English 9 Lessons and Activities

Welcome to the English 9 web page!

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On this page you'll find information about what we do every day in class, including the play-by-play of what happens in each class period, homework assignments, and due dates. Here's what to know: 


Tuesday, May 22 through Thursday, May 24


Substitute Lesson Plans – Mr. Rice

Period 2 – English 9




KEY >>> As they enter, please meet them at the door and say, “You need your orange textbook today.”


We just finished a unit on the genre of mystery, culminating in the viewing of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.” Students are in groups, attempting to create a poster that demonstrates the film is a perfect example of the mystery genre.


They were promised 20 minutes of work time today to complete the poster. Tell them up front that they get 20 minutes and no more. The posters are on my desk, and pens are over by the entry table or podium. Start the 20 minute countdown after all groups have assembled and received their posters.


Allow students to group up and work on their posters. Encourage them to go past the minimum requirements and mention the creativity you see in groups to spur some friendly competition. Tell them that presentations will occur on Friday, but they will have no more time to work on the poster in class this week. If they want to do something fancy outside class time, then that’s fine – they can come after school to prepare.


Give a 5 minute warning when work time has almost elapsed. After the full 20 minutes give a couple minutes to collect posters and pens. Make all students pick up papers/pens/pen caps that may be on the floor.

Direct students to return to their assigned seats and turn to page 650.


Selecting random students to read aloud, read through the information on pages 650 through 653. At every location where students are supposed to answer a question or do a small activity, pause and give students a chance to answer and discuss.


Read the introductory information on page 654 for “Black Boy” by Richard Wright. Discuss the “Connect to Your Life” segment briefly, encouraging input. Then direct students to explore the images that accompany the text.

Ask students this question: “African American men and women used to be very cautious about appearing too aggressive or ambitious. Why do you think this was the case? What may have been the purpose of this behavior?”


IF there is time left, have students read the selection silently.






Give students 15 minutes to complete the Wright reading from Tuesday (see above). Enforce silent reading time for 15 minutes. If they finish early, you can give them the assignment below to start on:


Assign students to complete the following questions/activities on pages 660-661. If they do not finish during class, then the work becomes homework:


Pg 660 #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7  REMIND students to provide evidence from the text when answering #2

Pg 661 Select one of the five activities under “choices & challenges” and DO IT.


Tell them that first thing Thursday they have to share their choice from 661. And yes – if they chose a rap, they have to perform it!




Assignments from “Black Boy” due per yesterday’s assignment. Give plenty of time for all students to share their choice from 661.


When everyone has shared, collect all answers to the reading questions from 660-661.


Have everyone settle into assigned seats and turn to page 691. Have volunteers read the information about Sandra Cisneros on pgs 691 through 694. Where there are questions to answer, pause, and allow students to discuss.


Explore the timeline on pages 692-693. Ask students to comment on the events in the author’s life and what other historical events occurred at the same time.


When you get to page 694, tell students they will do the “Reader’s Notebook” activity as they read Cisneros’ text.

Instead of reading silently, I want them to read aloud, trading paragraphs with their neighbor. You can see the desks are arranged in pairs and groups of three, so they’re already set up for this activity. It’s a little noisy with so many people reading at once, but it’s good b/c kids hear the text. As they move through the text, encourage them to pause and explore the “reader’s notebook” activity.


For work time, have students answer: Pg 699 #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7


The questions assigned are to be LEFT BEHIND today – NOT taken home. I want to see progress on the questions, with the goal of finishing at least through question four.


Tomorrow I will give students a few minutes to complete the assignments, then they will share responses.





Thu, May 3


DUE: A draft paragraph of physical description of your main character

HMWK: Draft a full paragraph that combines the physical description with personality. Make the character DO something that reveals a personality trait.

TODAY: Descriptive detail to provide personality


Review of yesterday - physical details and description for visual imagery


Reading of a couple sample physical descriptions - volunteers




How narrative can reveal personality through inference - samples given in the table below


A brainstorm of personality traits - working backwards: Once you know what kind of personality you want to give your character, imagine what they would DO to demonstrate the personality.



What we can INFER from the description

It was plain his hair hadn’t been washed in over a week as indicated by the buildup of grease and flaked dandruff on his collar. The shirt he wore was stained with Tuesday’s spaghetti and Monday’s third cup of coffee. It was Saturday, and the metro was empty save for those poor cubicle-jockeys who aimed to please their supervisors with some overtime.


