Ninth Grade English

Mr. J. D. Wilson, Jr.

Genre Studies 9th Grade

Room 205, (508) 291-3510, ext. 205

e-mail: jwilson@wareham.k12.ma.us

"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).


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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.

Book Reports

First book report due 10-26.


Second book report due 1-17.


Third book report due 3-19.


Fourth book report due 6-4.


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Calendar of Events\

What We Will Read:

Day One 09-05: - The Odyssey, Book I.

Day Two 09-07: - The Odyssey, Book II.

Day Three 09-8: - The Odyssey, Book III.

Day Four 09-11: - The Odyssey, IV.

Pleasure Reading Log – 09-12.

Reading Log – 09-13.

Reading Quiz – 09-13 The Odyssey (Books I-IV).

Vocabulary Definitions – 09-13.

Vocabulary Quiz – 09-13.

Controversial Topic Essay Phase I - Topic and Sources 09-12

Journals for the Week :

Day One 09-05: - Explain this week’s quote.

Day Two 09-07: - Describe this picture.

Day Three 09-08: - Find a passage from last night’s reading that you liked and tell me why you liked it.


Day Four 09-11 - Find an adjective in a passage from last night’s reading. An adjective is a word that modifies a noun or pronoun. An adjective gives descriptive information about the noun or pronouns it modifies by telling which one or ones (that zucchini or those mutton chops), by telling what kind (a purple people eater), or by how many or how much (three and a half students went on the trip or the lobbyist paid one million dollars for the politicians vote). Underline the subject, verb and adjective in the passage you selected. Write "s" above the subject, "v" about the verb, and "a" above the adjective. Tell me what the adjective tells us about the noun or pronoun it modifies. (For example, if the passage stated: “Thirty-five green goats descended on the barnyard chickens" you would underline "thirty-five" and "green" and write "a" above them, you would underline "goats" and write "s" above it, and "descended" and write "v" above it. You would then tell me that the adjectives tell the reader there were thirty-five goats (how many) that happened to be green (what kind)).


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