English Honors for grade 9 is an integrated curriculum with challenging assignments aimed at preparing Honors-level students for advanced work in the study of literature and language arts. Each unit contains thematically related lessons in five domains: reading and the study of literature, reading informational text, writing, speaking and listening, and language study, which includes word knowledge and grammar skills. Topics are presented in ways that help young adolescents relate literacy skills to other aspects of their lives. Writing assignments include narrative, expository, and persuasive/argumentative modes and emphasize the use of and details and reasoning to support ideas. Speaking and listening lessons in Semester A emphasize collaborative discussion skills and peer review. Vocabulary development instruction is integrated into literature and informational text lessons. Each unit ends with an authentic assessment that presents students with a real-world scenario requiring some of the skills they learned in the unit.
Assignments that are specific to the Honors level of this course ask students to apply advanced skills earlier in the course and more often than students in the regular version of English 9. For example, students move immediately beyond the identification of literary elements or aspects of informational text to the analysis of these components. Likewise, Honors students don’t simply recognize and describe rhetorical strategies—they also use these strategies to create specific effects. Some Honors assignments require students to go one step farther in developing an assignment—for instance, writing an essay after generating ideas for the essay using the worksheet provided to students in the regular course. Clear and extensive guidelines are provided for each Honors assignment along with a detailed rubric for evaluation.
Like semester A, semester B of English 9 Honors consists of integrated units focused on a theme or mode of study. Literature study in semester B focuses on the analysis of different forms of literature and on comparative studies of world literature and literature delivered in different media. As in Semester A, Honors assignments in this semester require students to take a more analytical or active approach to many of the assignments and activities in the course. Honors students will write more often and more deeply about topics and also reflect more critically on the processes they use to read and write. Writing and informational text lessons guide students through the stages of research and demonstrate how to evaluate, integrate, and share the information gathered during research. Students are required to share their ideas and analysis using several different modes, including oral and multimedia presentations.
Required Novels (choose one per semester):
Romeo and Juliet (Semester A)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Semester B)
Optional Novels (choose two per semester):
The Old Man and the Sea
House on Mango Street
Speak of Mice and Men