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Underlying Beliefs and Principles


The goal of OJA English Language Arts classes is to equip students with the tools of language (reading, writing, analysis, and research), while inspiring them to gain knowledge and express themselves through the written word. We cultivate their critical thinking and creative expression through reading, writing and speaking. Each module concludes with a demonstration of learning (e.g. an exhibition, short stories, play, etc.)

The Approach


Students experience a range of literary genres (fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry) by reading books on their own and in-class, discussing themes and writing up their reflections in reading journals. Students develop as readers as they show comprehension of classic and contemporary texts and their underlying meanings. They develop as writers as they practice their craft and acquire the building blocks of the English language (e.g. grammar and vocabulary)


Texts & materials for learning:

  • Books are selected to reflect different genres, periods of time and a cross section of human experience. Students read high quality contemporary as well as classic texts.


Structure of module:

  • Read 1 book per 4 – 6 weeks (depending on length of book)

  • Written assignments include: ongoing reading reflections, cumulative literary analysis essays, and various creative writing projects. 

  • Creative demonstration of learning every 4 weeks


  • Novels

  • Poetry

  • Short stories

  • Films


  • Documentary

  • Art

  • Photography

  • Primary sources

  • News media

* Role of the educator: guide, facilitator, coach, 


* Role of the learner: active learner, writer, reader, presenter, partner, problem solver, researcher


* Assessment & Evaluation: Students are assessed through ongoing reading and writing assignments and end-of-term projects and demonstrations of knowledge.

Below are examples of books that students may study depending on the theme

11-12 yo Reading List