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Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

18 Weeks

Overview

This course will introduce you to useful, real-world information by learning to read legal, insurance, employment, and vehicle related documents. You will also explore media bias, trends in journalism, word structures, and research strategies while developing critical reading skills, outline building skills, and identifying good sources of information. This course builds life and study skills, setting you up for success as an adult and post-secondary preparation.

Major Topics and Concepts

Unit 1 Navigating the Information Age

  • Identify why critical reading is an important life skill
  • Learn strategies for implementing critical reading into your life
  • Understand the differences between the types of writing and communication
  • Examine how motivation and purpose changes the way we communicate
  • Discuss how people get information in the digital age and how that contrasts with previous generations

Unit 2: Information for the Masses

  • Understand how the elements of visual texts convey meaning
  • Describe how news and journalism have changed and the challenges those changes have created
  • Identify the ideals at the heart of good journalism and how they work in practice
  • Examine media bias and its potential for real world effects, especially in politics
  • Explain what “fake news” is and strategies to avoid being manipulated by it

Unit 3: Reading in the Real World

  • Identify good sources for official information and understand how to use that information to accomplish goals
  • Narrow your research questions to determine neighborhoods, budget, and potential housing options
  • Analyze rental ads and rental applications to ensure understanding
  • Read and understand utility bills, with the goal of saving as much money as possible
  • Navigate the process of establishing legal residency

Unit 4: The First Day on the Job

  • Identify key workplace documents, understanding their place in your day-to-day duties
  • Use strategies for reading to help understand new and complex information
  • Analyze new documents based on previous knowledge and understanding
  • Understand how to navigate an employee handbook, including how to find policies and procedures related to your workplace
  • Describe how different types of writing applies to the workplace

Unit 5: Signing on the Dotted Line

  • Employ strategies to read and understand complex legal and financial documents
  • Describe the basic structure of words in order to decode them, including root words, affixes, and etymology
  • Explore key documents related to essential transactions to answer questions and guide decisions
  • Distinguish between important and unimportant information based on needs and goals

Unit 6: Changing the World Through Writing

  • Use graphic organizers to harness and plan ideas
  • Adapt ideas to a specific type of writing, which focuses on defining and proposing a solution to a problem
  • Identify the common challenges associated with problem-solving writing modes
  • Synthesize, summarize, and analyze reliable source material
  • Utilize strategies for reading research material to maximize efficiency

Unit 7: Moving from Ideas to An Action Plan

  • Understand the importance of outlining based on the structure of your argument
  • Organize your ideas and initial research into a thorough outline
  • Explain the purpose of the introduction and thesis statement
  • Analyze your audience to determine their concerns and address those concerns in your draft
  • Use figurative language, syntax, and style to persuade your audience that your proposal is logical and feasible

Unit 8: The Final Countdown

  • Identify the two types of revision
  • Develop a strategy for revising your own work
  • Analyze structural elements based on how well they meet assignment requirements
  • Evaluate word choice and style to ensure that your ideas are being communicated well
  • Understand how your argument creates inferences in the reader’s mind

 

Credits .5

Competencies

  • Strategies for Critical Reading/ Informative Texts
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of critical reading for information by identifying the main ideas of a text, inferring meaning of the text, and citing evidence to support analysis of the text.
  • Strategies for Critical Reading/ Argumentative Texts
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of critical reading of arguments by identifying and explaining the argument and specific claims in a text, evaluating reasoning and evidence, and determining the validity of the argument.
  • Research and Organization
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the role of research in writing for purpose by investigating topics and summarizing, organizing, and analyzing source material for usefulness and reliability.
  • Writing for a Purpose
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of writing arguments by using research, analysis, organization, and revision to craft an essay that identifies and proposes a solution to a problem.

Pre-Requisites

None

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.