Ninth Grade English
Mr. J. D. Wilson, Jr.
Genre Studies 9th Grade
Room 205, (508) 291-3510, ext. 205
"When Scythrop grew up, he was sent, as usual, to a public school, where a little learning was painfully beaten into him, and from thence to the university, where it was carefully taken out of him; and he was sent home like a well-threshed ear of corn, with nothing in his head." Thomas Peacock: Nightmare Abbey
"If you like not my writing, go read something else." Robert Burton: The Anatomy of Melancholy
The Nature of the Course
Stuff We Will Read
Stuff We Will Write
Sites to Check Out
Calendar of Events
Keep Quiet and do your work!
The Nature of the Course :
In this course you will learn how to analyze literature in its three primary forms, poetry, prose, and drama. You will also learn to recognize each of the major literary genres, fiction, non-fiction, prose, novel, novella, short story, epic poetry, lyric poetry, and drama. You will also be introduced to the different ways each genre is read, that is we read a poem differently from a play or novel and fiction a bit differently than non-fiction. You will then learn to express your thoughts and opinions on what you have read. Much of your professional lives will be spent responding to written or verbal forms of communication so it follows that the ability to read, understand, and communicate your understanding is a valuable skill to possess and develop, even if, God help you, you never read another line of great literature. It is our aim to teach you to express your thoughts, impressions, and opinions so that they can be understood by the average reader. You will be expected to write cogent essays that are well developed and defended that successfully persuade others of the validity of your thoughts. This does not mean you have to persuade others to think like you. It does mean that others even if they do not come to share your view understand the merits of your view. As you study literature the awareness should strike you that there are many "right" answers to the issues discussed. What is important is not that you reach some sanctioned conclusion, but that your conclusions are defensible. It is a further aim that you learn to understand and write about different points of view. To fully understand your own point of view you must know, and to a certain extent understand, opposing points of view.
This is the first goal of this class, and the second is like unto it: to develop critical thinking skills. The first step in this process is to understand our own thinking. "What do I think about this and why do I think it?" are questions we must constantly ask ourselves. It is a presumption of this class that writers write to, among other things, express ideas and communicate points of view. Hopefully the process of analyzing ideas and different points of view will expand, or even change, your thinking on the issues the various authors raise. To understand the ideas a work of literature expresses it is helpful to understand and appreciate the forms they use. For example, why did the author write a sonnet instead of an ode? It is also important to be able to assess a work's artistic merit. It is important to remember that it is possible to recognize the artistry with which a poem or story is written without personally "liking" it. It is also important to recognize how authors use the various literary devices to tell their stories. As a result of pursuing these two sets of goals you should come to understand literature, its artistry and craft.
Attendance: It is important that you be present for each scheduled class meeting. Work missed as the result of an unexcused absence cannot be made up. Though absence may make the heart grow fonder, it makes for indigent brains. An unexcused absence is one for which there is no valid excuse (in writing on the letterhead of someone the instructor deems official enough to grant excuses). Be aware that you are responsible for finding out what happened in class on any day you missed, whether the absence is excused or not.
Conferences: Some problems do not lend themselves to classroom discussion. I will be available after school, by appointment to answer questions and give a sympathetic ear to writing problems. This should not be used as a substitute for the editorial process.
Assignments: All papers (essays, term papers, writing projects, etc.) must be typed and double-spaced. Font size should not exceed that of this syllabus, (Times New Roman #12). Reading logs, notes, outlines, and all other writing generated by class discussions, exercises, or your own writing process need not, indeed cannot, be typed. No final draft that is unaccompanied by each written stage of its creation will be regarded as complete. Your drafts, notes, outlines, etc. not only form an audit trail of your thought process, they also aid the memory. The insight you fail to write down now to contemplate later will be forgotten. THROW NOTHING AWAY . Due dates for each assignment are given below. Please realize these are not suggested dates. Failure to turn an assignment in on time will lower your grade by at least half a grade point. If you have a legitimate reason for being late you must inform me in advance of the due date. I will be the final arbiter of whether an excuse is legitimate.
Portfolio: Your portfolio is to include each of your essays accompanied by all rough drafts, outlines, notes and other supporting documentation. It will also include reading logs, book reports, and your pick of the week from each week’s writing assignments. Also include a table of contents.
Stuff We Will Read:
September 5 - October 18 - The Odyssey (poem).
October 19 - November 13 - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Novella).
November 15 - January 16 - The Hobbit (Novel).
January 16 - January 19 - First Semester Final Exams.
January 17 - January 19 - Short Story: “The Necklace”, “The Cask of Amontillado”, and “The Most Dangerous Game.”
