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9th Grade English Course Descriptions

English I Level Expectations

English_I_Level_Expectations iconEnglish I Level Expectationstitle

English I – College Prep

AS English I – Advanced Standing


15 to 30 minutes a night (approximately)

Students are expected to do homework every night. Homework might be reading, writing, study questions, etc.

45 to 60 minutes a night (approximately)

Students are expected to do homework every night. Homework might be reading, writing, study questions, etc.


While both classes teach many of the same core texts, the pace of the English I class is more flexible than the AS English class and more time is spent on individual skill building exercises and review of skill building exercises. More work is done in class with teacher guidance and extended practice. The College Prep English class also spends more time reviewing homework and reading in class than the AS English course.

The greatest difference between the AS English course and the College Prep English course is pace. Students in an AS English I course are expected to work much more independently than in the College Prep course. Reading is done at home in AS English and students are expected to come to class understanding the material and prepared to build on the homework. Texts are thus covered faster in the AS English I class. Skills are covered thoroughly but quickly in class, and students are expected to learn the skills and practice them on their own for mastery as necessary. Students are expected to advocate for themselves if they need additional help. If a student falls behind, it is very difficult to catch up as new material is always being introduced and lessons will build upon prior information.

Reading Load

1 to 15 pages a night. Sometimes students will work on writing or skill building as opposed to reading.

All reading for the course is done independently at home.

25 to 30 pages a night - reading is consistent and note-taking is required.

Writing Load

College Prep English focuses on clear writing structure in paragraphs and essays. Students write approximately one major paragraph or essay per unit. Writing is scaffolded with teacher support. Writing is done both in class and at home.

AS English focuses on clear, nuanced writing in paragraphs and essays. All major writing assessments are completed in class, timed. While writing will be based on class discussions and lessons, students will not know prompts beforehand. Teacher support and scaffolding are available in skill building exercises, but students will be expected to craft essays independently using these skills on writing days. Students will have approximately 6-7 process writing assignments per semester.

Sample Literature

  • Ender’s Game (summer reading)
  •  Night
  •  Enrique’s Journey
  •  House on Mango Street
  •  The Odyssey
  •  Romeo and Juliet
  • Short stories and poetry
  • Non-fiction speeches
  • Ender’s Game (summer reading)
  •  Night
  •  Enrique’s Journey
  •  Antigone
  •  The Odyssey
  •  Romeo and Juliet
  •  Novel Unit (Kindred, A Tale of Two Cities, etc.)
  •  Short stories and poetry


Both classes focus on building critical reading and critical thinking skills through close-reading and annotation of texts. Students in both classes are expected to write clear paragraphs and multi-paragraph essays using textual evidence and analysis. The College Prep class focuses more on essay structure and logical ordering of ideas. Both classes also focus on understanding character, theme, tone, point of view, plot, and figurative language. Both classes emphasize student-led discussion.

In addition to the skills covered by both classes, the AS English class goes into more detailed analytical skills such as complex thesis statements and thorough quotation explication.As all reading is done at home, students are expected to come to class understanding material thoroughly and ready to build on independent homework to create more complex meaning in class. Most of class time is spent furthering analytical skills rather than reviewing assignments.

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