The 9th Grader’s Curriculum

Here is my ninth grader’s school year in a nutshell.

(He is my only graded student as yet)


English Composition – 1 credit


Text: Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students

Sharon Crowley, Debra Hawhee

427 pages (projected to complete entire book)

Credit – 1 or 2?


  • Ancient Rhetorics: Their Difference and the Differences They Make
  • Kairos and Rhetorical Situations
  • Stasis Theory
  • Asking the Right Questions
  • Common Topics and Common Places
  • Logical, Ethical, Pathetic and Extrinsic Proofs
  • Arrangement of Argument
  • Style: Compositions and Ornament, Memory and Delivery


  • Weekly Reading Assignments (no points)
  • End of Unit Writing Assignments worth 10 points per -140 points total

1. Define and list examples of three types of persuasive argument – 10/10

2. Write a comparison between a book and its movie -10/10

3. Write a “Chreia” for a line from a favorite poem or song 10/10

4. Write a second Chreia describing a famous landmark 10/10

5. Defend and then refute an argument concerning an issue in the news (gun control)  9/10

6. Following Alphonius’s instructions, compose a common place against someone who commits    acts of terrorism – 10/10

7. “Elvis has left the Building” is part of a long enthymatic argument whose other premises are never stated explain them? 8/10

8. Write a rhetorical comparison of two candidates for President of the United States, who do you think is more qualified? 7/10

9. Compose three “sketches” describing three landmarks or historically significant objects 10/10

10. Using Malheur Wildlife Sanctuary standoff, test the reliability of accounts using criteria discussed in Chapter 8.  8/10

11. Examine two speeches of famous rhetors or writers. Find examples of insinuations, narratives partitions, and peroration. 10/10

12. Using a passage of your writing, re-write some sentences using examples of figure of speech discussed in chapter 10.  10/10

13. Using a passage from a favorite author, write a new piece imitating the style and structure 10/10

14. Paraphrase a stanza from the poem “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” converting it into prose. 8/10

Final Grade: 93 percent A

Other English Related Endeavors:

Writes and leads dungeons and dragons campaigns (20 hours time spenti including research, writing, and gaming)

Book Read List: (Leisure)

Miscellaneous fiction read:

“The Eyeless” by Lance Parkin

Shada – Gareth Roberts

The Way through the Woods- Una Mccormack

Beautiful Chaos – Gary Russell

Corpse Marker- Chris Boucher

Sting of the Zygons- Stephen Colen

Silhouette- Justin Richards

The Crawling Terror- Mike Tucker

The Blood Cell – James Goss

The Murder Game – Steve Lyons

Drift Simon Forward

Last Man Running Chris Boucher

Deep Blue- Mark Morris

Evolution- John Peel

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- Adams

Harry Potter Series- Rowling

Resources:,, Microsoft office

Material and supplies:  computer, internet access

Demonstrated Skill:

Completed 14 different writing assignments using:

•              Descriptive writing

•              Comparison

•              Common place

•              Emotional, logical, intrinsic, extrinsic, and authority based arguments

•              Imitation

•              Paraphrase

•              Ornamentation

Brief description:

Aidan had weekly reading assignments which we discussed prior to end of unit writing assignments. Writing assignments often included rough drafts that were edited once I reviewed them. He spent 160 hours total on this class.




General Math: 1 Credit

Text: Right Start Mathematics –A Hands on Geometric approach by Joan A. Cotter Ph.d

