Welcome to English 9!!!!!!

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North Salem High School 2015 - 2016

J. Molloy

M. Minzloff

Course Description:

English 9The ninth grade English curriculum is based upon a genre approach to literature. Short stories, poetry, drama, novels, and film will be utilized throughout the year in order to assist students in developing their appreciation and understanding of the English language. A strong emphasis will be placed on expository writing, critical analysis, and literary response and expression.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 8.

Reading Assignments

Students are expected to come to class having read the assigned texts and prepared to discuss the themes and the author’s purpose supported by literary elements and techniques. While reading, students should make notes on the text using post-it notes. *(If students purchase their own novels, they may write directly in the text).

Writing Assignments

Analysis of poetry, short stories, novels and plays will be assessed in the following forms: (1) timed in-class essays that require students to either read/listen and interpret a short piece of literature and construct a response – or interpret a longer work through the lens of a specific prompt, (2) reflective responses to literature in the form of journal entries, (3) insightful responses to literature in the form of blog responses, posted on the class blog, (4) a formal MLA interdisciplinary research paper.
*Essay revisions are encouraged and will take place during an after-school.


Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucher
The Odyssey, Homer
A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
Short Stories:
“The Most Dangerous Game,” Richard Connell
“Thank You Ma’am,” Langston Hughes
“The Open Window,” Saki
“The Tell Tale Heart,” Edgar Allen Poe
“By The Waters of Babylon,” Stephen Vincent Benét
"The Snows of Kilimanjaro," Ernest Hemingway
“The Bucket Rider,” Franz Kafka
“Balto,” T.C. Boyle
“The Sniper,” Liam O’Flaherty

Course Assessments:
Quarterly grades will be based upon:
Formal Writing 40%
Assignments include in-class essays and formal research papers. (Must follow the conventions of formal, standard English – revision of initial draft is encouraged.)
Each quarter, students will also complete an “Independent Reading Assignment.” Students will be required to read a novel of their choice and establish a reading schedule since this assignment is to be completed independently.

Examinations 30%
These include both quizzes and examinations, weighted accordingly. Examinations follow the three part process (Test Analysis/Test Debate), created to support conceptual understanding of the textual themes, critical thinking skills and metacognition.
*This course will culminate in a final exam that will mirror the NYS English Regents and count as one-fifth of the final grade for English 9.

Journals/Blogs 20%
These shorter reflective writing assignments require students to draw conclusions, weigh and comment on the assertions of their classmates, and make connections between themes studied and the outside world. (Rubrics used to grade these assignments are attached).

Homework/Participation 10%
Homework is always posted online and in the classroom.All assignments must be completed on time.Students will loose 10 points each day for late homework assignments.*It is the student’s responsibility to make up any work he/she has missed due to an excused absence or lateness.

Test Debate /Test Analysis

The Test Debate / Test Analysis process seeks to prepare students for the rigors of state and national testing which is used to determine student’s educational progress. Research has shown that the activity builds critical thinking skills by encouraging students to think conceptually about (in our case) a work of literature. Such skills are necessary to excel on the AP English exams, as well as the SAT and ACT exams, which all require students to differentiate between good answers and best answers.

A simplistic way to illustrate the process would be to say that the multiple-choice test turns into a short answer exam where partial credit is given. A student will never be penalized for an answer that is "correct," but this process allows them to earn points back on questions that they originally marked "wrong."

Test Debate Process
1) The class debates the conceptual question using Socratic Technique:

Step 1: One of the participants initiates the discussion by phrasing one or more questions. (Question on exam…)

Step 2: This is followed by the presentation of a response that sets forth hypotheses, which are developed through demonstration.

Step 3: Refutation and cross-examination, takes place.

Step 4: The final phase hopefully will consist of a modification of the original position held by each participant. The desired end result is shared meaning and enlarged understanding.
(Golden, Berquist, & Coleman,1983)

2) At the conclusion of the discussion, the class votes on the BEST answer.

3) That vote does not determine a student's grade on the test.

4) The student, after hearing the discussion, draws final conclusions about the question, which is done in the form of Test Analysis.


Students are expected to be prompt and prepared on a daily basis.
Students are expected to complete all assigned reading.
Students are expected to participate in class through active listening, discussion, and group work.
Students are responsible for completing assignments on time and for making up missed work due to *legal absences.
Attendance will be recorded daily and cuts reported.
*See NS Attendance Policy.

Extra Help:
Ms. Molloy: W-24
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:15 - 2:55 or by appointment.

Mr. Minzloff: W-31A
Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2:15-2:5 or by appointment.he

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