English 9A

Class info

  • Meets Red Days, periods 2, 3, and 4
  • Room 775

This class is an opportunity for students to develop and practice their skills in reading and analysis of literature as well as writing. Our various texts will be the vehicles through which they will hone their critical thinking abilities, and our writing exercises will be an outlet of expression for these abilities. During this semester we will be reading poetry, short fiction, and the novel Animal Farm. Our objectives are to master the elements of literature, practice the writing process, and improve organization of writing.

Monday, 12/17

Today was the last day of the semester. Students used the abbreviated class period to review their notes as well as the vocabulary in the text book in preparation for this week's final exam. Homework: review all literary elements!

Period 2 class will take its final from 9:00-10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, 12/18; Period 3 class will take its final from 10:40 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. on Tuesday, 12/18; Period 4 class will take its final from 7:20-8:50 a.m. on Wednesday, 12/19. 

Thursday, 12/13

Today was the first of two review days for the final. Students completed this practice test to help them review the material from the entire semester. It was due at the end of class for participation points. Homework: begin reviewing at home for the final.

Tuesday, 12/11

Today we took the test over Animal Farm. Student need to return their copies of the novel as soon as possible to avoid their report cards being held by the office. Homework: None.

Friday, 12/7

Today we finished up Animal Farm. We took a quiz on Ch. 10, discussed the end of the novel (and the novel as a whole, including theme and irony in the text), and then did a worksheet for extra credit matching up the events in the text with the allegorical events in Russian history. Please remember that the essay test over Animal Farm is Tuesday, 12/11.

Wednesday, 12/5

Today was a shortened day due to late start. I re-iterated that the Animal Farm test will be next Tuesday, we took a quiz, and then we talked briefly about the perversion of Old Major's vision for the farm from his speech in ch. 1 to what is now happening in ch. 8 & 9. Homework: finish the novel for Friday.

Monday, 12/3

Today we took yet another quiz, this one over Ch. 7. Then we discussed totalitarianism, and how it applies to the novel. As part of this discussion, we also again practiced finding evidence in the text to support this idea — tracking down supporting details, quoting them word-for-word, and then citing the page number. Homework: read Ch. 8 and 9 and work on making your graphic organizer more complete. I will assess all of these on Wednesday.

Thursday, 11/29

We spent the first half of class going over the short story test as well as progress reports for the first semester so far. If you missed class today, please come talk to me to see your test and get your grades.

Afterwards, we used C. 6 of Animal Farm to practice finding examples from the text, quoting them, and citing them with a page number; for this exercise, students looked for examples that things are starting to go badly on Animal Farm, and particularly that Napoleon and Squealer are manipulating the situation to their own benefit. Homework: is to read Ch. 7 for Monday.

Tuesday, 11/27

Welcome back from break. Today we picked up where we left off in Animal Farm, quizzing and discussing Ch. 4-5. Afterwards, we spent a little time on updating our graphic organizers, and then we had a mini-lesson and discussion of propaganda — both in Animal Farm and in American history (WW II). In this study/discussion of propaganda, we used some really interesting pages from the National Archives Web site — Powers of Persuasion: Poster Art from World War II.

At the end of class, everyone created a propaganda poster that was either pro-Snowball/pro-windmill, or pro-Napoleon/anti-windmill. Homework: read ch. 6.

Friday, 11/16

Today we took a quiz on and discussed Ch. 3 of Animal Farm. Have a good Thanksgiving break!

Wednesday, 11/14

Today we quizzed on and discussed chapter 2 of Animal Farm. Additionally, I handed out a graphic organizer to help you keep track of the characters in the novel. I also finally had a reading schedule for you all, which is available to download and print and which I've also re-produced below on this page. Homework: read ch. 3 for Friday.

Please read each chapter(s) of Animal Farm by the date following. A quiz or some sort of reading check is always a possibility.

Ch 1, Nov 12, 2007

Ch 2, Nov 14, 2007

Ch 3, Nov 16, 2007

Ch 4 & 5, Nov 27, 2007

Ch 6, Nov 29, 2007

Ch 7, Dec 3, 2007

Ch 8 & 9, Dec 5, 2007

Ch 10, Dec 7, 2007

Monday, 11/12

We started class today playing a game with paperclips to try and illustrate capitalist and socialist systems, which led into our introduction to Animal Farm, and the history and literary background and importance of the novel. We then briefly discussed the first chapter. Homework: read ch. 2 of Animal Farm for Wednesday.

