, and ongoing feedback about students' work, including teacher-student conferences;

provide multiple opportunities for students to practise skills, demonstrate achievement, and receive feedback before evaluation takes place;

provide students with models of quality reading responses and writing pieces to guide them in improving their own work.

Assessment of student work in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course differs from assessment for other courses in a number of key ways:

Students who receive 50 per cent or higher in the course receive a credit for the course and also are deemed to have met the secondary school literacy requirement for graduation.

The assessment will be based on the following processes that take place in the classroom:

Assessment FOR Learning Assessment AS Learning Assessment OF Learning

During this process the teacher seeks information from the students in order to decide where the learners are and where they need to go.

During this process the teacher fosters the capacity of the students and establishes individual goals for success with each one of them.

During this process the teacher reports student’s results in accordance to established criteria to inform how well students are learning.

Conversation Conversation Conversation

Classroom discussion Self-evaluation Peer assessment

Classroom discussion Small group discussion Post-lab conferences Presentations of research Debates
Observation Observation Observation
Drama workshops (taking direction) Steps in problem solving Group discussions Presentations Group Presentations
Student Products Student Products Student Products
Reflection journals (to be kept throughout the duration of the course)
Check Lists
Success Criteria
Practice sheets
Socrative quizzes
Projects
Poster presentations Tests
In Class Presentations

Although this course is offered in Grade 12 and represents a credit awarded in Grade 12, the standard for a pass in the course is comparable to that established by the OSSLT, which represents achievement of Grade 9 literacy expectations.

The course has an achievement chart that describes the levels of student achievement of literacy skills. However, as the Overview of the Achievement Chart below shows, the levels and their associated percentage grade ranges differ from those in the achievement charts for other courses.

This course differs from other courses in outlining specific requirements for evaluation in order to ensure alignment with the requirements of the OSSLT (see section on "Reporting on Student Achievement").

In this course, students will maintain and manage a literacy portfolio to demonstrate and help them assess their growth in reading and writing skills throughout the course. Students will use a variety of tools to record and track the range of texts they have read and the writing they have produced in the course. The portfolio will contain all works in progress and all works that have been evaluated, for both reading and writing tasks. The portfolio will also contain a learning journal in which students set goals for improving their reading and writing skills and monitor their learning during the course.

Students will polish selected pieces from their portfolios. These final, polished pieces may be used for presentation and display, according to students' own purposes, plans, and goals (e.g., as part of a work- related interview, as part of an application to an apprenticeship or college program). Students may be guided in their selections by consultations with their teacher in this course, as well as with their subject teachers, teacher-advisers, guidance counsellors, parents, and employers.

Students will use all components of the literacy portfolio to review and reflect upon their improvement in reading and writing skills, both during and at the end of the course.

Levels of Achievement in the OSSLC

The levels of achievement for the OSSLC are outlined below. It should be noted that the descriptions of achievement reflect the literacy standards set for the OSSLT. To meet the literacy standard required for graduation, students must demonstrate a moderate level of skill in reading and writing. Students who show limited skill in reading and writing will not pass the course. Note also that the percentage grade ranges in the chart are not aligned with the levels of achievement defined in other curriculum documents.

Percentage Grade Range

Description of the Level of Literacy Achieved
80-100%

A skillful and effective performance in reading and writing. The student has significantly exceeded the level of literacy required for graduation, and earns a credit for the course.

65-79%

Performance that shows considerable skill in reading and writing. The student has exceeded the level of literacy required for graduation, and earns a credit for the course.

50-64%

Performance that shows moderate skill in reading and writing. The student has achieved the level of literacy required for graduation, and earns a credit for the course.

0-49%

Performance that shows limited reading and writing skills. The student may be approaching the level of literacy required for graduation but cannot be deemed to have met the requirement and does not earn a credit for the course.

A mark of 50 per cent represents both a pass in the course and the achievement of the literacy standard required for graduation.

The final grade recorded in the provincial report card represents a student's level of achievement of the curriculum expectations for the course. As in other courses, teachers will also report on the student's development of learning skills in the course.

The student's final grade for the course will be determined as follows:

70 per cent of the grade will be based on evaluations conducted throughout the course, as specified below; 30 per cent of the grade will be based on a final evaluation of reading and writing skills, to be administered towards the end of the course, as specified below.

As in all of their courses, students must be provided with numerous and varied opportunities to demonstrate the full extent of their achievement of the curriculum expectations across all four categories of knowledge and skills.

