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Learning Center.

Welcome to the Mentor and Mentee Learning Center

9th Grade Lessons

In the 9th Grade, pairs will build a strong and trusting relationship through self-exploration and honest sharing of our values, interests and cultural backgrounds. Pairs will understand and practice a growth mindset by setting and working towards a goal based on interests or values. Pairs will practice collaboration and career exploration through summer plans.

Click here for a grade guide which summarizes the curricular goals for the grade and unit content.

Click here for an overview of the 9th Grade.

9th Grade projects:
All About Me / All About Us
Summer Teen Enrichment Project

Click here for a list of project references in all the 9th Grade lessons. 


Unit 1: The Mentor/Mentee Relationship

In this first unit of the four-year program model, students will learn about mentorship and how to build a trusting mentor/mentee relationship. They’ll prepare to introduce themselves to their mentor by exploring their own identities and completing a creative “All About Me” project. Students will begin using the Platform, and complete the Matching Application and Beginning of Year Survey. They’ll also take an active role in determining classroom norms, rituals, and expectations.

Lesson Purpose Resources
9.1.* Beginning of Year Survey The beginning of the year survey enables program staff to learn about student opinions and experiences.
9.1.* Exploring Platform To set students up for success using Platform each week, this lesson introduces the layout, features and functionality.
9.1.* Introducing the Real Me This is the first lesson in which students will communicate directly with their mentors using a shared Google Doc called “All About Us.”
9.1.* Mentor Communication This lesson introduces program communication expectations and serves as a pre-writing lesson for students to begin direct communication with mentors.
9.1.1 Defining Mentorship This lesson introduces students to the program by inviting them to anticipate how it will be different from other high school classes.
9.1.2 A Recipe for Trust This lesson focuses on students’ roles in building trust in a new relationship with their mentors.
9.1.3 Collaboration & Class Norms In this lesson, students will reflect on their experiences in other classes to discuss the behaviors that contribute to a positive classroom culture.
9.1.4 Matching Application Students will understand and complete their Matching Applications in this lesson.
9.1.5 I Am From Poem Part I In this lesson, students will explore parts of their culture (e.g. food, clothing, advice), and prepare to share parts of their own identity with their mentor.
9.1.6 I Am From Poem Part II By sharing elements from their daily lives and the cultures that influence them, students can help their mentors find common ground and build understanding.

Unit 2: All About Me/Us

In this unit, students and mentors will explore their identities and share with one another their values, personal experiences, skills, and interests. In completing the All About Us project, pairs will collaborate to identify what makes each other unique, and will also work together to identify shared interests, experiences, and qualities.

Lesson Purpose Resources
9.2.1 My Interests In this lesson, students will begin to share their interests with their mentor. The activities, clubs, and subjects that interest students will help mentors and students get to know each other.  
9.2.2 My Values In this lesson, students reflect on their personal values. The process of identifying and articulating those values will strengthen the relationship between mentor and mentee.
9.2.3 Common Ground In this lesson, students will explore similarities and differences between themselves and their mentors, and develop questions to get to know them better.

Unit 3: Goal Setting

In this unit, students and mentors will practice using the SMART goal framework to develop short-term targets that are specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic, and time-bound. Students and mentors will share goals that they are setting for the month. Students will see the importance of setting a clear goal, tracking progress towards that goal,  getting expert tips/feedback, and reflecting on their progress.

Lesson Purpose Resources
9.3.1 The Power of Goal-Setting In this lesson, students will think about a goal
that they set in the past and begin to define what
they think is needed to successfully set goals.

9.3.2 SMART Goals This lesson introduces students to the SMART
goal framework by guiding students to define
specific, measurable goals. Understanding the
importance of working towards specific goals in a
non-academic area will help mentees practice
that process in a safe space, where it may be
possible to see progress quickly and clearly. This
will set a foundation for developing and working
towards specific academic goals in Unit 5: Growth
Mindset.
9.3.3 Expert Advice In this lesson, students will discuss the
importance of seeking resources such as expert
examples, advice, and direct feedback. Students
will network in class to develop a list of experts
to contact; this can also help build relationships
and trust within the classroom. Students will
implement research strategies and harness social
capital several times over the course of the
program and the post-secondary application
process.
9.3.4 Goal Tracking and Reflection Students will track their progress over the past
two weeks and develop specific a strategy for
achieving the SMART goals they set in a previous
lesson. This approach to achieving goals will be
extended in Unit 5: Growth Mindset.