Thursday, 11/8

Today was our short story test. If you were absent excused, please let me know as soon as you return to school so we can arrange for you to make it up. All absent students also need to get their copies of Animal Farm from me. Homework: read ch. 1 of Animal Farm.

Tuesday, 11/6

I was absent today for the review of the short story unit using "The Scarlet Ibis." Please come to class Thursday prepared for the short story test (open book, open note, entire class period). 

Friday, 11/2

Today we reviewed Ambiguity in talking about "The Lady or the Tiger," homework reading from Wednesday. Then we introduced Symbolism, discussed various symbols in our culture, and listened to/read along with "The Grandfather," discussing the symbols in that story. Lastly, I gave everyone time to start their homework: read "The Scarlet Ibis" and be prepared for a review of our short story vocabulary on Tuesday, which will lead into our short story test on Thursday.

Wednesday, 10/31

Today we started with a quiz on "The Gift of the Magi." Next were notes on irony and ambiguity, followed by a worksheet for "Magi," which I collected then we discussed. Afterwards, I assigned the homework: read "The Lady or the Tiger," p. 298, and then complete the paragraph from the prompt on this worksheet.

Monday, 10/29

Today we took one more stab at trying to talk about theme — this time, I used Dr. Seuss's story "The Sneetches" to illustrate the connection between human nature and author's purpose. We also discussed "Liberty," which was the story assigned for homework last Thursday. Homework tonight: read "Gift of the Magi," p. 287. Quiz on Wednesday.

Thursday, 10/25

Today we spent a lot of time reviewing Theme and talking about how it relates to human nature and the human condition. We will continue this conversation over the next class period or two, as it's a more complex topic than some of the others we've covered previously. We also did some practice in paragraph organization/writing, building off the homework for today on Theme.

Homework: read "Liberty," p. 246, and answer questions 1-4 at the end of the story; due Monday.

Tuesday, 10/23

Today we took a quiz on “The Sniper” which was also a practice test for the short story unit. Afterwards we discussed the plot, setting, characters, and narrator of “The Sniper.” Finally we started talking about theme — everyone practiced finding the theme of “The Sniper,” and the 3rd and 4th period classes took notes on Theme. Homework: apply the 5 steps to determining theme to any one (1) of the stories we’ve already read this unit. I will check this for a grade on Thursday.

Friday, 10/19

Today we started class with a quiz on “The Interlopers.” Then we talked a little bit about using the Web site and my expectations of students when they are absent (check the site at least before you’re back in class, whether it was excused or not). Afterwards we had a short discussion of “The Interlopers,” introduced the three different types of narrator point of view, identified the POV of “The Interlopers” with examples, and then the class split into groups to do the same for the other four stories we’ve read in this unit. Homework: Please read “The Sniper.” There will likely be a quiz on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 10/17

Today everyone got back his or her poetry test (temporarily) as well as new progress reports. These are the grades that will be reported tomorrow and sent home as quarter grades-in-progress. If you did not see your test because you were absent, please talk to me soon.

Afterwards, we discussed “Helen,” especially its plentiful indirect characterization. We then talked more about character, specifically the importance of character interaction and whether or not characters change. Homework: is to read “The Interlopers” on p. 151. There will be a quiz on Friday.

Friday, 10/12

We began today’s class with a quiz on “Thank You, M’am.” Then we discussed the story, hitting the main plot points (exposition, complications, climax, resolution) as well as reviewing different details about the setting (time and place). After taking some notes on character and characterization, and discussing the information in the notes in the context of “The Most Dangerous Game,” I had the class create a chart of things the characters in “Thank You, M’am” said, didn't say, and did, and what could be inferred about their personalities from those details in the story (see #2 on p. 94).

Homework: read “Helen on Eighty-Sixth Street,” p. 105; then answer questions 1-6 on p. 114. Due on Wednesday, the next Red day.

Wednesday, 10/10

Today I returned everyone’s poetry projects and handed out progress reports. If you haven’t turned in your poetry project, you still can, though you may not revise. If you got it back today, talk to me if you’d like to revise it and try to get a better grade.

We then discussed the homework of diagramming the plot of “Dog Star.” Afterwards, we took notes on setting, and then I gave everyone time to start on their homework: read “Thank You Ma’m,” p. 87-90, then answer questions 1, 3, and 4 on p. 94.

