English 9

Course Description

This freshman-year English course invites students to explore perse texts across 12 unit topics.
Students will engage in literary analysis and inferential evaluation of great texts both classic and
contemporary. While critically reading fiction, poetry, drama, and expository nonfiction, students will
master comprehension and literary-analysis strategies. Interwoven in the lessons across two semesters
are tasks that encourage students to strengthen their oral language skills and produce creative, coherent
writing. Students will read a range of classic texts including Homer’s The Odyssey, Shakespeare’s
Romeo and Juliet, and Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game.” They study short but complex
texts, including influential speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald
Reagan. Contemporary texts by Richard Preston, Julia Alvarez, and Maya Angelou round out the course.

Units of Study

Semester 1
• Mythology
• The Epic Hero’s Quest
• Inpiduality and Conformity
• Independence and the Bicycle
• Nature and the Environment

• Making a Difference

Semester 2
• Caring
• Tragedy in Drama
• Mystery and Suspense
• Espionage and Intrigue
• Fighting for Equality
• Unity and Division

Course Features
• The course is organized thematically. The literature within each unit is linked by a focus on that theme.
• On-screen teachers use clear graphic organizers to present lesson goals and lesson organization in a student-friendly manner.
• To promote inquiry and a focus on big ideas, every lesson includes a guiding lesson question.
• All students have access to the CloseReaderTM, a text mark-up toolset and supportive reading environment, to support the close and active reading of text. Students highlight targeted words and phrases, annotate text with digital sticky notes, and interact with visual and audio guidance written by experienced teachers.
• Language and vocabulary skills are woven throughout units and emphasized in stand-alone
language lessons.
• A Grammar Handbook is included in the toolbar, available to students as a reference at all times.
• Essay writing is taught through workshops, with a balance of argumentative, informative, and narrative writing.
• The course features a range of literature, including essays, speeches, memoirs, primary-source documents, scientific writing, novels, short stories, poems, and a play.
• In the initial-credit course, students engage in a full drama study (Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare), and both versions of the course provide students with a full informational text study (Wheels of Change by Sue Macy), an extended study of an epic poem (The Odyssey by Homer), and an extended study of an informational text (The Dark Game by Paul Janeczko).
• The initial-credit course includes five projects: Create a Blog (in unit 3), Create a Public Service Advertisement (in unit 5), Poetry Recitation (in unit 7), Create a Storyboard (in unit 8), and a Multimedia Project and Presentation (in unit 12). These projects do not appear in the creditrecovery version of the course.
• Multimedia resources support the development of listening skills, as students listen to audio clips to hear the cadence of poetry read aloud, watch videos of speeches, watch brief film clips of texts they have read (Romeo and Juliet and “The Most Dangerous Game”), and analyze multiple interpretations of a work or subject.

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