English 9A

Class Info

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, 12/14

Today we reviewed poetry and fiction in preparation for the final exam. Period 3 students take their final on Wednesday at 10:40 a.m., and Period 4 students on Friday at 7:20 a.m.

Thursday, 12/10

Today was the test over Animal Farm. If you were absent, we are very quickly running out of time to get this made up. I also assigned this practice final to prepare for the finals review session next Monday and the actual finals next Wednesday (period 3) and next Friday (period 4). Homework: finish the practice final.

Tuesday, 8/9

We started off with our final Animal Farm quiz. We did some wrap-up of the novel, including filling out the graphic organizers and looking for evidence in the novel of how Old Major’s vision had been perverted, the irony in the novel, and the ignorance of the animals. Homework: prepare for the AF test on Thursday.

Friday, 12/4

Again, a quiz started us off today, this time over ch. 6 & 7. We discussed these chapters and continued our work of finding supporting details in the text for various topics. Students also worked on filling in their graphic organizers some more. Homework: finish the novel for Tuesday.

Wednesday, 12/2

I started today with another quiz, this one over Animal Farm ch. 4-5. We talked about these chapters, and then briefly began practice finding supporting details for topic sentences using events from ch. 4. Homework: read ch. 6-7.

Monday, 11/30

Today we started our discussion of Animal Farm. I gave a quiz over the first three chapters, and then I had students fill out this graphic organizer to track the characters and their progression throughout the novel. I also tried to answer questions and highlight some key points from ch. 1-3. Homework: read ch. 4-5.

Thursday, 11/19

Today we started with some more reading time for Animal Farm. We did an activity to illustrate the differences between capitalism and socialism. We also went over notes to set up this unit. And I passed out reading schedules for the novelHomework: read ch. 1-3 of AF for the first day back from break.

Tuesday, 11/17

Today was the short story test. If you need to finish the test or make it up, see me ASAP. Those who finished the test early started on Animal Farm.

Friday 11/13

Today we finally wrapped up the short fiction review. The test will most definitely take place next Tuesday. We also did a bit more review on paragraph organization. Homework: study for that test!

Wednesday, 11/11

Today I was disappointed to find out that many students had not completed the short fiction review. Rather than forging ahead and risking poor grades on the tests, I docked students points for not having this assignment (rewarded those that did), and gave everyone time in class to get caught up. Not everyone finished in the allotted time, but most did, so we began the review, which we will finish Friday. Homework: finish this review if you still have not.

Monday, 11/9

Students read “The Grandfather” by Gary Soto to start the class. Afterwards, we caught up on our discussions of irony and ambiguity with “The Lady or the Tiger?” and “The Cask of Amontillado.” I then gave notes on Symbolism which lead into a discussion of symbols in general as well as symbolism in the Soto story. Homework: read “The Scarlet Ibis” on p. 343 in the text and try and find all of the elements listed on the short story review sheet; I will check this Wednesday in preparation for our test, likely Friday.

Thursday, 11/5

I had to leave early today, so I had subs in for both 9A classes. They collected homework from “The Lady or the Tiger?” Students then read “The Cask of Amontillado” in their textbooks and wrote me one well-organized paragraph explaining 3 examples of irony (with page numbers and which type of irony) as well as another paragraph with 2 examples of ambiguity.

Tuesday, 11/3

Today I introduced notes on Irony and Ambiguity. I also introduced the very basics of paragraph organization, and asked students to write paragraphs explaining the theme of and irony in “The Gift of the Magi.” We then finally discussed “Gift” as well as “Liberty,” looking for irony and ambiguity in addition to discussing theme. Homework: read “The Lady or the Tiger?” on p. 298; write a short paragraph explaining the theme as well as one describing irony you find.

Friday, 10/30

Today I checked the statements of theme from “The Gift of the Magi.” Then we reviewed theme again, this time using stories from Dr. Seuss. I modeled the 5-step test for theme with one story, then I had students practice some more with two other Seuss stories. I think we made some progress in understanding theme today. Homework: revise your statements of theme from “The Gift of the Magi” (or in some cases, do them in the first place; also, turn your 5-steps and statement of theme into a paragraph explaining the theme and supporting your explanation.