January 22 - March 19 - The Sea Wolf (Novel).
March 20 – April 30 - Romeo and Juliet (Play) & Comedy of Errors (film).
May 1 - June 11 - To Kill a Mocking Bird (Novel).
June 19 – June 28 (In the event of Snow Days) - “The Marriage Proposal (One Act Play)
“The Scarlet Ibis” (Short Story)
June 12 - June 18 - Second Semester Final Exams (Depends on Snow Days).
Stuff We Will Write:
First Essay Assignment – Controversial Topic
Topic and Sources due 9-12
Thesis statement List sources – Pro due 9-20.
Outline and List sources – Anti due 9-28.
First draft for peer review due 10-17.
Final draft due 10-26.
Rewrite due 11-3.
Second Essay Assignment – Author Biography
Topic and Sources due 10-14.
Thesis statement and Sources due 11-22.
Outline and Sources due 12-4.
First draft for peer review due 12-19.
Final draft due 1-5.
Rewrite draft due 1-17.
Shakespeare Newspaper Project
Cover and Weather Report due 1-5.
Sports Page and Want Ads due 1-17.
Dr. Dee’s Prognostications and Letter to the Editor Cures due 1-19.
Paracelsus’ Home and Wonders and Wizardry due 1/29.
Poore Man’s Holinshed and Help Wanted due 2-6.
Book Review due 2-4.
William Shakespeare: “Man of the Year” and Shakespeare Timeline due 3-1.
News Articles Due 3-9.
Table of Contents and Bibliography due 3-19.
Finished Newspaper due 3-27.
Short Story Project
Setting map due 4-5.
Character art due 4-13.
Theme bumper stickers due 4-30
Plot comic strips due 5-8.
Tone art due 5-16.
First draft for peer review due 5-24.
Finished story and all art work due 6-4.
Rewrite due 6-12.
First book report due 10-26.
Second book report due 1-17.
Third book report due 3-19.
Fourth book report due 6-4.
Sites to Check Out
On the Road Again Bus Tours
Life in Jekyll's England
Bus Tour Sites
History and Culture of England 1880-1900 (Including food, fashion, and architecture)
The World of The Hobbit
Bus Tour Sites
Hobbit History and Culture
Hobbits and Norse Mythology and Culture
What They Might Have Eaten
English History and Culture and a Bit about Tolkien
Clothing of Middle Earth
Architecture of Middle Earth
The Bus Depot Info
Text of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Text of The Hobbit
E-Text of The Hobbit
E-Text of The Hobbit
Calendar of Events
What We Will Read :
Day One 01-08: - The Hobbit, "Thief in the Night."
Day Two 01-10: - The Hobbit, "The Clouds Burst."
Day Three 01-11: - The Hobbit, "The Return Journey" and "The Final Stage."
Day Four 01-16: - "The Necklace,” pp. 658-665.
Pleasure Reading – 01-17.
Reading Log – 01-22.
Mid-Term Exams - 01-18 & 19 (The Hobbit and compare and Ninth Grade Common Exam. Also due are the take home quiz questions from previous The Hobbit quizzes.)
Reading Quiz – 01-17 (The Hobbit, "Thief in the Night" - "The Final Stage." This is an optional, extra credit quiz that can be done to replace a missing quiz grade or improve a poor quiz grade from a previous week's The Hobbit quiz).
Vocabulary Definitions – 01-22.
Vocabulary Quiz – 01-22.
Author Biography Essay Phase V – Final draft due 01-05.Phase VI - Rewrite due 01-11 (Weeks One, Two, and Three of the Shakesepeare Newspaper will be due on 01-29.)
Journals for the Week :
Journal One 01-08: - Explain this week’s quote.
Journal Two 01-10: - Find a passage from last night’s reading that you liked and tell me why you liked it.
Journal Three 01-11: - Describe this picture.
Journal Four 01-16: - Find a sentence with an indirect object. An indirect object tells the reader “to whom” or ”to what” or “for whom” or “for what” (though “to” or “for” need not appear in the sentence) about the verb, as opposed to “who” or “what” receives the action of the verb. Consider , for example, the sentence: The campers set-up the tent under the broad branches of the oak tree. “Tent” is the direct object because it tells the reader what was set-up, while “broad branches” is the indirect object because it tells the reader to what place the tent was brought in order to be set-up. Find a sentence in last night’s reading that contains an indirect object. Underline the subject, the direct object, and the indirect object. Write an “s” above the subject, “do” over the direct object, and write “io” over the indirect object. Then explain what additional information is provided by the indirect object. (If you were using the example above you might say the indirect object tells us where the tent was set-up, that is “under the broad branches of the oak tree.”)