A freshman-year English course is one of the most important of a student's high school career because it serves as a foundation for future coursework in preparation for college or the workforce. A ninth-grade English curriculum should help a student become more comfortable with communicating to a variety of audiences and effectively interpreting what he reads so as to build his intellectual skills.

Reading

Completing a variety of reading assignments is a major part of a ninth grader's English curriculum. Students read common freshman books such as "Animal Farm" by George Orwell, which presents the idea of the brutality of unchecked political power using satire. Students also could read "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, a book about the struggles of race, bigotry and justice. Critical thinking and comprehension questions are an important supplement to the readings.

Writing

Another important part of a ninth-grade English curriculum is requiring students to master their writing skills. Students should learn correct sentence structures and know how to write an effective thesis paragraph. In addition, assignments require freshmen to produce a strong writing outline and to craft various types of essays, including a persuasive essay or a response-to-literature essay. A ninth-grade English curriculum allows students to delve into creative writing assignments such as producing plays, poems and short stories. Students also hone their note-taking skills in lectures and in their personal reading time as well as buttress their test-taking skills.

Grammar/Vocabulary

A staple of a ninth-grade English class is coverage of grammar rules. Students must master the use of nouns and verbs as well as learn how to avoid run-on sentences and fragments. In addition, they learn the difference between passive and active voice. Reviewing vocabulary words to strengthen their understanding of terminology used in books and to acquire new words they can introduce into their own writing assignments also is critical.

Speaking/Research

Ninth graders must complete assignments such as giving oral presentations to hone their public-speaking skills. They learn how to organize a speech, make eye contact and produce informative or persuasive speeches. To prepare their speeches, they must become acquainted with their school or local library and understand how to locate certain books, scholarly journals or periodicals on any given topic.