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Estimated Completion Time

2 segments/36 weeks


In English 1, students take a journey through important concepts–the Unknown, Equality, Identity, Opportunity, and Understanding–to learn the foundations of communication and analysis. In each unit of the course, students explore a variety of STEM-related literature, including genre fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and speeches. Through the study of this writing, students hone their own skills in communication and analysis.

To facilitate engagement and academic responsibility, students are encouraged to make choices at different points in the course. Most notable is the novel unit, in which students must select their book from a list of titles available. This practice gives ownership to the student and places each learner in a position to develop a deeper appreciation of reading.

Course Requirements

To achieve success, students are expected to submit work in each course weekly. Students can learn at their own pace; however, “any pace” still means that students must make progress in the course every week. To measure learning, students complete self-checks, practice lessons, multiple choice questions, projects, discussion-based assessments, and discussions. Students are expected to maintain regular contact with teachers; the minimum requirement is monthly. When teachers, students, and parents work together, students are successful.

Major Topics and Concepts

Starting Segment I or Segment II:

Getting Started

  • 00.00 Introduction

Segment I
Segment One Collaboration

  • Collaboration

Unit 1: Journey to the Unknown

  • 01.00 Unknown for All
  • 01.01 Pre-reading
  • 01.02 Central Idea
  • 01.03 Annotated Notes
  • 01.04 Summary and Paraphrase
  • 01.05 Narrative Structure
  • 01.06 Theme
  • 01.07 Idea Development
  • 01.08 Supporting Evidence
  • 01.09 Supporting Your Ideas
  • 01.10 Grammar and Vocabulary
  • 01.11 Discussion-Based Assessment

Unit 2: Journey to Identity

  • 02.00 Identity for All
  • 02.01 What Makes You Who You Are
  • 02.02 Choosing Your Path
  • 02.03 Discovery Through Questioning
  • 02.04 Identity Shaped by Conflict
  • 02.05 Moving Toward Identity
  • 02.06 The Heart of the Journey
  • 02.07 Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 02.08 Author’s Tool Box Setting the Scene
  • 02.09 Author’s Tool Box Telling the Story
  • 02.10 Author’s Tool Box Enhancing the Story
  • 02.11 Author’s Tool Box Laying the Groundwork
  • 02.12 Author’s Tool Box Ready for Publishing
  • 02.13 The Right Word

Unit 3: Journey to Equality

  • 03.00 Equality for All
  • 03.01 The Power of Words
  • 03.02 Words Light a Fire
  • 03.03 The Structure of a Good Fight
  • 03.04 Language in King’s Letter
  • 03.05 Structure in King’s Letter
  • 03.06 Respond to a Writing Prompt
  • 03.07 Captivate Your Audience
  • 03.08 Organize Your Ideas
  • 03.09 Developing Your Ideas
  • 03.10 More Than the End
  • 03.11 Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 03.12 Revision Workshop
  • 03.13 Edit Your Draft
  • 03.14 The Right Word
  • 03.15 Segment One Exam

Honors Lessons: Segment One

  • Checklist
  • Honors S1.01 Universal Themes and Language
  • Honors S1.02 Romeo and Juliet Act I
  • Honors S1.03 Characterization and Diction
  • Honors S1.04 Romeo and Juliet Act II
  • Honors S1.05 Historical Context in Romeo and Juliet
  • Honors S1.06 Discussion-Based Assessment
  • Honors S1.07 Shakespeare and Art
  • Honors S1.08 Segment One Honors Exam

Segment II
Segment Two Collaboration

  • Collaboration

Unit 4: Journey to Achievement

  • 04.00 Achievement for All
  • 04.01 Identifying Nonfiction
  • 04.02 Text Features
  • 04.03 Context and Contrast
  • 04.04 Compare and Contrast
  • 04.05 Compare and Contrast Strategies
  • 04.06 Research
  • 04.07 The Right Word
  • 04.08 Discussion-Based Assessment

Unit 5: Journey to Opportunity

  • 05.00 Opportunity for All
  • 05.01 What is an Argument?
  • 05.02 Developing a Strong Argument
  • 05.03 Analyzing and Argument
  • 05.04 Gathering Evidence
  • 05.05 Citing Your Sources
  • 05.06 Increasing Awareness
  • 05.07 Stating Your Claim
  • 05.08 Outlining Your Argument
  • 05.09 Writing Your Argument
  • 05.10 A Powerful Product
  • 05.11 Present Your Argument
  • 05.12 Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 05.13 The Right Word

