English 9


English 9 is a foundational high school English language arts course designed to introduce 9th-grade students to the rich and diverse world of English language literature. This course, also known as 9th Grade English or English 1, is tailored to transition students into high school-level English language arts, providing them with the tools and skills necessary for academic success in literature and composition.

How Our English 9 Course Works

In English 9, we emphasize the development of critical reading and analysis skills. Pairing you with your own private teacher for one-to-one instruction, we’ll build a course around your interests and passions as a reader, while keeping an eye on American high school standards and, if required, your local standards.

This will be an in-depth exploration of literary genres including novels, short stories, poetry, and drama; and we’ll learn the basic structure of literary analysis that will form the core of our work through high school and into college. Although customized to the student, this course usually places a strong emphasis on the art of rhetoric, exploring how authors craft their narratives and arguments, and the impact of word choices on meaning and tone.

We will also focus on writing, and spend a solid amount of time studying good writing and practicing our technique. We’ll begin to discover our voice as a writer and try our hand at longer-form essays—as a precursor to more advanced paper writing that will come along in later grades.

Beyond reading and writing, English 9 is aimed at developing students’ attention to detail, appreciation for diverse perspectives, and a nuanced understanding of language’s complexities.

Our Grade 9 English Course at a Glance

Although each instance of this Grade 9 English course varies according to the student and teacher and the path they carve together, some common highlights of all courses at this level include:

Literary Analysis: Your teacher will provide a general introduction to literary elements such as plot, character, setting, theme, and figurative language. You will learn to interpret and analyze texts, developing a point of view into literary works.

Diverse Genres: Your teacher will strive to expose you to a variety of genres to help you build a diverse palette across a range of storytelling and expression. This typically includes examining classic and contemporary works that reflect a range of perspectives and backgrounds, as well as works in translation from diverse cultures and points of view.

Writing: Writing is a critical life skill, and we will spend considerable time and energy finding our voice and honing our skills as a writer. We’ll learn to structure and compose coherent essays, focusing on narrative, descriptive, and expository styles.

Grammar and Vocabulary: Building a robust vocabulary and a strong grasp of grammar are integral to this course, enhancing students’ communication skills and comprehension abilities.

English 9 Reading List

The reading list for this course will be developed collaboratively between student and teacher to challenge the student, align with external expectations like standards, and explore new and innovative writing. Some typical texts include:

  • Classic novels such as Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”, S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders”, or “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte for their themes of growth, justice, and societal challenges.
  • A collection of short stories that provide diverse perspectives and rich thematic content, such as Anthony Doerr’s “Memory Wall.”
  • Poetic works that introduce students to a range of poetic forms and techniques.
  • Dramatic pieces like Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” or “Macbeth,” offering an introduction to classical literature and dramatic analysis.
  • Modern novels focused on tying significant historical events or timelines into the modern world around students, such as “Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jeanette Rhys (which is a profound parallel to the aforementioned “Jane Eyre”) or Yaa Gyasi’s “Homegoing.”

English 9 Goals

By the end of English 9, you will have a solid foundation in literary analysis, effective communication, and writing skills. You will be equipped to engage with texts critically, articulate your thoughts and analyses clearly, and be ready to tackle more difficult texts and longer writing projects in English 10 and beyond. The diverse, well-rounded booklist will provide students with insight into historical, political, and social themes. As a consequence of this, students will be encouraged to express their opinions, critiques, and analyses of these texts.


What is the Focus of the English 9 Course?

The focus of our English 9 course is to provide students with a personalized and comprehensive English literature education that covers essential concepts typically found in most elite private schools; but, in this case, delivered by your own private teacher. We emphasize critical thinking, effective communication, and the exploration of diverse perspectives through literature and writing.

What Will I Learn in This Course?

In this course, you will read amazing books and learn to analyze them closely, develop evidence-based claims, refine your writing skills, conduct research, evaluate arguments, and explore various forms of writing, including informative, argumentative, and narrative. You will also have the opportunity to learn with a passionate, dedicated English language arts teacher who is solely devoted to your learning journey.

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