Evaluations During the Term: 70 Per Cent of the Student's Grade

Evaluations during the term will be based on a variety of teacher-assigned and student-selected reading and writing tasks and will take place towards the end of units. (Evaluations should be spread out evenly over the term rather than being grouped towards the end of the term.) The evaluations that meet the minimum requirements specified below must be based on independent demonstrations of students' knowledge and skills; however, other evaluations may be based on work completed independently or collaboratively (e.g., in response to a rich performance task). Evaluations of students' performance on reading and writing tasks should include evaluation of their use of reading strategies and of the writing process, respectively. The minimum requirements for evaluations during the term are as follows:

Reading

Following extensive practice in reading a variety of texts, students will independently demonstrate for evaluation their understanding of a minimum of two narrative texts, four graphic texts, and five informational texts. These texts will be teacher-selected, and both the texts and the tasks will be identical for all students in the class.

Writing

Following extensive practice with writing in a variety of forms, students will independently produce for evaluation writing on demand, as follows: a minimum of one summary, one information paragraph, two series of paragraphs expressing an opinion, and two news reports. Topics will be assigned by the teacher, and the tasks will be identical for all students in the class.

Final Evaluation: 30 Per Cent of the Student's Grade

For the 30 per cent final evaluation, all students will independently demonstrate the reading and writing skills they have developed in this course and will reflect upon their growth in literacy skills.

This culminating demonstration of literacy knowledge and skills should be in the form of performance tasks that are designed to show the range of what students know and are able to do in reading and writing. The 30 per cent final evaluation should not be designed to replicate the OSSLT. To provide the optimum conditions for success, teachers should ensure that students have the opportunity to use the reading strategies they have learned to perform the reading tasks and to use the writing process to perform the writing tasks, demonstrating their skills under normal class conditions with sufficient time to allow them to do quality work.

During the time provided for the 30 per cent final evaluation, it is expected that no new teaching of concepts and skills will take place. Rather, at this time, students consolidate and synthesize what they have learned in the course in order to demonstrate the reading and writing skills they have acquired. All students will demonstrate their knowledge and skills independently, with the teacher acting as a facilitator of the process.

Teachers should give careful thought to creating a meaningful context for the final 30 per cent evaluation. Topics or themes that are relevant and appropriate to the students' interests, aspirations, and future destinations (e.g., topics related to future schooling or work, or significant issues) will help students become fully engaged in the performance tasks and encourage them to do their best work.

For the 30 per cent final evaluation students will demonstrate their reading and writing skills through the following performance tasks:

Learning Skills and Work Habits

Learning skills are assessed throughout the course and reported in these areas: Responsibility, Organization, Independent Work, Collaboration, Initiative and Self-Regulation. These are reported separately and are not included in the calculation of the percentage mark. The development of these skills is critical to academic achievement and directly affects the final mark.

Reflection and Self-Assessment

Students will write an assessment of their growth in reading and writing skills throughout the course, based on a review of the contents of their portfolio.

Resources

OSSLC. Literacy Power. : Gage Learning, 2004.

General Drama, Literature and Theatre resources, Local, National and International Newspapers and Periodicals, Appropriate Internet sites, Appropriate Social, Governmental, and Non-Governmental Organizations

 

Teachers who are planning a program in English must take into account considerations in a number of important areas. Essential information that pertains to all disciplines is provided in the companion piece to this document, The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 to 12: Program Planning and Assessment, 2000. The areas of concern to all teachers that are outlined there include the following:

  • Education for Exceptional Students
  • The Role of Technology in the Curriculum
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Literacy Development (ELD)
  • Antidiscrimination Education in the English Program
  • Literacy, Numeracy, and Inquiry/Research Skills
  • Career Education
  • Cooperative Education
  • Health and Safety

Considerations relating to the areas listed above that have particular relevance for program planning in English are noted here.

It is important to ensure that all students, especially those with special education needs, are provided with the learning opportunities and supports they require to gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to succeed in a rapidly changing society. The context of special education and the provision of special education programs and services for exceptional students in Ontario are constantly evolving.

Provisions included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code have driven some of these changes. Others have resulted from the evolution and sharing of best practices related to the teaching and assessment of students with special educational needs. Accommodations (instructional, environmental or assessment) allow the student with special education needs access to the curriculum without changes to the course curriculum expectations.

Environmental education teaches students about how the planet's physical and biological systems work, and how we can create a more sustainable future. Good curriculum design following the resource document. This ensures that the student will have opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills, perspectives and practices needed to become an environmentally literate citizen. The online course should provide opportunities for each student to address environmental issues in their home, in their local community, or even at the global level.

USCA helps students to become environmentally responsible. The first goal is to promote learning about environmental issues and solutions. The second goal is to engage students in practicing and promoting environmental stewardship in their community. The third goal stresses the importance of the education system providing leadership by implementing and promoting responsible environmental practices so that all stakeholders become dedicated to living more sustainably. Environmental education teaches students about how the planet's physical and biological systems work, and how we can create a more sustainable future.