Unit 4: Summer Enrichment

In this unit, students and their mentors will create a plan for the summer ahead using the STEP document. Pairs will discuss and explore how students can pursue their interests and goals.  The Fit Factors in the STEP document will make sure pairs communicate clearly about time and money constraints so they can collaborate well on summer plans and research.  Mentors will offer suggestions and support their mentee’s efforts to research, compare, evaluate, and apply for summer opportunities through Summer Teen Enrichment Projects (STEP).

Lesson Purpose Resources
9.4.1 Summer Top 100 This lesson prepares students to plan for the summer by asking them to identify their priorities.
9.4.2 Personal Growth Students will use the STEP plan to discuss what they want to get out of their summer.
9.4.3 Time and Money It is crucial to emphasize that all students can grow and learn over the summer, regardless of a student’s financial needs or constraints in terms of location and time.
9.4.4 STEP Planner Students need dedicated and supported time to research and reflect on different types of summer opportunities.

Unit 5: Growth Mindset

In this unit, mentors will support students in developing a growth mindset. Students and their mentors will reflect on challenges they’ve already overcome, acknowledging how a growth mindset has helped them in the past. They will also consider the value of failure, the role of motivation in goal setting, and the meaning of grit.

Lesson Purpose Resources
9.5.1 Opportunities for Growth This lesson introduces the concept of growth versus fixed mindsets, which is the focus of this unit.
9.5.2 My Outlook In this lesson, students will reflect on the kind of of self-talk they’ve used and the feedback they’ve received from others about their skills, abilities, and personal qualities.
9.5.3 Persistence In this lesson, students will attempt a difficult activity twice and reflect on how it feels to fail and what they can learn from failure.
9.5.* End of Year Survey In this lesson, students will have an opportunity to complete the End of Year survey and reflect on the year with their mentor.

Unit 6: Reflecting Back, Looking Forward

In this unit, students begin the process of transitioning from 9th to 10th grade by reflecting on their 9th grade year and then planning for the year(s) to come. This unit builds on the goal-setting work to help students continue to develop a growth mindset with regards to their educational journey. It also provides students space to make informed and intentional decisions about their future academic choices, who they seek out for support, and how they use that support. This will be an important skill for building their best profile as college applicants, making thoughtful decisions about their post-secondary lives, and making good decisions throughout their lives. 
Lesson Purpose Resources
9.6.1 Freshman Year Check-In Students will reflect on their freshman year- from both an academic and social emotional perspective. These activities will strengthen the relationship between mentors and mentees by encouraging mentees to engage their mentors in their learning process. 
9.6.2 College Sneak Peek After reflecting on the past year, students are ready to look ahead and begin to plan for their future. For students to maximize their high school experience, they should start thinking about the post-secondary options available to them and what sorts of colleges might interest them.
9.6.3 Planning My Path In this lesson, students will begin planning for the future years of high school. By engaging in this together, mentor and mentees can practice doing this planning work collaboratively, which will strengthen their relationship and lay the foundation for working together in years to come.


Unit 7: Launching Grade 10

In this unit, students will build on the goal-setting strategies they learned earlier in the year and apply them to their summer planning. Students will begin by reflecting on long-term goals by envisioning their future selves. They will then establish a related intermediate goal for the summer using the SMART goal framework. Finally, students will reflect on their relationships with their mentors, and express gratitude in an end-of-the-year celebration.

Lesson Purpose Resources
9.7.1 Vision of the Future In this lesson, students will create a vision board of their future selves. Developing a clear and thoughtful image of their future selves will help motivate students in their summer activities.
9.7.2 Message From Sophomore Self To help students envision their future selves, students will complete a message from their sophomore self describing what they will have experienced and accomplished by the end of sophomore year.
9.7.3 Summer SMART Goal Students will set a second goal for the summer based on their academic goals, personal interests, or values.
9.7.4 Closing Out the Year Students will read thank you notes from their mentors and create thank you notes in return, demonstrating the importance of giving and receiving gratitude in reciprocal relationships.

Enrichment Lessons

These are designed "extra" lessons that are at the discretion of the region to utilize. These lessons are designed to not be time sensitive and can be implemented when necessary. 

Lesson Purpose Resources
Professional Email Writing Students will learn to communicate formally through email. Email communication is an essential skill for both job -seeking and a common form of communication in post-secondary pathways, college and in the workplace.
Current Event  SWBAT will learn about, discuss and respond to a current event.  Lesson Plan