Mr. Taira's ELA Corner
This is the place to come to share and exchange ideas with your teacher and peers.

Language Arts Grade 9

2019-2020 Course Outline


Instructor: Mr. Taira
Time & Location: Block 1 (8:20-9:40am) on “B” days  /  Room US305

Office Hours: Planning Periods – 3:30 – 4pm (days 1,2,4,5)  I am also available by appointment before or after school.

Contact Information:



The Grade 9 Language Arts course is a study of quality literature that reflects a variety of forms and genres. This course will expand upon the work done in 8th grade on basic story elements and literary devices. We will begin to look beyond texts and begin to consider their social and cultural significance. This will be done by focusing on important universal themes in texts that reflect the experience of today’s youth.  Students will be guided through the process of critically analyzing poems, short stories, and novels from a variety of authors and genres.  Through learning the skills of rhetorical analysis and close reading, students will gain the ability to discern the social and cultural significance of texts.  In regards to writing, students’ own abilities to express their ideas creatively and concisely will also be a major focus of the course.  Written assignments, including formal essays, news articles, letters, stories, and poems, will provide students with opportunities to reflect on the concepts and strategies of authors we study and to apply these techniques in their own work.


oFor each semester, your grade will be determined as follows:

·Quarter 1 = 50% and Quarter 2 – 50%

oFor each quarter, you will be evaluated based on…

·Key Assignments = 25% (If applicable.)

·In-class Assignments and Quizzes = 50% (25% if there is a Key Assignment in the quarter.)

·Homework Assignments = 30%

·Work habits and behavior = 20%


Class Policies

oHomework must be handed in to the inbox in the first 10 minutes of class on the day it is due. 

oLate Assignments will lose 10% per day, to a maximum of 50%.

oAcademic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism) will be dealt with strictly.  Under most circumstances, you will receive a mark of 0 for the assignment or test.


Thematic Units:

Over the course of the school year, we will be covering one major thematic unit per quarter.  While the individual units will focus primarily on a single, broad theme, a variety of authors representing different literary genres and forms will be studied in each unit.  All units will culminate in an in-depth study of a major works and authors.


Unit Theme

Culminating Study

Complex Characters

Stories of Edgar Allan Poe


Bitter Melon - Cara Chow

Visions of the Future

Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

Challenges and Choices

ERWC – Informational Texts - Hip Hop Goes Global