Unit 6: Journey to Understanding

  • 06.00 Understanding for All
  • 06.01 Task Analysis
  • 06.02 Essay Analysis
  • 06.03 Essay Diction, Tone, and Syntax
  • 06.04 Poetry Paraphrase
  • 06.05 Poetry Diction, Tone, and Syntax
  • 06.06 Thesis Statement
  • 06.07 Opening Paragraph
  • 06.08 Outlining
  • 06.09 Evidence and Conclusion
  • 06.10 Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 06.11 Revision
  • 06.12 Final Draft
  • 06.13 The Right Word
  • 06.14 Segment Two Exam

Honors Lessons: Segment Two

  • Checklist
  • Honors S2.01 Romeo and Juliet Act III Conflict
  • Honors S2.02 Analyzing Romeo and Juliet Act III
  • Honors S2.03 Romeo and Juliet Act IV Foreshadowing
  • Honors S2.04 Romeo and Juliet Act V
  • Honors S2.05 Discussion-Based Assessment
  • Honors S2.06 Second Segment Honors Project
  • Honors S2.07 Segment Two Honors Exam


Each competency will be addressed through a project that is based on a real-life career task. Here are the careers you will explore: Technical Writer, Sports Journalist, Historian, Environmental Scientist, Public Relations Specialist, Politician, and Training & Development Manager.



Estimated Completion Time

Approximately 4 weeks per project


Please review the competency statements on the right to learn the major topics and concepts covered in this offering.


Overview: Projects allow students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts and skills by completing a job-related task. The assignment might be to create a mural, a package design, a speech, a film review, or a movie set – you name it! These creative projects are about applying your learning acquired through in-depth research to real-world career tasks.



Experiences allow you to explore a career field you’re curious about while mastering competencies for school credit. Through experiential learning, you will learn skills and apply these skills to tasks you would complete as part of a career, rather than completing traditional assessments like essays or tests. During your experience, you’ll work with a professional in the field to support your learning. You’ll earn a badge for your accomplishments, which you can share on social media and higher education platforms, or with colleges, potential employers, peers, and/or colleagues to display your qualifications.

Here’s how experiences work:

  1. Each competency you work on is addressed through a separate deliverable predetermined by you and your instructor.
  2. Guided learning for each module consists of research and/or work with a professional in the field. Your instructor will coach you through this process.
  3. Each module culminates in a final demonstration of understanding, which includes a deliverable and a discussion-based assessment with your instructor.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re curious about a career in healthcare. You decide you’d like to learn about this career area, make a professional connection, earn a badge and earn competencies for your 9th grade English requirement. While enrolled in English 1 Experiences, you conduct research to better understand language and structure in writing. Then, you work with an Occupational Therapist who helps you apply this understanding to the creation of an informational video. The video aims to advise the family members of patients regarding adaptive equipment and accommodations to help them support their family members as they go about their daily tasks. You’ve earned the Language and Structure in Writing competency! (This is just one example of the many ways experiences can bridge competencies to careers.)

*A parent/guardian permission form and background check of the outside expert are required for students to work with outside experts without parental supervision.


*Please have an idea for an outside expert in mind prior to enrollment or consult with our counseling department by emailing [email protected] prior to enrollment for support identifying one.

Credits 1

Meets English graduation requirement. Only English 1 Experience earns a badge.


  • Language and Structure in Writing
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of language and structure in writing by describing the literary devices used in a piece of writing, describing the structure of a piece of writing, and creating a piece using literary devices and structure.
  • Narrative Writing
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of narrative writing by analyzing a narrative and creating a story using narrative elements and devices.
  • Crafting an Argument
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of crafting an argument by conducting research through source evaluation and documentation, formulating rhetorical appeals appropriate to audience and purpose, and delivering a presentation.
  • Literary Analysis
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of literary analysis by explaining an author’s use of diction to achieve a purpose in a poem or creative nonfiction piece, and applying the writing process to an essay.




Course: To complete the honors version of this offering, you must discuss this with your instructor during your welcome call.

Project/Experience: Honors is awarded by earning "Exceeds" on all rubric assessments.

Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.