Educational Resource

English 9

Brief Course Description

Literature and Composition is a year course in which students combine the study of literature with concentrated work on writing. Students read a variety of recommended authors and genres and will write in response to the literature and to their own personal experience (journal, reflective, narrative and descriptive). Emphasis in the writing process is on the mechanics of generating ideas, precise sentences and vocabulary. This course of study will cover traditional grammar and its use and related skills such as spelling, oral communication, writing, study skills and library/research use.

Content Objectives/Outline

  • Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development—
    Application of etymological and morphological knowledge to word meanings, particularly words derived from Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. Students also distinguish between the denotative and connotative meanings of words and learn about the power of connotative meanings.

  • Reading Comprehension
    • Synthesizing the content and ideas from several sources focused on a single issue or written by a single author.
    • Producing evidence of comprehension by paraphrasing ideas and connecting them to other sources and to related topics.
    • Extending ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis, evaluation, and elaboration.
    • The structural features of workplace documents (e.g., business letters, memos, minutes, and procedural manuals).
    • To follow the types of sophisticated technical directions found in advanced software programs or Internet resources.
    • The consistent use of guidelines published by the Modern Language Association and by the American Psychological Association.
  • Literary Response and Analysis—
    • Novels are the core texts for literary analysis and are supplemented with short stories, essays, and poetry (an emphasis is placed on World literature and content).
      • Analyze such elements as the following:
        • Character, interactions among characters, and interactions between characters and plot
        • Time and sequence (e.g., foreshadowing and flashbacks)
        • Comparison of universal themes in several works
        • Literary elements, such as figurative language, allegory, and symbolism
        • Ambiguities, contradictions, and ironies in the text
        • Voice or persona (point of view)
      • To understand literary elements in depth as an aid to reading and creating expressive discourse of their own.
      • To be familiar with the purposes and characteristics of the major genres of literature.
      • To read independently about one and one half million words annually.
    • Writing Strategies—
      • Student should be competent in:
        • Using clear, nontrivial research questions and suitable research methodology from primary and secondary sources
        • Synthesizing information from multiple sources to support the thesis
        • Identifying complexities, discrepancies, and differing perspectives in the researched information
        • Embedding quotations and citations skillfully and using bibliographic conventions appropriately
      • To use advanced publishing software to create final documents.
      • When appropriate, student texts should be 1,500 words in length (about five to six pages, typed and double-spaced).
    • Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)—
      • To emphasize various text structures such as:
        • Identifying the critical elements of each text structure for students
        • Providing instructional opportunities to learn about writing for a variety of purposes and helping students achieve a sense of audience
      • Written and Oral English Language Conventions—
        • Sentence and paragraph structure: main and subordinate clauses, phrases, parallel structure, consistency of verb tenses, placement of modifiers
        • Punctuation: semicolons, colons, ellipses, hyphens
        • Grammar and usage, diction, syntax media
        • Correct spelling
        • Manuscript conventions: title page, pagination, spacing and margins
      • Appropriate citations for source and support material
        • Listening and Speaking Strategies
        • Use various visual aids and electronic media
        • Use devices of oral rhetoric (intonation, gestures, eye contact)
        • Produce concise notes for extemporaneous oral presentations
        • Compare how different media cover the same event
        • Compare significant historical speeches and the rhetorical devices used
        • Analyze structural elements of oral and media presentations
        • Analyze rhetorical elements
        • Analyze orally presented arguments
        • Evaluate the aesthetic effects and techniques of media presentations
      • Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
        • To deliver presentations of the following types: narrative (autobiographical or fictional); expository (research); oral responses to literature; argument or persuasion; and descriptive
        • To apply appropriate interviewing techniques
        • To analyze and evaluate a speaker’s arguments and tone and the techniques used to create them

      Methods of Assessment
      Assessment tools include the following but are not limited to:

      1. Research projects
      2. Portfolios
      3. Written examinations
      4. Student demonstrations
      5. Student grades
      6. Parent facilitator and education specialist observation
      7. Oral communication Periodic review of work by independent study teacher (IST)


      • Core literature list:
        • 9th Grade (All Levels)—Romeo and Juliet—Shakespeare
        • The Odyssey—Homer
        • Great Expectations or Tale of Two Cities—Dickens
      • California State Department of Education—Recommended Literature Grades Nine Through Twelve
      • Holt Elements of Literature; 3rd course, © 1997
      • McDougal-Littell The Language of Literature; © 2000/01
      • Holt Elements of Writing; 3rd course, © 1993