USCA provides a number of strategies to address the needs of ESL/ELD students to accommodate the needs of students who require instruction in English as a second language or English literacy development. Our teacher considers it to be his or her responsibility to help students develop their ability to use the English language properly. Appropriate accommodations affecting the teaching, learning, and evaluation strategies in this course may be made in order to help students gain proficiency in English, since students taking English as a second language at the secondary level have limited time in which to develop this proficiency. School determines the student's level of proficiency in the English Language upon registration. This information is communicated to the teacher of the course following the registration and the teacher then invokes a number of strategies and resources to support the student in the course.

Throughout their secondary school education, students will learn about the educational and career opportunities that are available to them; explore and evaluate a variety of those opportunities; relate what they learn in their courses to potential careers in a variety of fields; and learn to make appropriate educational and career choices. The skills, knowledge and creativity that students acquire through this course are essential for a wide range of careers. Being able to express oneself in a clear concise manner without ambiguity in a second language, would be an overall intention of this course, as it helps students prepare for success in their working lives.

By applying the skills they have developed, students will readily connect their classroom learning to real-life activities in the world in which they live. Cooperative education and other workplace experiences will broaden their knowledge of employment opportunities in a wide range of fields. In addition, students will increase their understanding of workplace practices and the nature of the employer-employee relationship. Teachers should maintain links with community-based businesses to ensure that students have access to hands-on experiences that will reinforce the knowledge they have gained in school.

Every student is entitled to learn in a safe, caring environment, free from violence and harassment. Students learn and achieve better in such environments. The safe and supportive social environment at USCA is founded on healthy relationships between all people. Healthy relationships are based on respect, caring, empathy, trust, and dignity, and thrive in an environment in which diversity is honoured and accepted. Healthy relationships do not tolerate abusive, controlling, violent, bullying/harassing, or other inappropriate behaviours. To experience themselves as valued and connected members of an inclusive social environment, students need to be involved in healthy relationships with their peers, teachers, and other members.

Critical thinking is the process of thinking about ideas or situations in order to understand them fully, identify their implications, make a judgement, and/or guide decision making. Critical thinking includes skills such as questioning, predicting, analysing, synthesizing, examining opinions, identifying values and issues, detecting bias, and distinguishing between alternatives. Students who are taught these skills become critical thinkers who can move beyond superficial conclusions to a deeper understanding of the issues they are examining. They are able to engage in an inquiry process in which they explore complex and multifaceted issues, and questions for which there may be no clear-cut answers.

The school library program in USCA can help build and transform students' knowledge in order to support lifelong learning in our information- and knowledge-based society. The school library program of these schools supports student success across the curriculum by encouraging students to read widely, teaching them to examine and read many forms of text for understanding and enjoyment, and helping them improve their research skills and effectively use information gathered through research. USCA teachers assist students in accessing a variety of online resources and collections (e.g., professional articles, image galleries, videos, databases). Teachers at USCA will also guide students through the concept of ownership of work and the importance of copyright in all forms of media.

Information literacy is the ability to access, select, gather, critically evaluate, and create information. Communication literacy refers to the ability to communicate information and to use the information obtained to solve problems and make decisions. Information and communications technologies are utilized by all Virtual High School students when the situation is appropriate within their online course. As a result, students will develop transferable skills through their experience with word processing, internet research, presentation software, and telecommunication tools, as would be expected in any other course or any business environment. Although the Internet is a powerful learning tool, there are potential risks attached to its use. All students must be made aware of issues related to Internet privacy, safety, and responsible use, as well as of the potential for abuse of this technology, particularly when it is used to promote hatred.

USCA provides varied opportunities for students to learn about ethical issues and to explore the role of ethics in both public and personal decision making. During the inquiry process, students may need to make ethical judgements when evaluating evidence and positions on various issues, and when drawing their own conclusions about issues, developments, and events. Teachers may need to help students in determining appropriate factors to consider when making such judgements. In addition, it is crucial that USCA teachers provide support and supervision to students throughout the inquiry process, ensuring that students engaged in an inquiry are aware of potential ethical concerns and address them in acceptable ways. Teachers will ensure that they thoroughly address the issue of plagiarism with students. In a digital world in which there is easy access to abundant information, it is very easy to copy the words of others and present them as one's own. Students need to be reminded, even at the secondary level, of the ethical issues surrounding plagiarism, and the consequences of plagiarism should be clearly discussed before students engage in an inquiry. It is important to discuss not only dishonest plagiarism but also more negligent plagiarism instances.