Wednesday, 10/28

Today we reviewed “A Sound of Thunder” from Monday’s assignment with the sub, practicing the process of finding theme. Then, so try and save my voice, I asked students to read “Liberty,” find its theme, and also find the theme from two other stories chosen from the five or six we’ve read so far. Homework: read ”The Gift of the Magi” and find its theme (it’s apparent that everyone needs the practice).

Monday, 10/26

I was out today. The sub had you read “A Sound of Thunder” on p. 499 in the text and then complete this handout about the story. This was due at the end of class.

Thursday, 10/22

Today we took a quiz on “The Sniper” covering all of the basic elements of fiction we’ve covered so far this unit. We then discussed the story. I also gave notes on theme and we began discussing the theme of our story today. Homework: review those elements of fiction you feel you don’t completely understand yet.

Tuesday, 10/20

Today I returned the graded Part 6 of the Poetry Project. If you were absent, please see me to get yours back. We then reviewed and discussed “The Interlopers,” including motivation and change in conflict carrying over from last class’s notes. We then went over notes on narrator point of view and applied these to the same story. Towards the end of class, I asked you to read as much of the historical background texts for “The Sniper” starting on p. 232 as you could before the bell. Homework: read “The Sniper” on p. 212; there will likely be a quiz.

Friday, 10/16

Today we started with a quiz on “Thank You, M’am.” Afterwards, we discussed direct and indirect characterization for this story, reviewing the notes from Wednesday. We then went over some additional aspects of character, applied these to “TYM” as well as “The Most Dangerous Game.” Homework: read “The Interlopers” on p. 151; answer questions 1 and 4 on p. 157 as well as this additional question: “What are the main characters’ motivations? Do they change?”

Wednesday, 10/14

Today was a very short period due to PLAN/PSAT testing in the morning. We took notes on characterization, and then applied these to “A Christmas Memory.” Homework: read “Thank You, M’am” on p. 87

Monday, 10/12

Today the 3rd period class took their quiz (as requested) over Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” while 4th period had questions due (also as requested). After giving the quiz/checking the questions, I returned the poetry tests. We spent a good deal of time reviewing the test, my grading criteria, and also printed progress reports. We wrapped up by starting our discussion of the Capote story; we’ll continue this on Wednesday. Homework: none.

Thursday, 10/8

We reviewed and discussed the homework for “Dog Star” which surrounded flashback and foreshadowing. After that we went over notes on setting, and then talked about the setting of our first two stories — particularly how those authors used setting to set the mood and tone. Homework: everyone needs to read “A Christmas Memory” on p. 51; I gave both classes a choice of either a quiz on Monday or discussion questions — per. 3 picked the quiz and per. 4 chose to answer questions 1-4, 6-7 after the story.

Tuesday, 10/6

I checked and we discussed (at length) the plot homework on “The Most Dangerous Game.” Homework: read “Dog Star” on p. 33 and answer questions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 12 on p. 41 in the textbook.

Friday, 10/2

I collected Part 6 of the Poetry Project today, thus ending our poetry unit. If you failed to turn in your Part 6 today, or it was incorrect or incomplete, it is late — it’s a zero till I get it, and there will be no revision option for you. Afterwards I introduced the short fiction unit with our notes on plot. Then I gave a great deal of reading time to start reading “The Most Dangerous Game” and start identifying elements of plot in that story. Homework: finish reading “The Most Dangerous Game,” make a plot diagram with exposition, at least four complications, climax, and resolution, identify internal/external conflicts, and identify any flashback, flash-forward, or foreshadowing.

Wednesday, 9/30

Today was the final work day for the Poetry Project, primarily for working on part 6. The entire project is due on Friday. Homework: finish part 6.

Monday, 9/28

Today was the poetry test. If you were absent, please see me ASAP to schedule your make-up test. Please remember that Part 6 of the Poetry Project will be due on Friday, 10/2, and we’ll have in-class time to type it on Wednesday, 9/30. Homework:  start drafting Part 6 so you can make good use of class time on Wednesday.