Topics and Concepts: Drawing Diagonals, Drawing Stars, Equilateral Triangles, dissecting equilateral triangles, Hexagrams and Solomon’s Seal, Measuring Perimeter in Centimeters, Drawing Parallelograms in Centimeters, Drawing and Classifying Quadrilaterals, The Fraction Chart, Patterns in Fractions, Measuring With Sixteenths,, A Fraction of Geometry Figures, Making the Whole, Ratios and Nested Squares, Square Centimeters, Square Inches, Area of a Rectangle, Comparing Areas of Rectangles,  Product of a Number and Two More, Area of Consecutive Squares, Perimeter Formula for Rectangles, Area of a Parallelogram, Comparing Calculated Areas of Parallelograms, Area of a Triangle Comparing Calculated Areas of Triangles, Converting Inches to Centimeters, Name that Figure, Area of Trapezoids, Area of Hexagons, Area of Octagons, Ratios of Areas, Measuring Angles, Supplementary and Vertical Angles, Measure of the Angles in a Polygon, Classifying Triangles by Sides and Angles, External Angles of a Triangle, Angles Formed With Parallel Lines, Triangles With Congruent Sides, Side and Angle Relationships in Triangles, Medians in Triangles, Midpoints in a Triangle, Rectangles Inscribed in a Triangle, Connecting Midpoints in a Quadrilateral, Pythagorean Theorem, Squares on Right Triangles, Proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem, Finding Square Roots, The Square Root Spiral Circle Basics, Ratio of Circumference to Diameter, Inscribed Polygons, Tangents to Circles, Circumscribed Polygons, Pi, a Special Number, Circle Designs, Rounding Edges With Tangents, Tangent Circles, Bisecting Angles, Perpendicular Bisectors, The Amazing Nine-Point Circle, Drawing Arcs, Angles ‘n Arcs, Arc Length, Area of a Circle, Finding the Area of a Circle, Finding More Area, Pizza Problems, Revisiting Tangrams, Aligning Objects, Reflecting, Rotating, Making Wheel Designs, Identifying Reflections & Rotations, Translations, Transformations, Double Reflections, Finding the Line of Reflection, Finding the Center of Rotation, Angles of Incidence and Reflection, Lines of Symmetry, Rotation Symmetry, Symmetry Connections, Frieze Patterns, Tessellations, Pattern Units, Dual Tessellations, Tartan Plaids, Tessellating Triangles, Tessellating Quadrilaterals, Escher Tessellations, Mondrian Art, Box Fractal, Sierpinski Triangle, Koch Snowflake, Cotter Tens Fractal, Similar Triangles Fractions on the Multiplication Table, Cross Multiplying on the Multiplication Table Measuring Heights, Golden Ratio, Fibonacci Sequence, Fibonacci Numbers and Phi, Golden Ratios and Other Ratios Around Us, Napoleon’s Theorem, Pick’s Theorem with the Stomachio and Pythagorean theorem, Estimating Area With Pick’s Theorem, Distance Formula, Euler Paths, Using Ratios to Find Sides of Triangles, Basic Trigonometry, Solving Trig Problems, Solving Problems With a Scientific Calculator, Angle of Elevation, Introduction to Sine Waves, Solids and Polyhedrons, Nets of Cubes, Volume of Cubes, Volume of Boxes

Resources:  none beyond text.

Material and supplies: paper and pencil, compass, goniometer, scientific calculator, ruler, T-square, drawing boards, tangrams, geometry panels, centimeter cubes, 45 triangle, 30/60 triangle, removable tape

Demonstrated Skill:

  • Completed all 165 assignments (projected)
  • Asked questions for clarification and for assistance when encountering difficulties
  • Corrected work
  • Showed mastery of most topics listed above (grades below)

Course Grade: 94 percent (A)

Brief description: Aidan completed one math assignment per day, five days a week. Aidan would work independently, asking questions and seeking clarification when needed. He self-graded and corrected his own work which I would later review. His math ability has improved a great deal this year and I believe he is now ready to move on to Algebra 1.




Microbiology 1 Credit

Main Resource: The Microbiology Coloring Book by i.Edward Alcamo/Lawrence M. Elson

Topics: Importance of Microbiology to Humans, Early Microscopes, Spontaneous Generation, Germ Theory: Pasteur, Germ Theory: Koch’s Postulates, Light Microscopes, Electron Microscope, Measurements, Eukaryotes/Prokaryotes, Spectrum of Microorganisms, Forms of Bacteria, Bacterial Ultrastructure, Staining Bacteria, Bacterial Cell Envelope, Bacterial Spores, Bacterial Nutrition/Cultivation, Bacterial Reproduction, Conditions for Bacterial Growth, Special Culture Techniques, Isolating Bacteria, Bacterial Metabolism I, Photosynthesis, Bacterial Chromosomes, Bacterial Replication, Protein Synthesis: Transcription, Protein Synthesis: Translation, Protein Synthesis: Synthesis Mutation, Bacterial Transformation Bacterial Conjugation, Bacterial Transduction Genetic Engineering Introduction to Viruses, Viral Replication, Inactivation of Viruses, Antiviral Vaccines and Drugs, Interferon, Retroviruses, Introduction to Fungi, Life Cycle of Rhizopus Stolonifer, Yeasts, Importance of Fungi, Introduction to Protozoa, Paramecium, Importance of Protozoa, Control of Microorganisms with Physical Agents, Chemotherapeutic Agents, Antibiotics, Antibiotic Susceptibility Test, Transmission of Infectious Disease, Establishment of Disease, Toxins, Nonspecific Resistance to Disease: Mechanical and Chemical Barriers, Nonspecific Resistance to Disease: Phagocytosis and Opsonization, Nonspecific Resistance to Disease: Inflammation, Specific Resistance: Adaptive Immunity, Development and Structure of the Immune System, Specific Resistance: Antigens, Specific Resistance: Cellular Immunity, Specific Resistance: Humoral Immunity, Specific Resistance: Antibodies, Specific Resistance: Antibody-Antigen Reactions, Complement System, Types of Immunity, Monoclonal Antibodies, Complement Fixation Test, Fluorescent Antibody Test, Immunosorbent Test, Neutralization Test, Agglutination Test, Allergy and Anaphylaxis, Thrombocytopenia, Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn, Immune Complex Hypersensitivity, Cell Hypersensitivity, Upper Respiratory Bacterial Infection, Lower Respiratory Bacterial Infection, Food/Waterborne Bacterial Infections, Soil/Arthropod borne Bacterial Infections, Sexual/Contact Bacterial Infections, Viral Diseases of the Skin, Viral Diseases of Abdominal Organs, Viral Disease of Respiratory/Nervous System, Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease, Protozoan Disease: Sleeping Sickness, Protozoan Disease: Toxoplasmosis.