Monday, 10/8

Today we started our short story unit. We took a quiz on “The Most Dangerous Game,” took notes on elements of plot, and then identified those elements in the story. Homework: read “Dog Star,” p. 33-38 in the text book, and complete a plot diagram for the story. You should also identify what the conflict(s) is/are as well as any flash-forward, flash-back, and/or foreshadowing in the story.

Thursday, 10/4

Today I gave the test for our poetry unit — along with part 6 of the Poetry Project, this will be part of your summative grade for the unit. As stated in the course guidelines, anyone with an unexcused absence today will automatically receive a zero for the test and will not be allowed to make it up. If you were absent, and it is excused, please see me as soon as you are back at school so we can arrange for a time when you can make up this test.

Homework: To begin our short story unit, please read “The Most Dangerous Game,” p. 5-22 in the textbook. You will likely have a quiz over this story on Monday.

Tuesday, 10/2

Part 6 of the Poetry Project was due today. If you have not turned it in, and otherwise don’t have some sort of extension arranged with me, it is late. This means it will count as a zero until you turn it in (likely dropping you to an F in the class); but once you do turn it in, you can still receive full credit for the assignment, you just may not revise it for a better grade later on.

We will have a test over our poetry unit on Thursday, 10/4. This will cover imagery, figures of speech, and sounds of poetry as reviewed in class today with “Boy at the Window” on p. 451. Please make sure not to forget your notes and/or textbook on Thursday as it is an open-note/open-book test.

Friday, 9/28

For periods 3 and 4, today was a full work day to try and make good progress on Part 6 of the Poetry Project — due to the evacuation drill, period 2 only had about 25 minutes to work. Homework: Part 6 is due at the start of class Tuesday for students in periods 3 and 4. Students in period 2 will have most or all of the class Tuesday to finish it up and hand it in by the end of class.

Wednesday, 9/26

Today, more exciting writing review. We first talked about clauses (independent and dependent), and what to do when they’re fragments. Then, we reviewed different types of run-on sentences. Afterwards, students did some practice in the language text while I finalized poetry project part 5 grades and conferenced with everyone individually. Friday will be a work day for poetry project part 6 (the final piece), which won’t actually be due until the start of class next Tuesday. Homework: begin preparation for your final piece of the poetry project — a paper outlining everything you did and learned through the project, along with an examination of your chosen poem’s imagery, figurative language (simile, metaphor, etc.), and sound (rhyme, rhythm, etc.).

Monday, 9/24

The Poetry Project is winding up. Part 5 is due at the end of class today. We will work on Part 6 in class on Friday, and it will be due at the start of class next Tuesday. Next week will also see our poetry test — more info coming soon. Homework: begin working on Part 6, which is for a summative grade.

Thursday, 9/20

Today we started by reviewing the homework on “The Gift.” I then gave out the assignment for part 5 of the poetry project — this is due at the end of class on Monday, which will be work day (at least in part). Then we practiced with another poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” on p. 457. Homework: is to begin work on part 5 of the poetry project in preparation for Monday.

Tuesday, 9/18

I started class by collecting your homework — the Shakespearean sonnets that we began at the end of class on Friday. We spent the next 30 minutes on a CSAP-style extended writing prompt designed to give me a better idea of your individual writing abilities. This will help me better shape the writing instruction in this class in the future. Afterwards, I returned the graded part 4s of the poetry project (and briefly spoke to those of you who are missing some or all of the project). Finally, we read and discussed the different poetic sounds in “Ballad of Birmingham” (p. 464). 

Homework: Read “The Gift” on p. 469 and answer the three questions on the handout — this is a pre-test exposing you to the kinds of things you will have to do on the real poetry unit test as well as in the final piece of the poetry project.

Friday, 9/14

Part 4 of your poetry project was due today. If you did not turn it in, or didn't turn it in with the rest of the project, please do so next week (you will not receive full credit). Many of you have been asking me about your grades — I hope to have more information for you next week.

