English 9 – Unit I (Fundamentals) List of Completed Work

Last update: Saturday Sept. 16, 2023

Key Ideas/Skills/Concepts

  • Levels of Analysis (LOAs)
    • Metacognition = How do I know? (thinking about thinking)
    • Reflect = Why does it matter?
    • Connection = How does it connect?
    • Explain = How? Why?
    • Describe = What? Who? Where? When? How many?
  • You should know the routine at this point:
      • Lovely bells ring 1 minute before start of class
      • At the start of class you should have checked-in, have your folder (with journal), have pencil or pen, and be ready to start. You should be in your seat or almost there. The room should be quiet and devices should be sorted out (where they belong).
      • Ding-ding bell rings at the start of class. Immediately start the journal. For this unit that means:
        • Do the Life Observations Journal activities
      • Ding bell rings, journal is over. Be ready to start lesson 1.
      • Lovely bells ring, lesson 1 is over. Break starts. Be back in the room in 4 minutes.
      • Lovely bells ring. Lesson 2 immediately starts. When the ding rings, you can pack up, return folder, and line up at the door (please do this quietly if there are announcements at this time).
      • The final lovely bells ring when the period is over, you may leave the room as soon as they start chiming.
    • LATE: If you are late, wait until the door is opened (just a few minutes usually). Be sure to sign your name on the board by Mr. Kertes’s desk if you come in late. (For some students, just come right in. You know who you are.)
    • WASHROOM: To use the washroom, sign out (the board is now by the door) and when you return, erase your name from the board. You do not need to sign out if leaving during a break. Other than for break, only one student out at a time. Do not ask to leave but only leave in the middle of the class (not first or last 15 minutes of a period). Please be reasonable and please be respectful. (The school has rules and expectations for students in the hallway. Respect these rules and expectations. If you do not respect them, you may lose your washroom during class time privileges. The golden rule: Be quiet in the hallways, don’t bother or distract anyone when going to or from the washrooms, respect the washrooms and be reasonable/respectful.)
    • PHONES/DEVICES: No phones or other devices during lessons (when Mr. Kertes is talking or during group work, a film, guest speakers, student presentations, etc.). You may use your phone for music during a test or quiz, but Mr. Kertes may ask to hear the music (to confirm that students are not cheating) and during a test or quiz you need to set your music on playlist because you cannot use the screen at all. When working on writing or an exercise (including journal) listening to music is okay. Be sure to lower the volume and not bother others. As for food/drink, respect each other, respect the room, and if your eating does not distract or bother others then it’s okay.
    • IN GENERAL… TELL/INFORM, DON’T ASK: I appreciate communication – knowing where a student is going, if you are leaving early, plan to be late, have a trip planned, need to get something, etc. So please, keep me informed. But unless you are asking me to do something, just tell me, don’t ask. For example tell me: “I will leave early today for an appointment. I will check out when I go.” “I am getting my backpack from my last room.” “I will be right back, I have to check on something in the office.” As I said, it helps to know in case something comes up (a fire drill, for instance) but you can tell me without asking. As for asking, save that for when you want me to do something, like: “Can you meet with me tomorrow at 8:15 to go over this paper?” “I need to redo the quiz, can I meet you at lunch to do that today?”
  • Systems are a bunch of parts that work together and when working together they do more than they would on their own
  • Systems thinking is looking at something that’s complex and seeing how the parts work together, this helps understand complex ideas, models and systems are essential tools for systems thinking
  • The difference between a debate and a dialogue is that a debate is trying persuade someone that your point of view (idea, position) is right, trying to get someone to agree with you; while a dialogue is about listening and sharing ideas and viewpoints with each other (not persuading, sharing and listening).
  • In this course discussions are meant to provide ways for students to share their own viewpoints, even if others disagree or object. It is okay to say disagreeable things, but certain rules apply to discussions in class.
  • Discourse Strategies – These are the guiding principles for when are discussing ideas in class:
    • Open Inquiry
    • Viewpoint Diversity
    • Constructive Disagreement
    • Compassion for Others
  • Limits to freedom of speech in this class apply for the following kinds of speech:
    • Goes against the guiding principles (see above) and/or is not educational (for example, goes against the purpose of supporting the curricular goals of this course)
    • Defamatory (untrue statements about somebody that are harmful to another person)
    • Hate speech
    • Discriminatory speech
    • Violates CHSS and/or SD52 codes of conduct for students and/or other policies
    • See the policy: Discussing Ideas as a Class (pdf) 
  • Five Fs (Elements of Non-Fiction Writing) Five Fs (pdf)
    • Focus
    • Form
    • Filler
    • Flow
    • Feeling
  • Focus and feeling are the most important of the Fs
  • Focus:
    • Thesis (focus on one thesis in your paper, your paper proves/explains your thesis)
    • Theory explains how or why
    • A good thesis is based on theory (explains how or why)
    • Focusing question
  • One way to relate to a story is by finding your own connection (we did this with Borders)


  •  Borders by Thomas King (password protected pdf)
    • How do you relate to the story? How does it connect to you and your life?
    • What does it mean to explore “borders” as a theme?
    • This story focused a lot on one character and their development. Be prepared to focus on character and characterization. Be prepared to tie your understanding of characterization (when we study this element of narrative more) to this story in particular.
  • Discussing Ideas as a Class (pdf) 
    • Know how to discuss issues that may bother some people and learn how to listen and speak respectfully in a debate or dialogue.


  • Write a list (aim for 20 items) of anything you find interesting (idea, activity, place, fact, hobby, person, thing, etc.). Choose one item on the list, describe it and then explain why it’s interesting.
  • Which matters most: Freedom of expression or limiting speech to avoid offending or harming others? Why?
  • Read the board (information on systems). Then draw a diagram of a system and label it. Try to include all the elements of a system.
  • What’s your world? Think of every place that matters to you. Now choose the place that matters most and describe it.
  • On Sept. 15 we started the Life Observations Journal. We will do this every day at the start of class until the end of Unit 1.


  • Find at least three quotes in Borders that resonate with you and explain why you chose them (why they are interesting to you).
  • Poetry Response Exercise: “He Likes to Dance” and “Doesn’t Every Poet Write a Poem about Unrequited Love?” 


  • Five Fs Quiz
  • Systems Thinking Quiz


  • Expository Essay assignment (rubric – pdf). More details to follow.
    • At this point about half of the students have their topic. The other half will have their topic soon
  • Write early (very rough draft) of short story.


  • None

Mr. Kertes is an English teacher in Prince Rupert, in the territory of the Ts’msyen, at Charles Hays Secondary School - home of the Rainmakers.