Students in Mr. Lydon's class will be held to a high standard of behavior, befitting of young people eager to be respected and recognized as maturing individuals. For this reason, students are expected to arrive to class promptly, remain on task always, and follow through without heavy-handed oversight. It will be each student's responsibility to ask questions inside and outside of class, to keep track of assignments, and follow through on topics or work missed due to absence.
The course will focus on the theme of "Coming of Age," defining it, exploring its meaning in life and in literature, and gaining a greater appreciation for the role it plays in the life of each and every person. Our text, Springboard Level 4 (Grade 9) is comprised of five Units, each considering this theme from different perspectives, in different eras, and through different texts. For each unit, students will complete two significant assessments, ranging from argumentative and explanatory writing to creative endeavors, such as short stories, poetry, and drama. While time may prevent us from completing all five units, the year will be filled with a diversity of texts, voices, and activities to help students master the complexity of the year's theme and succeed in a variety of academic modes.
Over the course of the year, students will be expected to develop as readers and writers. To support reading, independent reading component will be a part of the course. For more details, see the library page. To support the development of strong, self-reflective writing habits, students are expected to maintain a Writing Portfolio containing all of the unit assessments that have been graded at the end of the year. This portfolio will be an integral part into a project which will end the year.
Coming of Age (Semester 1)
Focus on understanding the concept of "Coming of Age"
Texts include: Laurie Halse Anderson, Eugenia Collier, Luis J. Rodriguez
Assessment 1: Interview someone with post-secondary experience and write a narrative that captures the experience of the interview and the voice of the interviewee
Assessment 2: Write an evidence-supported argumentative essay upholding or challenging the value of a college education
Defining Style (Semester 1)
Explore how authors create their own distinctive style as part of their identity as a writer. Consider the use of irony in capturing reader interest.
Texts include: Robert Frost, O. Henry, Edgar Allan Poe, William Blake, Roald Dahl, Tim Burton
Assessment 1: Write a short story that adheres to the conventions of the format. Introduce characters, setting, and plot; create conflict and irony; begin, continue, and conclude a logical sequence of events.
Assessment 2: Write an essay analyzing the style employed by the director Tim Burton in his films.
Coming of Age in Changing Times (Semester 1 or 2)
Explore how the experience of coming of age differed in America's past by considering the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights movement.
Texts include: Martin Luther King Jr., Harper Lee, Robert Mulligan
Assessment 1: Perform an investigation of the historical context for the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Present these findings to the class in a group with the intention of expanding students' understanding of the political, cultural, and social struggles during the novel's authorship and setting.
Assessment 2: Write an essay analyzing a passage from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. This will require the careful selection of a passage, a close reading of that passage, and a thoughtful analysis that shows the significance of that passage regarding how it develops a character, supports a theme, or relates to the novel's cultural context.
Exploring Poetic Voices (Semester 2)
Students will explore and - hopefully - develop an appreciation and love of poetry. They will read a variety of poetic voices on a number of subjects, each connecting with the theme of coming of age.
Texts include: Nikki Giovanni, Jacob Lawrence, Sandra Cisneros, William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson
Assessment 1: Students will create an anthology of poems that are consistent to a theme. These poems will be student selected, include an introduction written by the student, and supported with relevant imagery and a reflection.
Assessment 2: Analyze a collection of works from a single poet and perform an analysis of that poets style. One of these poems will be presented orally to the class, chosen for its embodiment of those elements of style.
Coming of Age on Stage (Semester 2, time permitting)
Engage in an exploration of Shakespeare's most well known work, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Students will consider the context of Shakespeare's time, the timelessness of the play, and the influence this work has had on artists, musicians, and filmmakers.
Texts include: William Shakespeare, Arthur Laurents
Assessment 1: Students will present a dramatic interpretation of a scene from the play, preparing with evidence and commentary that supports the planned interpretation and concluding with a reflection evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the performance.
Assessment 2: In a comprehensive essay, students will argue whether or not The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet should be included in the high school curriculum. Students will have to consider Shakespeare's relevance in the modern world, synthesize existing arguments for and against inclusion, and thoughtfully use rhetoric and structure create a successful, cohesive whole.
The following calendar includes information about homework, testing dates, Coral activities and events, and more.
If you have any questions, the easiest way to reach me is to use the contact form on the right. You can ask questions about homework, scheduling, testing, policy, conferencing, or anything else that will help support the learning of your child.
If your student needs to make up an exam or receive tutoring support, an English department tutor is available Monday through Friday on campus.
I am available on Thursdays, at 8-8:30 am and 3:30-3:45 pm.