Thursday, 9/24

Today we took a practice test to try and figure out how ready everyone is to take the poetry test. Turns out, ready enough. Homework: review for the open-note, open-book poetry test on Monday.

Tuesday, 9/22

Today we reviewed the homework and then discussed parts 5 and 6 of the poetry project. Afterwards, we had work time in the library for part 5, which is due Thursday. Part 6 isn’t due until next Friday (10/2). Homework: finish part 5, as well as any parts you haven’t yet turned in.

Friday, 9/18

Today I started by getting an extended writing sample from everyone. While not directly related to our poetry unit, this is important for assessing your writing abilities (and a great way to make up some points if you were absent). We then discussed the Wordsworth poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” — its meaning as well as its imagery, figurative language, and poetic sounds. Homework: revisit “Boy at the Window” from the first week of class; look for imagery, figurative language, and poetic sounds in that poem.

Wednesday, 9/16

Part 4 of the Poetry Project was due today and collected at the start of class. We then continued our use of Shakespearean sonnets to explore the sounds of poetry. We also read, paraphrased, and discussed poetic sounds in “Ballad of Birmingham” in the textbook. Homework: if you’re completely caught up on the poetry project, none; if you are behind, get caught up!

Monday, 9/14

Today I returned parts 1-3 of the Poetry Project. We also discussed part 4, the interviews, which will be due next class. See the revised comprehensive handout for details on all 4 parts. And remember, you cannot turn in part 4 without parts 1-3 attached (and if you have yet to turn in parts 1-3, I will not take part 4 without them). Next we went through our third (and final) set of poetry notes — Sounds of Poetry. We practiced finding these sounds in Shakespeare’s Sonnet XVIII. On Wednesday, students will practice writing their own sonnets. Homework: complete the two interviews for part 4 of the poetry project.

Thursday, 9/10

I checked, and then we discussed, your homework on “Folding Won Tons In.” We then did some writing prompts, followed by notes and practice with sentence fragmentsHomework: none!

Tuesday, 9/8

We began today with a check of the homework from Tuesday. We then reviewed the poems in that assignment — “in Just-” and “Tiburón” — and also took some notes on Figures of Speech (a.k.a. Figurative Language). We practiced identifying figures of speech like similes, metaphors, and personification in the poems “Fog” and “Fire and Ice.” Homework: read “Folding Won Tons In” on p. 433; find two examples each of vivid imagery and figurative language.

Thursday, 9/3

Today I collected parts 1-3 of the Poetry Project. If it’s not in yet, and I haven’t already given you an extension, it’s late. We then practiced paraphrasing and imagery, including citing specific lines in a poem during a discussion, with “Woman Work” by Maya Angelou. Homework: please read and paraphrase, and then also find imagery in, “in Just—” (p. 414) and “Tiburón” (p. 430).

Tuesday, 9/1

Today was entirely a work day for the poetry project parts 1-3. Some students finished in class. Homework: finish parts 1-3 and have them ready when you walk in the door Thursday.

Friday, 8/28

Today we began the poetry project. We were in the library for the first part of class researching poems and typing them up if you selected one. We will have more time in library on Tuesday to continue work on the project. Afterwards, we went through library orientation with the library staff. Homework: work on the poetry projects part 1-3.

Wednesday, 8/26

Today we began discussing imagery in poetry. We practiced writing vivid imagery, and then paraphrased and looked for imagery in “A Blessing.” Homework: none tonight.

Monday, 8/24

Today I started class by collecting your signed course guidelines. If you didn’t have them, Wednesday is the last day I’ll accept them for credit. We then practiced paraphrasing with the poem “Boy at the Window” in the lit textbook. Homework: none.

Thursday, 8/20

Today we started class with yearbook photos. Afterwards, we did a reading/writing inventory, reviewed the course guidelines and this Web site, and signed out textbooks. Homework: get the bottom portion of page 2 of the course guidelines signed by a parent; due Monday.

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