A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Checkpoints for Progress In Reading & Writing for Families and Communities - February 1998

  Ninth Grade Students

In the upper grades, most students read widely and in detail on many topics. They produce good quality writing, using correct grammar and spelling. They speak with adults and peers, using correct listening and speaking skills. Undisplayed graphic
Reading
Your child...
* Reads and understands challenging material including fiction and nonfiction books, magazines, and newspapers.
* Reads to reach academic goals.
* Uses ways of reading such as thinking ahead and looking at the main ideas to understand readings.
* Can see the author's purpose. Knows how language can convince. Understands the use of language that stands for something else, such as metaphor and simile.
Writing
Your child...
* Writes clearly, using correct grammar and showing a plan and purpose.
* Writes usefully for specific reasons: to reflect, sort out information, tell a story or describe a way of doing something, find connections, convince, or entertain.
* Proofreads, edits, and corrects work to produce good quality writing.

How you can help...
  • Talk about books, magazines, and newspaper articles as a family.

  • Let your child see you reading for fun. Read some of the books your child is reading and talk about them.

  • Make sure your child has a regular time and quiet place to do homework. Encourage your child to ask for help when needed.

  • Keep talking with your child's teachers. Continue to attend open houses and other school events.
  • Ask and help your child to use the public library and its resources, including the Internet.

  • Keep books, magazines, and newspapers around the house and in the car for free-time reading.

  • Ask your child to write letters, keep a journal, and do creative writing at home.

A child who has successfully mastered these skills should be able to read and understand the following excerpts:

Seventh Grade: Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson
I hung the fresh cuts of venison up in the dog run, right where Old Yeller had stolen the hog meat the night he came. I did it for a couple of reasons. To begin with, that was the handiest and coolest place we had for hanging meat. On top of that, I was looking for a good excuse to get rid of that dog. I figured if he stole more of our meat, Mama would have to see that he was too sorry and no account to keep. But Old Yeller was too smart for that.
Books to read at this level:*

The Pigman, by Paul Zindel
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
Mr. Popper's Penguins, by Richard and Florence Atwater
Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell

Eighth Grade: The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
"You need not try," said Thorin. "In fact if you can't talk about something else, you had better be silent. We are quite annoyed enough with you as it is. If you hadn't waked up, we should have left you to your idiotic dreams in the forest; you are no joke to carry even after weeks of short commons." There was nothing now to be done but to tighten the belts round their empty stomachs, and hoist their empty sacks and packs, and trudge along the track without any great hope of ever getting to the end before they lay down and died of starvation. This they did all that day, going very slowly and wearily, while Bombur kept on wailing that his legs would not carry him and that he wanted to lie down and sleep.
Books to read at this level:*

Ginger Pye, by Eleanor Estes
Lost Wreck of the Isis, by Robert D. Ballard
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
The Black Pearl, by Scott O'Dell

Ninth Grade: Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell
After them came a number of men on horseback, some of them in green coats, all galloping as fast as they could. The old horse snorted and looked eagerly after them, and we young colts wanted to be galloping with them, but they were soon away in the fields lower down; here it seemed as if they had come to a stand; the dogs left off barking, and ran about every way with their noses to the ground.
Books to read at this level:*

Lincoln: A Photobiography, by Russell Freedman
White Fang, by Jack London
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

*Books recommended by the American Library Association.


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