High school is a brand new world for our teenagers. There are so many requirements, and only 4 years to complete them.
And, for the homeschool parent, you have to be on top of everything — making sure it’s all completed.
“What if my 9th grader starts wrong and can’t catch up in time to graduate?”
“What if they don’t get the foundations they need to continue to the next step in the high school journey?”
“Is there such a thing as a 9th-grade reading list, and if so, what should be on it?”
I get it. It’s stressful! But it doesn’t have to be… at least when it comes to literature.
The key to starting your high schooler off on the right foot with a language arts program is to start with a great reading plan. And when creating a great reading plan, you need to start with the basics. Once your student learns those, they can keep adding to their language arts vocabulary and become great readers and effective writers.
Where do you start coming up with a great 9th-grade reading list?
The “basics” in language arts are literary elements.
When a student learns literary elements, they understand the plot of a story better. They can relate to and respond to the literature in a more profound way. They can, in essence, better understand what the writer is trying to tell them with their story.
Not only does it help a student to understand what they are reading, but it also helps them to become more effective writers. Learning the basic parts of a plot or how to create twists and turns can turn a boring high school writing assignment into a rich and vibrant story.
Do 9th-graders need to memorize the literary elements?
In a word, no.
No college admissions test is going to grade your student on the literary elements. In fact, I don’t know of any test that checks a student’s proficiency in literary elements. However, learning what a literary element means and describing it or recognizing it in writing can help a student understand the story.
So how do you create a 9th-grade reading list that starts with the basics of language arts?
Poetry is my favorite starting place for young high schoolers. It’s fun to read, generally short, and chock-full of those basic literary elements.
The classic poets of yesterday can give your student a new insight into storytelling. Our kids are used to fun poems from the likes of Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and Jack Prelutsky. But, challenging them to read a classic poem will open them up to new worlds and new vocabulary.
Start with a poet like Edgar Allen Poe or Emily Dickinson. These poets are known for their twists and riddles. They make the reader think and sometimes cringe.
They also use wonderful literary elements like alliteration, repetition, allusion, and imagery, to name a few. Your student will have plenty of opportunities to see the literary elements in action.
But how do I teach my 9th-grader literary elements with a reading list?
First, you need to teach them the literary elements. Second, share a poem with your student and help them to discover the elements in the poem. Third, well, that’s it. That’s all there is to teaching literary elements.
But that’s a very simplified answer, and I’m sure you’re looking for an answer that walks you through the poets, their poems, and the literary elements found in them. In that case, here’s your 9th-grade reading list.
9th-Grade Reading List and Corresponding Literary Elements
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- William Blake
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Walt Whitman
- Lord Alfred Tennyson
- Langston Hughes
- William Wordsworth
- William Butler Yeats
- Dylan Thomas
- Robert Frost
- Kubla Khan
- Annabel Lee
- O Captain! My Captain!
- The Charge of the Light Brigade
- I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
- The Stolen Child
- The Hunchback in the Park
- The Road Not Taken
- Anaphora and Alliteration
- Hyperbole and Parallelism
Is there an easier way to teach literary elements with a 9th-grade poetry reading plan?
Teaching language arts to your new high schooler doesn’t have to be difficult. In our A Poem A Day course, we walk you through how to implement a daily ten-minute poetry lesson in your homeschool. We start with visualization and end with marking up a poem with the literary elements.
But, ten minutes a day isn’t enough to count as a high school credit. For a full credit, your 9th-grader needs to spend more time in an in-depth study of classic poets, literary elements, and grammar.
Start by learning about the poet. Research the poet’s life and legacy. Learn about the era he/she lived in and what cultural and political influences may have influenced them.
Then study the works of the poet. You can choose several of the poet’s more famous poems. Research the literary elements and identify them in the poems.
If you have a teen who isn’t fond of language arts studies, add a little fun by incorporating a movie. Many classic poems are quoted in films. Find one that coordinates and then celebrate the poet study with a movie day!
Now, if all that sounds like a lot of work, well, then you’d be right. How do I know? Because that’s exactly what we did when we created our course, Poetry and a Movie.
We started with great classic poets. Then we added technology to the mix. Why? Because teens are technology natives. They eat, sleep, and breathe phones, social media, and streaming sources. So, it only makes sense to create a course that uses technology. When we finished, we had a study of 10 classic poets, their poetry, grammar, and literary elements, and movies that brought fun conclusions to each poet study.
Teaching poetry, literary elements, grammar… it doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it can be fun. Work on a plan and create a fun study for your new high schooler or let me do it for you. Either way, you are set with your 9th-grade reading plan.
Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…
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