Curriculum Laboratory

Language Arts Teaching Materials

For further assistance in using any of the resources in the Lab, please ask at the Curriculum Lab Information Services Desk.

Define your topic, and check basic sources.

According to Alberta Education's Program of Studies, "students will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent" to achieve these 5 general outcomes:

  • explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences,
  • comprehend and respond personally and critically to oral, print and other media texts,
  • manage ideas and information,
  • enhance the clarity and artistry of communication, and
  • respect, support and collaborate with others.

Get relevant Alberta curriculum publications.
English Language Arts is covered in Alberta Education's curriculum publications in these places:

  • Elementary and Junior High Program of Studies -- covers what must be taught in Alberta schools for English Language Arts. (375 General Alta. Gr.___)   The Senior High School English Language Arts curriculum is located in a separate Program of Studies. (375 LangArt Alta. Gr.10-12)
  • Illustrative Examples for English Language Arts: Kindergarten to Grade 9 -- provides practical assistance for teachers in implementing the Program of Studies outcomes. According to the preface of this document (2000), "The illustrative examples are not prescribed, but they support the program of studies by indicating some of the ways in which students can demonstrate specific outcomes at each grade level." (375 LangArt Alta. Gr.EC-9)
  • Senior High School English Language Arts Guide to Implementation (2003) -- provides assistance for teachers in "planning for assessment and instruction that supports student achievement for the prescribed learning outcomes. It also provides suggestions for monitoring student progress in achieving the outcomes." (375 LangArt Alta. Gr.10-12)
  • The Common Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts: Kindergarten to Grade 12 / Western Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Basic Education (1998) -- this common English Language Arts program of studies was agreed upon, and used in the four western provinces and two territories. Alberta's program of studies, listed above, was derived from this document and differs slightly in wording. (375 LangArt West Gr.EC-12)
  • The following two handbooks have been produced by Alberta Education to explain the basic concepts in spelling, grammar, punctuation, locating information, literary elements and devices, handwriting, as well as the six parts of Language Arts (listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, and representing) :
    • English Language Arts Skills Handbook (375 LangArt Alta. Gr.1-6)
    • English Language Arts Handbook for Secondary Students (375 LangArt Alta. Gr.7-12)

Find basic and support resources recommended by Alberta Education.

The Curriculum Laboratory orders most resources which have been approved for use in the classroom by Alberta Education. We order these items from the Learning Resources Centre (LRC). To find out what resources are recommended by Alberta Education:

  • Go to the Curriculum Laboratory main webpage.
  • Click on the link, "Alberta Education Authorized Resources Database."
  • You can select your "Curriculum Area," and "Grade Level."  The resulting long list of resources will include items such as student textbooks, teacher's manuals, student workbooks, blackline masters, test banks, other books, CD-ROMs, DVDs, distance education resources, etc.

  • If you only want to find out which resources are considered the basic textbooks for that grade and subject, do the same search as above, except choose "Student Basic " from the "Authorization Status" menu.

Often reading and language arts resources are published as basal series, which are commercial reading or language arts textbooks compiled by many authors working under a senior textbook editor. The resources are arranged in a series which is systematically sequenced through a number of grades, and contain anthologies and/or actual literature.  The core resources for language arts tend to come in multiple formats, which reflects the emphasis in the curriculum on communicating using the six language arts: listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and representing.
A small sample of some of these materials are listed below:

  • Grades ECE to three:  Another Point of View (372.6 Ano)
  • Grades one to six:  Collections (372.6 Col)
  • Grades two to six
    • Nelson Language Arts (372.6 Nel)
    • Gage Cornerstones:  Canadian Language Arts (372.6 Gag)