Labs and Activities:


•              Knex kit: assembling nucleotides, constructing basic DNA molecule, Double Helix, Flexible Double Helix, DNA replication, daughter double helix, large DNA molecule, large double helix, DNA transcription

•              Plant DNA extraction


•              Growing Bacteria from exposing agar to the air

•              Growing and observing bacteria from agar contact to surface swabs

•              Comparing bacteria from different locations in the home

•              Testing/comparing the effects of antibacterial and other cleaning solutions on bacteria colonies

•              Isolating bacteria


•              Growing protozoa

•              Observing and identifying different types of protozoa

•              Drawing and labeling different types of protozoa

Cells- General

•              Function of organelles/animal, plant, bacteria cell labeling computer activity

•              Parts of an animal cell nomenclature cards

•              Observation of cells through pre-prepared slides


From Home training

Bacteria Experiment Kit

Live Protozoa

DNA Extraction Kit

Basic Laboratory Supplies

Other resources:

KNEX DNA Replication Kit

Function of organelles/animal, plant, bacteria cell labeling computer activity:

Materials and Supplies: petri dishes, growing medium, microscope slides, pipettes, dish soap, antibacterial soap, paper, pencil, microscope, nomenclature cards, computer, internet, prepared slides, gloves, goggle, strawberries, glass beakers, graduated cylinders a flask, test tubes and stand, glass tubes, rubber stoppers, paper, pencil, swabs

Grading –

Grade: A

Demonstrated Skill

  • Can identify and explain the function of the parts of the cell in plants, animals, and bacteria
  • Can model DNA Transcription
  • Created and performed experiments with bacteria cultures
  • Isolated Strawberry DNA
  • Created and observed wet mount single celled specimens using the microscope
  • Can identify different types of protozoa
  • Completed all topic “plates” in The Microbiology Coloring Book
  • Is familiar with different lab processes for observing micro-organism
  • Understands infection, immune response, and disease
  • Understands viral and bacterial reproduction
  • Follows lab directions including safety precautions

Brief description: Aidan read the descriptions of and completed the illustrated “plates” in his book completing two or more a week. He also had Thursday afternoon lab activities. 120 hours was spent on this class.

Social Studies/History/Culture:

World History – 1 Credit

Main Resource: Crash Course World History 1 and 2

Topics and Concepts:

•              History of the world from Indus Valley to Present

•              Important Historical figures and Events

•              Necessities of a Civilization

•              Impact of War, Famine, and Disease

•              Economic structures

•              Revolutions

•              Types of Government

Semester Projects:

•              Creation of a timeline using timelinejs on a topic of choice 50/50

•              Creation of a power point presentation concerning civilizations 40 /50

Final Grade: B

Crash Course Videos Watched:

World History 1 videos:

The Agricultural Revolution: Crash Course World History #1

Indus Valley Civilization: Crash Course World History #2

Mesopotamia: Crash Course World History #3

Ancient Egypt: Crash Course World History #4

The Persians & Greeks: Crash Course World History #5

Buddha and Ashoka: Crash Course World History #6

‎2,000 Years of Chinese History! The Mandate of Heaven and Confucius: World History #7

Alexander the Great and the Situation … the Great? Crash Course World History #8

The Silk Road and Ancient Trade: Crash Course World History #9

The Roman Empire. Or Republic. Or…Which Was It?: Crash Course World History #10

Christianity from Judaism to Constantine: Crash Course World History #11

Fall of The Roman Empire…in the 15th Century: Crash Course World History #12

Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar: Crash Course World History #13

