English Language Arts » Grade 9

Grade 9

family pictureUnit Title: Divided We Fall
Essential Question: Why do we feel the need to belong?
Genre Focus: Fiction

Deep inside most individuals lurks a desire to belong to a group. The group might be one’s family, a circle of friends, a popular clique, a winning team, or a respected profession. The conflict caused by the desire to fit in and the wish to be an individual is a common theme in literature.

Why do we feel the need to belong? Why does it often hurt to feel excluded from the group? What’s wrong with being an outsider? Is there value in the outsider’s perspective? What risks do outsiders take?

This unit offers a wide variety of literature for your students to explore these questions while also exploring texts in the unit’s genre focus, fiction.
 
 
person looking at barren landUnit Title: The Call to Adventure
Essential Question: What will you learn on your journey?
Genre Focus: Informational

Most of the greatest adventure stories are about a journey. In some cases, the journey is physical. Someone goes out into the world in search of something—a treasure or a truth. In others, the journey is figurative. Someone stays close to home but uses his or her imagination to go on inner journeys and overcome personal obstacles.

What will you learn on your journey? How do real and imagined journeys help us investigate the world and understand ourselves? How does reading about journeys help us prepare for adventures of our own?

This unit offers a wide variety of literature for your students to explore these questions while also exploring texts in the unit’s genre focus, informational.
 
 
person pointing to stars in the skyUnit Title: Declaring Your Genius
Essential Question: How do you define intelligence?
Genre Focus: Argumentative

Popular culture often depicts geniuses as wild-haired scientists with grand ambitions and poor social skills. True geniuses are few and far between, but many people think of themselves as reasonably intelligent human beings.

But what does it mean to be intelligent? Does intelligence only refer to book-smarts? Other than performing well on tests, how else can people reveal their intelligence?

This unit offers a wide variety of literature for your students to explore these questions while also exploring selections in the unit’s genre focus, argumentative text.
 
 
bowing to an audienceUnit Title: The Art of Disguise
Essential Question: How do we perform for different audiences?
Genre Focus: Drama

While it is true that most people experience some degree of nervousness when speaking in front of an audience, it is also true that every human is secretly an actor who changes roles constantly. Consciously or not, people speak and behave differently depending on the situation in which they find themselves—whether they are introducing themselves to a peer online, hanging out with an old friend, or applying for a job.

How aware are we of our performances in life? What could we learn about ourselves if we paid closer attention to the roles we play and how we play them? Are we being somehow dishonest by adapting to our many roles? Do we have any choice but to play certain necessary parts?

This unit offers a wide variety of literature for your students to examine these questions while also exploring texts in the unit’s genre focus, drama.