Today, we took notes on the sounds of poetry (overhead notes) and applied them to a Shakespearean sonnet. Specifically, we looked at the number and pattern of syllables (stressed and unstressed) as well as the rhyme scheme. Homework: Write a sonnet of your own. You must use the rhyme scheme as determined in class today. Each line must have 10 syllables each. Try to keep each line to the pattern of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (you may not be able to do so all the way through the poem). In Period 4, I had some students leave early for the assembly, so here is the rhyme scheme for your class:

A - apple 

B - cat 

A - Snapple™      

B - rat 

C - bag 

D - banana       

C - snag   

D - Anna 

Wednesday, 9/12

We began class today with 30 min. of work time for the poetry project, part 4 of which is due in class on Friday. After that we read “The Seven Ages of Man,” a poem by William Shakespeare (from a speech in As You Like It) on p. 444 and 445 in the Lit textbook. We quickly reviewed figures of speech, tried to paraphrase the poem, and then discussed it as a class, focusing on the extended, implied metaphor (as well as its supporting metaphors and other figures of speech). Homework: the aforementioned poetry project part 4.

Monday, 9/10

Today every class was put in a seating chart. If you were absent today, please check with me on Wednesday to see where you sit. Everyone then responded to a writing prompt to practice sentence writing. Afterwards, we began our study of sentence completeness by reading about sentence fragments in the Elements of Language text. The text identifies a 3-part test for determining whether a phrase is a sentence or a fragment: 1.) Does the phrase contain a subject? 2.) Does the phrase contain a verb? 3.) Does the phrase state a complete thought. After discussing and practicing some examples, students traded their warm up writing with a partner and tried to identify sentence fragments (or, in the absence of any, the subjects, verbs, and completeness of the first few sentences). Students shared some of these sentences, and I put them on the projector to talk about whether or not they were complete. Toward the end of class, I handed back parts 1-3 of the poetry project and gave out the assignment for part 4, which is due Friday. You will have a small amount of time Wednesday to work on part 4 in class.

Thursday, 9/6

Today the R2 class caught up on the library orientation the other two sections went through last week. Otherwise, today we reviewed the poems and new terms from Tuesday — we discussed “in Just—,” talked about figures of speech, discussed “Tiburón,” and the R3 and R4 classes read and discussed “Fog” and “Fire and Ice” on p. 440-441. No homework for this weekend, but be prepared to jump back into the poetry project next week.

Tuesday, 9/4

Today was a bit disrupted because of yearbook/ID photos. I gave everyone two assignments to work on in class, which are homework if you don’t get them finished — we will review them Thursday. First, you needed to read and paraphrase “in Just—” by e.e. cummings; it’s a weird poem, so do the best you can with the paraphrase. After that, please answer questions 1-7 on p. 416. The paraphrase will help. Second, read and take notes on “Figures of Speech,” p. 428-429. Then read “Tiburón” on p. 430. Paraphrase this short poem and then identify any figurative language you find.

While students were working on this homework, I tried to conference with everyone on their poetry projects to make sure everyone understood the assignment. A few of you finished up during class — others will turn it in late on Thursday.

Thursday, 8/30

Today we began the poetry project. Students selected poems, got them okayed by me, and typed them up. Along with having a typed copy of the poem (#1), the initial response (#2) and the paraphrase (#3) are all due together on Tuesday. Please review the poetry project handout before turning these in next week! Enjoy the long weekend.

Tuesday, 8/28

I introduced the poetry project today. I will update the PDF as I add pieces to the project. Periods R3 and R4 did library orientation (period R2 will catch up with that next week). All students practiced logging into the computers so Thursday’s work day will go more smoothly. I also distributed textbooks — if you were absent, please make sure to get one the next time you are in class. Homework: Read and paraphrase “Woman Work” by Maya Angelou on p. 409. You must also identify 5 examples of imagery and describe which sense each appeals to; you must mention at least 2 different senses with your 5 images.

Friday, 8/18

I collected homework at the start of class — the parent-signed portion of the course guidelines. If you failed to turn it in, you can still do so next week for partial credit. Next we reviewed the definition of imagery from the textbook and talked about how vivid imagery effectively appeals to the five senses — seeing, hearing, touch, taste, smell. We also practiced writing vivid images together as a class. (Notes for the last two items.)

After the break, we practiced paraphrasing “A Blessing” by James Wright (p. 405 in the lit textbook). We reviewed our paraphrases and then talked about the different images in the poem and what senses they appealed to.

No homework for the weekend!

Wednesday, 8/22

We reviewed the class norms and guidelines and began practicing paraphrasing poetry. The homework for today is to get the bottom of page 2 of the guidelines signed by a parent. It is due on Friday and is for a grade.

First day of school

The goal today was for me to introduce myself and for me to get to know the students better. Students spent some time writing about their experiences to-date with reading, writing, and English classes. We also played an icebreaker game. No homework!

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