  • Grades seven to nine:
    • Crossroads (810.8 Cro)
    • Identities (808.8 Ide)
    • In Context (810.8 In)
    • Issues Collection (808.042 Iss)
    • MultiSource (808.8 Mul)
    • Nelson Language and Writing (808.042 Ake)
    • ResourceLines & Language Works (808.8 Pre)
    • SightLines (808.8 Pre)
  • Grade ten (10-1 and 10-2)
    • Crossroads (10-1, 10-2) (Gage)     810.8 Cro Gr.10
    • Departures: Reflections in Poetry (10-2) (Nelson) 811.5 Dep Gr.10
    • Harcourt Shakespeare Series (10-1, 10-2) (Harcourt Canada) 822.33 Roy Gr.10
    • Inside Essays I (10-1) (Harcourt Brace) 814.54 Ins Gr.10
    • Inside Stories I (2nd ed.)(10-1) (HBJ) 808.83 Ins Gr.10
    • Literature & Media 10 (10-1, 10-2) (Nelson) 810.8 And Gr.10
    • Mythic Voices: Reflections in Mythology (10-1) (Nelson) 398.2 Myt Gr.10
    • On Cue 1 (10-2) (Harcourt Brace) 812.54 Eat Gr.10
    • On Stage One (10-1) (Prentice Hall) 808.82 On Gr.10-12
    • Oxford School Shakespeare Series (10-1, 10-2) (Oxford) 822.33 Sha Gr.10
    • Poetry In Focus (10-1) (Prentice-Hall) 808.81 Poe Gr.10
    • Reader Writes the Story: Canadian and World Short Fiction, The (10-1) (Prentice-Hall) 813.54 Cha Gr.10
    • ResourceLines 9/10 (10-1, 10-2) (Prentice Hall Ginn) 808.8 Pre Gr.10
    • SightLines 10 (10-1, 10-2) (Prentice Hall Ginn) 808.8 Pre Gr.10
    • Viewpoints: Reflections in Non-Fiction (10-2) (Nelson) 808.8 Ref Gr.10
  • Grade eleven (20-1 and 20-2) :
    • Between the Lines 11 (20-2) (Nelson) 810.8 Dav Gr.11
    • Communicate! (20-2) (Nelson) 808.042 Sal Gr.11-12
    • Echoes 11 (20-1, 20-2) (Oxford) 810.8 Ech Gr.11
    • Elements of English 11 (20-1) (Harcourt Canada) 808.8 Hil Gr.11
    • Foundations of English 11 (20-2) (Harcourt Canada) 808.8 Hil Gr.11
    • Harcourt Shakespeare Series (20-1, 20-2) (Harcourt Canada) 822.33 Roy Gr.11
    • Imprints 11 (20-1) (Gage) 810.8 Imp Gr.11
    • Inside Essays II (20-1) (Harcourt Brace) 814.54 Ins Gr.11
    • Inside Stories II (2nd ed.)(20-1, 20-2) (HBJ) 808.83 Ins Gr.11
    • Language and Writing 11 (20-1) (Nelson) 428.2 Ake Gr.11
    • Literary Experiences : Volume 1 (20-1) (Prentice-Hall) 808.8 Lit Gr.11
    • Literature and Media 11 (20-1) (Nelson) 810.8 And Gr.11
    • On Cue 2 (20-1, 20-2) (Harcourt Brace) 812.54 Eat Gr.11
    • On Stage Two (20-1, 20-2) (Prentice Hall) 808.82 On Gr.10-12
    • Oxford School Shakespeare Series (20-1, 20-2) (Oxford) 822.33 Sha Gr.11
    • Passages 11 (20-2) (Gage)    810.8 Pas Gr.11
    • Poetry Alive : Perspectives (20-1) (Copp Clark) 808.81 Poe Gr.11
    • Reference Points (20-1) (Prentice-Hall) 808 Ref Gr.11-12 
    • Story Begins When the Story Ends: Canadian and World Short Fiction, The (20-1) (Prentice-Hall) 813.54 Sto Gr.11
    • Themes on the Journey (20-1) (Nelson) 808.8 Ref Gr.11
    • Viewpoints 11 (20-1) (Prentice-Hall) 810.8 Jos Gr.11
  • Grade twelve (30-1 and 30-2) :
    • Between the Lines 12 (30-2) (Nelson)  810.8 Dav Gr.12
    • Communicate! (30-2) (Nelson) 808.042 Sal Gr.11-12
    • Echoes 12 (30-1) (Oxford)  810.8 Ech Gr.12
    • Elements of English 12 (30-1) (Harcourt Canada) 808.8 Ele Gr.12
    • Elements of Essays (30-1, 30-2) (Harcourt Canada) 808.84 Har Gr.12
    • Foundations of English 12 (30-2) (Harcourt Canada) 808.8 Fou Gr.12
    • Harcourt Shakespeare Series (30-1, 30-2) (Harcourt Canada) 822.33 Roy Gr.12
    • Imprints 12 (30-1, 30-2) (Gage) 810.8 Imp Gr.12
    • Inside Poetry (2nd ed.)(30-1) (HBJ) 808.1 Kir Gr.12
    • Literary Experiences : Volume 2 (30-1) (Prentice-Hall) 808.8 Lit Gr.12
    • On Stage Three (30-1, 30-2) (Prentice Hall) 808.82 On Gr.10-12
    • Oxford School Shakespeare Series (30-1, 30-2) (Oxford) 822.33 Sha Gr.12
    • Passages 12 (30-2) (Gage) 810.8 Pas Gr.12
    • Poetry Alive : Reflections (30-1) (Copp Clark) 808.81 Poe Gr.12
    • Possibilities of Story (30-1) (McGraw-Hill) 813.54 Pos Gr.11-12
    • Reference Points (30-1, 30-2) (Prentice Hall) 808 Ref. Gr.11-12
    • Story and Structure (30-1) (Harcourt Brace) 808.83 Per Gr.10-12
    • Viewpoints 12 (30-1, 30-2) (Prentice Hall) 810.8 Vie Gr.12

Search the Library Catalogue. For subject searches, start with "Subject Heading" (Library of Congress) Search, and browse the subject headings and "related subjects" which come up on the screen. Use these general subject headings or related subject links to get the best possible list of materials.