The Dark Ages…How Dark Were They, Really?: Crash Course World History #14

The Crusades – Pilgrimage or Holy War?: Crash Course World History #15

Mansa Musa and Islam in Africa: Crash Course World History #16

Wait For It…The Mongols! Crash Course World History #17

Int’l Commerce, Snorkeling Camels, and The Indian Ocean Trade: Crash Course World History

Venice and the Ottoman Empire: Crash Course World History #19

Russia, the Kievan Rus, and the Mongols: Crash Course World History #20

Columbus, de Gama, and Zheng He! 15th Century Mariners. Crash Course: World History #21

The Renaissance: Was it a Thing? – Crash Course World History #22

The Columbian Exchange: Crash Course World History #23

The Atlantic Slave Trade: Crash Course World History #24

The Spanish Empire, Silver, & Runaway Inflation: Crash Course World History #25

The Seven Years War: Crash Course World History #26

The Amazing Life and Strange Death of Captain Cook: Crash Course World History #27

Tea, Taxes, and The American Revolution: Crash Course World History #28

The French Revolution: Crash Course World History #29

Haitian Revolutions: Crash Course World History #30

Latin American Revolutions: Crash Course World History #31

Coal, Steam, and The Industrial Revolution: Crash Course World History #32

Capitalism and Socialism: Crash Course World History #33

Samurai, Daimyo, Matthew Perry, and Nationalism: Crash Course World History #34

Imperialism: Crash Course World History #35

Archdukes, Cynicism, and World War I: Crash Course World History #36

Communists, Nationalists, and China’s Revolutions: Crash Course World History #37

World War II: Crash Course World History #38

USA vs USSR Fight! The Cold War: Crash Course World History #39

Decolonization and Nationalism Triumphant: Crash Course World History #40

Globalization I – The Upside: Crash Course World History #41

Globalization II – Good or Bad?: Crash Course World History #42

Playlist url:

World History 2 videos:

Rethinking Civilization – Crash Course World History 201

Money & Debt: Crash Course World History 202

Disease! Crash Course World History 203

War & Human Nature: Crash Course World History 204

War and Civilization: Crash Course World History 205

Climate Change, Chaos, and The Little Ice Age – Crash Course World History 206

Humans and Energy: Crash Course World History 207

Drought and Famine: Crash Course World History #208

HOW World War I Started: Crash Course World History 209

Who Started World War I: Crash Course World History 210

The End of Civilization (In the Bronze Age): Crash Course World History 211

The Rise of the West and Historical Methodology: Crash Course World History #212

Asian Responses to Imperialism: Crash Course World History #213

The Railroad Journey and the Industrial Revolution: Crash Course World History 214

Population, Sustainability, and Malthus: Crash Course World History 215

Islam and Politics: Crash Course World History 216

The Mughal Empire and Historical Reputation: Crash Course World History #217

Luther and the Protestant Reformation: Crash Course World History #218

Charles V and the Holy Roman Empire: Crash Course World History #219

World War II, A War for Resources: Crash Course World History #220

Congo and Africa’s World War: Crash Course World History 221

Water and Classical Civilizations: Crash Course World History 222

Conflict in Israel and Palestine: Crash Course World History 223

The Vikings! – Crash Course World History 224

War and Nation Building in Latin America: Crash Course World History 225

Iran’s Revolutions: Crash Course World History 226

Japan in the Heian Period and Cultural History: Crash Course World History 227

Nonviolence and Peace Movements: Crash Course World History 228

Capitalism and the Dutch East India Company: Crash Course World History 229

Democracy, Authoritarian Capitalism, and China: Crash Course World History 230

Playlist url:


Supplemental Texts Read:

Cartoon History of the Universe Volumes 1-19 (Big Bang through Discovery of the New World)

Cartoon History of the Modern World by Larry Gonick (New world exploration through creation of the U.S constitution)


TimelineJS Knightlab

Link to timeline project:

Microsoft Office, Google Drive

Material and supplies: computer, internet

Demonstrated Skill:

Aidan shows knowledge of and ability to discuss:

•              How historical events effect future events and cultures

•              Elements of a civilization

•              Different economic systems

•              Wars and Revolutions

•              Major Religions and their role in history

•              Importance and role of resources in historical events

•              Ancient civilizations

•              Famous leaders

•              The Industrial Revolution

•              Disease and Famine

•              Climate Change

Brief description:

Aidan watched crash course and completed weekly reading assignments. He had two end of the semester final projects, one of which he collaborated on with his sister Lily.  Time Spent: 120 hours over 11 months.



