English Language Arts

9th Grade

9th Grade ELA Course Summary

In 9th Grade English Language Arts, students explore the theme of personal identity through diverse, rigorous, and relevant texts: Born a Crime, Of Mice and Men, The Central Park Five, In the Time of the Butterflies, The Taming of the Shrew, and thematically aligned texts: short stories, articles, poems, and digital media. Students will consider how factors like race and gender as well as the social and political context of characters’ lives impact who they are, how they experience the world, and how they use their voices to effect change for themselves and others. Across the 5 units, students deepen their paragraph writing skills through narrative, opinion, analytical, and informational writing tasks.

Building upon the knowledge and English Language Arts skills they’ve developed in previous years, students deeply engage with complex texts through both independent reading and guided Close Reading, prepare for and engage in longform whole class discussions including Socratic Seminars, and write multi-paragraph responses to Essential Questions by gathering evidence and effectively communicating their thoughts. 

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Unit 1

20 Lessons

Me, Myself, and I: Examining Personal Identity in Short Texts

Students explore the factors that contribute to and impact one’s personal identity through their reading of short stories, poems, and nonfiction.

Unit 2

25 Lessons

You Laugh But It’s True: Humor and Institutional Racism in Born a Crime

Students explore how Trevor Noah leverages elements of fiction such as characterization, figurative language, and tone to develop his complex argument about institutional racism and its impact on identity development.

Unit 3

30 Lessons

Power, Justice, and Culpability: Of Mice and Men and The Central Park Five

In this unit, students read John Steinbeck's classic novella, Of Mice and Men, and the 2011 nonfiction text, The Central Park Five by Sarah Burns. 

Unit 4

28 Lessons

¡Viva Las Mariposas! Voice and Agency in In the Time of the Butterflies

Students will examine how Julia Alvarez structures her historical fiction novel and gives voice to the four Mirabal sisters as they come of age under Trujillo's dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. 

Unit 5

29 Lessons

Gender and Power in The Taming of the Shrew

Through their reading of Shakespeare's play and supplemental texts, students examine the thematic ideas of gender and power, making connections between the play and contemporary societal messages. 

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