Freshman Survival Guide

Follow these steps to have a funky, "fresh" freshman year!

Intro to the Next Year

My name is Kendall Cleaver, and I am an alumni of Honors English 9. I am not going to lie to you, this year will be challenging. You are going to have a lot of projects, but if you use your time wisely, you won't feel that overwhelmed. That being said, you will definitely learn a lot. Everything that you learn is beneficial and helps you to develop important language skills. Mrs. Allen is a great teacher, and will provide you with the knowledge you need to have a successful freshman year. Overall, have fun and good luck in ninth grade English!

Run Down of the Road Ahead

You will read many books and complete many units throughout the year, but these are just a few.


  • The first unit I am going to talk about is the short story unit. You will read a few short stories, and you're group will be assigned one to do projects with. You will have to do an outline, make up a quiz, and talk about important characters and the plot. The best part of this unit is the field trip. You stop at Panera Bread, go watch actors perform the plays in Pittsburgh, and then go to the Spaghetti Warehouse. It's a really fun day, and you get to miss a day of school.
  • The next unit is Romeo and Juliet. This unit is only going to be as fun as you make it. Our class really had fun acting out the characters, and watching the movies during class. Another upside to this unit is there is not that much work with it. Other than some quizzes and vocabulary logs, the work is not hard.
  • The next unit is The Odyssey. I really enjoyed reading this because it was a very interesting story. Also, before you read this, you watch "Troy" which was an awesome movie. The work that goes along with The Odyssey is pretty challenging, but you have a long time to get it done. Overall, I enjoyed this unit.
  • The last unit we did this year was poetry. We had to pick a topic we were passionate about and write a poem based on it. We had a lot of projects assigned, and only had about a week and a half to get it all done. After that we had to perform our poems on the iPad with our partners. This entire unit was done in the last two weeks of school.

Independent Reading

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Mrs. Allen really wants you to develop a love for reading over the year, or at least try. You should try to find a book that you really want to read or something that you are interested in. Mrs. Scott does a great job finding books that you may enjoy. This year I read Matched, Wintergirls, What I Saw and How I Lied, and I'll Give You the Sun. I am really happy that I read these because they turned out to be great. I had a lot of fun even though I didn't think I was going to.

My Faves

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One of my favorite things we did this year was the Divergent unit. It was really fun competing against other factions in your class. The project that we did was also a good time. Another fun unit was the short story unit. The field trip was so much fun and we didn't have to do a packet for it.

What I Didn't Like

There were only a few things I didn't like this year, one of them being poetry. I don't like to write and perform personal things in front of other people, so this unit was not for me. I also did not enjoy the group projects. I like to do everything by myself, at my pace, and the way I want it. Over the year, they weren't as bad because I could trust more people.

Advice

Top 5 Ways to Make the Best Out of English

  1. Get on Mrs. Allen's good side. The class is a lot more fun when you can joke around and have fun.
  2. Do what you are asked. Complaining is not going to get you anywhere
  3. Get along with the people in your class. These are the people that you are going to have to rely on for certain assignments. You want to be as productive as possible.
  4. Don't make up excuses. There is no room for them. Get your work done and stay on top of the game.
  5. Don't take everything too seriously. There is plenty of time made for goofing around, and having a good time. However, when there is work too be done, that will come first.
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Some Closing Inspiration

"The trick is to enjoy life. Don't wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead." ~Marjorie Pay Hinckley
"I've got a theory that if you give 100 percent all the time, somehow things will work out in the end." ~Larry Bird
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Good luck in your Freshman year! I hope my advice helps you throughout your year!