High School

Reading and Writing for a Purpose

0.5 Credits
18 weeks

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



Writing as Effective Communication

Students will demonstrate an understanding of writing as effective communication by evaluating information in context, analyzing written communication, and explaining critical reading.

Consuming Information Critically

Students will demonstrate an understanding of being a critical reader by describing visual rhetoric and explaining news and journalism changes and challenges.

Reading in the Real World

Students will demonstrate an understanding of reading for comprehension by explaining how to use critical reading skills to accomplish real-world goals.

Reading in the Workplace

Students will demonstrate an understanding of reading in the workplace by explaining how to use critical reading skills in the workplace as well as reading comprehension strategies.

Reading for Detail

Students will demonstrate an understanding of reading for detail by explaining how to use critical reading skills with legal and financial documents.

Reading and Writing to Solve Problems

Students will demonstrate an understanding of reading and writing to solve problems by explaining to find problems and propose solutions.

Drafting a Proposal

Students will demonstrate an understanding of how to draft a proposal by creating an outline and plan for drafting a proposal and analyzing rhetorical features.

Making Revisions

Students will demonstrate an understanding of making revisions by explaining how to plan for revisions as well as considerations for making global and sentence-level revisions.