Brandi J. Clark

Writer and Educator

 Help! I Have to Teach Language Arts: A Language Arts Survival Mini-Course Part 1


So…you have to teach language arts.

Calm down.

I can help.

I’ve been a Language Arts Consultant for 8 years and now I coach.

You can trust me!

This is what you are thinking…

Who can lend me some L.A. STUFF?


What teacher store has some L.A. STUFF to buy?

That’s amateur thinking…you need to go pro.

KEEP READING, FOLLOW THIS COURSE and I promise that you will be the


Let’s get started!

So, we need to start somewhere and that means with the Program of Studies…otherwise known as the STUFF  you need to teach!

It does not come from a store but from your provincial government.

All teachers of L.A. need to read this document.

It is what you are responsible for.

If you watched Charmed…it is like your Book of Shadows…kinda but minus the supernatural.

Unfortunately, the program of studies is an unattractive document.

No pictures and the font is dreadful.

But trust me, there is magic to be had.

The course begins now.

Lesson Number One: MASTER THE ARTS!

Question: How many language arts are there?

a) 2 – reading and writing

b) 3 – reading, writing and word work

c) 4 – reading, writing, word work and spelling

d) 6 – reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and representing


There are six.

I am not kidding.

These six arts are your best friends.

They help you to organize your planning, teaching and assessment.

They help you to DIFFERENTIATE!

When I present the six arts to teachers, I like to attach a celebrity that they remind me of. You can make your own associations. When you attach a human avatar it helps to remember them and let’s face it…it makes it fun.


language artisits


Listen and Speak

read and write

View and rep

These arts are embedded throughout the curriculum document from KINDERGARTEN to GRADE 12.

A quick example is necessary here.

Imagine that you plan to teach metaphors.. You can use any of the six arts to present and engage students with metaphors.

You might have them read metaphors, write metaphors,  view metaphors on YouTube, create a representation (poster) of metaphors, read metaphors out loud to others (speak) or listen to others read metaphors out loud.

All of the arts can be used with the other and in any context as stated in this direct quote from the English Language Arts Program of Studies.

Students become confident and competent users of all six language arts through many opportunities to listen and speak, read and write, and view and represent in a variety of combinations and relevant contexts.

Also, when we think about our students who struggle…

All the language arts are interrelated and interdependent; facility in one strengthens and supports the others.

We will revisit this idea in future lessons but what I would like to remind you is…

….there are six arts not just reading and writing.

Our students who struggle and those that don’t NEED the other four arts.

This marks the end of today’s lesson.

I know.

You want me to keep going.

But I want you to digest today’s learning.

Know the six arts.

Think about which ones you are familiar with and which ones are confusing to you.

Trust me…everything else makes sense if you understand these six arts.

Until Next Time,

Coach Brandi!

Next Lesson: The Organization of the English Language Arts Program of Studies (K-9)

About Brandi Clark