  • Language Arts --Gives you a wide variety of materials on the study and teaching of English in the elementary and some junior high grades.
  • English language -- is the term used in the study and teaching of English in junior high and high school.
  • Finding fiction materials on any subject:  Using the Search by Subject Heading feature on the Library Catalogue, enter your subject and add "fiction" to it. For example Bears fiction or Bedtime fiction or World War 1939-1945 fiction
  • For remedial reading materials, try: Reading -- remedial teaching ; reading (primary), or (elementary) or (secondary); Guided reading ; High interest-low vocabulary books
  • Finding novel studies: Using the Search by Title feature in the Library Catalogue, enter the title of the novel you wish to study. You will find that in addition to the novel itself, we have material to support some novels. For example enter Charlotte's Web, and you will find the novel, activities and a novel study. If you do not have a specific novel in mind the subject headings Fiction Study and teaching or Children's literature Study and teaching or Young adult literature Study and Teaching, will assist you. 

For the best results, type in a specific subject heading:
  • e.g. reading, or storytelling
  • You can also add "study and teaching" to your specific search terms.  e.g. grammar study and teaching

If you are unhappy with the results of an author, title, or subject search, broaden your search using Keyword Search. It searches the author, title, subject and notes fields of an item record.  Some sample searches for this subject are listed below:

  • Novel Studies put out by Edmonton Public Schools can be found by searching: Edmonton and Public and novel
  • Titles such as: Novel Ideas for Young Readers (372.64 Kut) and Novel Approaches for Junior High Language Arts (813.5 Hus) contain a wealth of activities across the curriculum (language arts, art, drama, music, technology, media, games, etc.), which can be adapted to virtually any picture book, short story, novel, or even non-fiction titles.
  • Journaling in the classroom:  use the subject heading diaries authorship

Browse the shelves. (If you only want to search for materials in the Curriculum Lab, click on the Limit this search button and then change the location from ANY to U of L - Curriculum Lab):

  • Curriculum Lab hints and helps:  These are some of the sections of the collection where you will find English language arts materials:
    Fiction section and paperback racks --  Here is where you will find most, but not all, of the fiction
      materials.  They are arranged by the author's last name, with all the age levels of material (from preschool to grade 12) integrated.
    011.62 -- Literature bibliographies
    372.4 -- Elementary reading study and teaching
      372.41 -- reading readiness instruction
      372.43 -- remedial reading instruction
      372.465 -- reading phonetic method
    372.6 -- Elementary language arts study and teaching (Including textbooks)
      372.61 -- grammar
      372.62 -- writing
      372.632 -- spelling
      372.634 -- handwriting
      372.64 -- literature appreciation
      372.66 -- drama
      372.67 -- speaking
    398.2 -- Folklore
    420 -- English language
      421.1 -- alphabet books
      423 -- dictionaries
      428 -- English language grammar and vocabulary
    808 -- Secondary language arts study and teaching (Including textbooks)
      808.02 -- authorship, report writing
      808.042 -- textbooks
      808.1 -- writing poetry
      808.2 -- writing drama
      808.3 -- writing fiction
      808.5 -- speaking
      808.6 -- letter writing
      808.8 -- secondary readers
        808.81 -- poetry collections
        808.82 -- drama collections
        808.83 -- short story collections
        808.88 -- miscellaneous collections
    810s -- North American literature
      810.16 -- literature bibliographies
      810.8 -- literature collections
      811 -- poetry
      812 -- drama
      813 -- fiction
        813.5 -- fiction study and teaching (novel studies)
      814 -- essays
      817 -- humor
      818 -- miscellaneous
    820s -- English literature
      822.33 -- Shakespeare, William

Check the Education Indexes/Databases on the Library Home Page. For a more comprehensive list of journal indexes, you can select "Journal Indexes By Subject", and select "Humanities" and/or "Education."

  • Global Books-in-Print.  It provides bibliographic data and price information for English language books worldwide, as well as books in other languages. Both in-print and out-of-print books, audio books and videos are included. It includes annotations from publishers and the full text of book reviews from select sources. It also includes biographies on many authors. Using the advanced search feature you can search by keyword, author, keyword and title, ISBN, exact title, publisher name, publication year, and by other search criteria.
  • Book Review Index Plus. Search for reviews on books, periodicals, books on tape and electronic media. Indexes thousands of publications including journals, magazines and newspapers. Includes full text reviews.
  • Gale Literary Index allows you to search by author or title to find your topic in this exceptionally helpful literature criticism series. Once you figure out which volume you require, use the library catalogue to find out the call number in the Reference collection. You'll be glad you did! 

Search the Internet:

  • The Curriculum Laboratory's Teacher's Sites lists many of the main Internet sites used by teachers, such as Alberta Education (includes Teachingbooks.net for grades K-12 in the ORC (Online Reference Centre)), LRC Resources Catalogues, and some comprehensive education sites containing educational issues and lesson plans, technology sites for teachers, etc.
  • The Curriculum Laboratory's Great Sites for Educators contains useful links such as Digital Resource Subscriptions (LearnAlberta, United Streaming Digital Video clips, etc.), Digital Reference resources, Kid's Sites, Lesson Plans, and links for Specific School Subjects.
  • The Children's and Young Adult Literature section of the Curriculum Lab's web page contains links to pathfinders, awards, literature finding sites, author/illustrators, and actual literature.

Other Resources:


Prepared by: Margaret Rodermond and Bill Glaister, 2001.  Updated August 2009