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English Language Arts

Text Types, Structures and Features

The Elementary English Language Arts (ELA) program focuses on the broad categories of self-expressive, narrative, literary, popular and information-based text types. The distinction between literary and narrative is made to accommodate students’ own writing and media production, both of which fall into the latter category.

The following charts indicate the knowledge about required self-expressive, narrative-literary and information-based text types that students are expected to develop by the last year of elementary school. This knowledge includes required texts in each broad category, such as illustrated picture books in the narrative-literary category, as well as an understanding of the structures and features found in specific text types. Students use this knowledge to construct meaning while listening to, reading, writing, viewing and/or producing texts. The expectation here is that students learn about different texts by examining their specific structures and features, rather than being asked to identify or define terms in an isolated fashion.

In each of the three charts that follow, required texts are listed (e.g. A-1) followed by their structures and features, (e.g. A-2).  It should be noted that the popular text types referred to in the ELA program have been included in the self-expressive, narrative-literary and information-based text type categories. As well, the required texts have been categorized according to their most common social purpose or function. For example, although the journal appears in self-expressive text types, journals may also include narrative and information.  However, the main social purpose of a journal is to record one’s memories, experiences, hopes, ideas and reflections, rendering it a perfect example of a self-expressive text type.