Drawing ½ Credit

Main Resource: Fantasy Genesis by Chuck Lukacs


•              Drawing animals and plants with pencil and pen

•              Designing fantasy creatures

•              Texture and Depth using shading

•              Perspective

Completed the following tutorials:

•              Drawing Sea Life – fins and claws, Jellyfish and Mollusks,

•              Insects- spider (though not an insect), caterpillar, moths and butterflies

•              Mammals- horns and antlers, rabbit and rodent legs, horse body and legs, teeth and tusks, paws and claws rodents, paws and claws dogs and cats

•              Reptiles- amphibian and reptile legs, crocodile jaws

•              Birds – Feathers and Wings, Beaks and Bills, Talons

•              Plants- Flytraps and Vines, Ferns Grass, and Flowers, Pine Cone, Berries


10 points per project – 20 projects

Time- 60 hours

Grade: A

Resources: None outside of textbook

Material and supplies: drawing pencils, Bristol board, fine tip pen, protractor, French curve, circle and oval stencils, compass

Demonstrated Skill:

  • Planning a design
  • Shading to create texture
  • Showing Perspective
  • Completed 20 projects
  • Drawing Anatomical features of animals

Brief description: Aidan spent approx.. 60 hours (3 hours a week for twenty weeks) working through his drawing book.

Graphic Design -3D Sculpting – ½ Credit

Main Resource for Instruction

Tutorial Videos:

Introduction and Project Overview Tutorial

Getting Started with Mudbox Tutorial

Sculpting Basics Tutorial

Working with Sculpting Layers Tutorial

Using Vector Displacement Maps Tutorial

Materials and Texture Basics Tutorial

On-Target Presentation in Mudbox Tutorial

Painting Basics Tutorial

Working with Multiple Paint Layers Tutorial

Using the Dry Brush Tutorial

Using the Image Adjustment Brushes Tutorial

Working with Mudbox and Autodesk® Maya® Tutorial

Mudbox 2011 Texture Painting Tutorial


Software: Autodesk’s “Mud Box 2016”, “Maya 2016” 3-D Sculpting Programs


•              T-Rex (tutorial project)

•              Original character project 1

•              Original character project 2

Resources: Mudbox 2013 Cookbook by Roland Jeremy

Youtube, student copy of maya and mudbox

Materials and Supplies: computer, mouse, Nikon coolpix camera

Demonstrated skill:


•              Used mudbox and maya to work on three projects using the tools presented in the tutorials

•              Created texture and depth using mudbox sculpting tools

Time: 60 hours

Grade: A

Other art activity: Recorded video for his sister’s blog. (13 videos)

Brief Description: Aidan spent approximately 60 hours working through mudbox tutorials and working on original characters.

Physical Education

Hiking ½ Credit


  • Safety
  • Warming up
  • Nature Quest
  • Leave no Trace
  • Trail Leadership roles
  • First Aide
  • Map Reading



Honeygo website

Baltimore County Nature Quest

Lake Roland/Robert E. Lee

Maryland State Parks

Benjamin Banneker park

Marshy Point park

Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park

Cromwell Valley

Oregon Ridge

Materials and Supplies: shoes, water bottle, hat, backpack, trail maps

Demonstrated Skill:

•              Performed 60+ hours of hiking

•              Researched and designed a pre-hike stretching routine

•              Instructed family members and others on how to use stretching routine

•              Participated in Baltimore County’s Nature Quest 2015 completing 9 hikes at Robert E. Lee Park, Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park, Oregon Ridge Nature Center, Cromwell Valley Park, Marshy Point Nature Center, Benjamin Banneker Historical Park, and Honeygo Run Regional Park

•              Walked and hiked trails in our local state and city parks both in an exploratory manner as well as planned excursions: Gwynn Falls/Leakin Park, Patapsco Valley State Park Areas, Centennial, Jug Bay, Cylburn Arboretum, Meadowbrook Park

•              Leave no Trace Education

•              Performed leadership roles of trail leader and “sweeper” as well as reading the trail maps

Grade: A

Brief description:

Hiking continues to be our family’s primary physical activity. Working towards completing “Nature Quest” has been a significant motivated factor for Aidan. Aidan loves to lead our hikes and handle trail maps.

Extra Curricular activities hobbies interest :

Clubs: Attends the Teen Club at Catonsville Library (4 hours a week – games and movies)

Hobbies: Dungeon and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, PS3, creating with legos and CCBS (creature character building system) creating MOC characters


Field trips:

Nature Art in the Park –Gwynn Falls, Leakin Park (September 2015)

Art in the Park- Robert E. Lee (September 2015)

Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary

National Aquarium in Baltimore

Calvert Cliffs – Chesapeake Beach

Nature Quest Fest


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