9th Grade School Work: Info by Subject

During the 9th grade, your teen will take core courses in state-mandated subjects and elective courses based on personal or academic interest. Continue reading to learn more about common academic topics for 9th graders.

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Overview of 9th Grade Academic Subjects

English Language Arts

During the 9th grade, your teenager will read and write expository essays about a number of novels and plays, such as Romeo and Juliet or Of Mice and Men. Each week, your 9th grader will be assigned a portion of a novel or play and encouraged to contribute to in-class critical discussions. Discussion topics may include clarifying the theme, character development, narrative structure, setting or use of time in a piece of literature. Students may also be asked to analyze textual words and phrases in order to articulate literal and figurative meanings within a poem or work of prose. A final element of 9th grade English language arts courses is ample practice writing analytical papers - from the brainstorming stage to the polished draft.

Social Studies

Social studies classes examine topics within the social sciences and the humanities to develop a student's ability to make informed decisions as a citizen of a democratic society. In the 9th grade, your teen is likely to study world history, though some schools organize high school social studies curricula in unique formats. In a world history class, your teen will explore world cultures, religion, trade, government and major historical events between 1500 C.E. to the present. Through short answer and essay assignments, your 9th grader will also gain practice using efficient research methods.


It's common for 9th graders to take either algebra or geometry. Algebra 1 covers systems of linear equations, graphing relations and functions, probabilities, quadratic and exponential functions, factoring and polynomials. If your teen is at a more advanced level, he or she is more likely to take geometry in the 9th grade. High school geometry focuses on working with parallel lines, planes, coordinate geometry, area, volume and writing 2-column proofs.


Your son or daughter will likely take an environmental or earth science class in the 9th grade, though some schools instruct biology at this level. Environmental science courses explore ecological concepts, the role of life and organism interaction within ecosystems, the biosphere, chemical cycles and biomes. Such a course may include learning about environmental problems, such as pollution, waste or overpopulation, and a chance to research sustainable environmental models. Earth science courses cover the scientific method, the earth's structure - including movement-oriented phenomena (e.g., earthquakes and volcanoes), geologic time, plate tectonic, rock cycles, fossils and topography.


Most 9th graders take a foreign language course and fulfill a physical education requirement through a sports team or a physical education class. Many 9th graders also take a year or semester-long course in visual art, music or the performing arts.

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