INFER from the details something about their personality.


INFER that the character doesn’t care about personal appearance.

When Sally walked into the room, an energy awakened that drew every other girl to her with a smile and the latest gossip. Sally wore a new Hollister hoodie, yet didn’t stand with that air of superiority some girls carry who want to show off wealth. Instead, she had an ease, and it was this ease that drew the others to her.

INFER that she’s laid-back and nice


INFER that she’s friendly/likeable


She has a modesty, but still self-confident


Humble – not a confrontational person – doesn’t like to flaunt wealth



Habib continued toward the corner, noticing that Mrs. Jones’ dog had once again soiled the walk. Three people coming the other direction had avoided the pile with looks of disgust, but he paused, slowly turned, and selected a bag from the neighborhood pet waste notice. He approached the steaming pile, bent down, and with a grace that belied his age, lifted it cleanly from the concrete and placed it in the waste bin. “Not preferable, but I’ve experienced worse,” noted the man, and chuckling to himself, he continued on to meet his granddaughter at the bus stop, his daily joy to see her emerge.

Values family & doesn’t mind cleaning up after others if it makes his neighborhood nicer.


Grandfatherly – caring


Enjoys small things in life – seeing daughter get off bus


Has been through a lot – cleaning up the poop isn’t a big deal.


Good citizen


What are words that you would use to describe someone’s personality?

  • ·         Nice
  • ·         Friendly
  • ·         Ecstatic
  • ·         Lethargic
  • ·         Disgusting
  • ·         Selfish
  • ·         Laid back
  • ·          




My protagonist’s name is ______________, and (he/she) is ___(personality trait)___. The first time the reader meets him/her, he/she will be … (DOING WHAT???)


Thoughtful, lazy, loving, awkward, bubbly, mischievous, aggravating, annoying, spontaneous, optimistic, down-to-earth/realistic, quiet, vociferous, arrogant, zealous, evil, boring, shallow



What is the first thing this person should do in your story to establish a personality?




Wed, May 2


Due: n/a

Hmwk: Take your list of physical characteristics from class and develop a paragraph of pure description

Today: Descriptive details


Everyone's mystery story will include a protagonist - a main character. That protagonist is the figure who will search out the answer to the story's main question.


An effective character is developed through descriptive writing in two areas:


Today's focus is on physical characteristics

  1. Each person in class gives one small physical characteristic of a character we are developing together
  2. Teacher records each characteristic, resulting in a list
  3. Teacher then models how to use the physical characteristics to creat a paragraph of pure descriptive writing


Students then use the procedure as a model to make a list of characteristics for their own protagonist. Homework will be writing a paragraph that incorporates all of the details from the list! 


Here is our paragraph from today based on your input:


     Walking down the street, he looked like a shifting amoeba – a dark-skinned, gray-haired shifting amoeba with curling yellowed nails sprouting from his one hand. His other arm ended with the two curved, metallic hooks typical of a prosthetic. From his face protruded a nose impressive even to an Iranian woman, a proboscis reminiscent of the monkeys of the same name. His gait was awkward due to the uneven length of his legs, and he favored the shorter one, which caused a slanting progression down the sidewalk. His sight wasn’t sharp, but his two red eyes were aided by the Coke-bottle glasses balanced on the bulb in the center of his face. In fact, the monstrosity of his nose was distracting considering his 4’5” stature. Many said the fact he had never shaved distracted one from the intense red eyes, but others found him strangely grandfatherly, save for the profusion of eyebrows spilling over the rims of his spectacles. His movement belied his ninety years, yet it was still painful to watch him, and the pinkie toe missing from his right foot – taken in an unfortunate circus accident at the age of nine – compounded his awkwardness. Still, when seen up close, after a joke, his face broke into a perfect smile, yet one could not ignore the angry scars across his eyes, magnified by the lenses of his glasses. It was usually at this point that those brave enough to venture close to him discovered, peeking from a mass of gray hair, the hint of a superfluous third ear, along with the jubilee of pens exploding from his shirt pocket. Little known to those who witnessed him walking every day in the same attire, he kept a perfect closet of a dozen matching suits and sweater vests – always worn with a white button-up oxford. Following shortly behind, trailed a dog