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9th Grade Lessons and Events

In the 9th Grade, pairs will build a strong and trusting relationship through self-exploration and honest sharing of 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 year and provides a timeline for running the curriculum. 

Unit 1: Mentee Orientation 

This is a pre-platform unit which introduces students to the iMentor program, the role of the mentor-mentee, and the way the curriculum and classes support them in this work. This unit prepares students to complete their new mentee applications for matching. At the end of the unit, students will be prepared to fully participate in the program, will understand the reasoning/benefits of the program, and be excited about their mentor.

0.1 The Power & Potential of Mentoring RelationshipsSWBAT demonstrate understanding of the characteristics of a formal mentoring relationship and the purpose of a mentor.
0.2  It Takes Two: Elements of a Successful Mentoring RelationshipSWBAT articulate their roles and responsibilities as a mentee. Students will also be able to identify behaviors and mindsets both mentors and mentees must bring to the relationship in order for it to be impactful.
0.3 What I Want in a Mentor SWBAT identify what they want in a mentor (and why) across a broad set of characteristics.
0.4 Matching Application SWBAT identify what they want in a mentor (and why) across a broad set of characteristics.
0.5 My Story of SelfSWBAT create a story of self that explains their life journey and growth.
0.6 Beginning of Year Survey

SWBAT complete their BOY survey.

Unit 2: Becoming a Pair

In this unit, students complete and explore iMentor systems that help mentees connect with their mentors and help iMentor assess the students. Students are introduced to the platform, where they will draft their first message to their new mentors. Pairs will launch their relationships and begin getting to know one another. Pairs will explore similarities and differences, make connections, and share experiences that will deepen their relationship. Pairs will reach a basic understanding of each other's interests, backgrounds, motivation, and lives.  

1.1  Mentor Reveal  
SWBAT learn about their new mentor and introduce themselves on the Platform.
1.2 Exploring PlatformSWBAT learn how to navigate the iMentor platform.
1.3 Five Questions About Me, Five Questions About You SWBAT answer questions about themselves and pose questions to their mentors to build rapport and a shared understanding.
1.4 " I Am From" Poem SWBAT creatively express their identity to their classmates and mentor.
1.5 Healthy Relationships


SWBAT understand components of a healthy relationship and how they can use the attributes of healthy relationships to build their relationship with their mentor.

1.6 Advocating for My NeedsSWBAT identify who to turn to for academic and social support and walk through steps on how to do so.
1.7 Successes and FailuresSWBAT understand the importance of adopting a growth mindset and learning from failures.
1.8 Give and Gets

SWBAT express their individual expectations for the mentor-mentee relationship, aiming to strike a balance between contributing to and benefiting from the partnership

1.9 Exploring Similarities and DifferencesSWBAT identify similarities and differences with their mentor and how to bridge across differences
1.101 Goal Setting (Optional) SWBAT establish one personal goal and one academic goal. Students will choose how their mentor can support them in achieving these goals.
Pair Event A 
(Month 1):
"Hi, My name is..."

Pairs will meet for the first time and engage in ice breakers. Pairs will also create commitments on how they want their relationship to proceed for the first semester.

Pair Event B
(Month 2):
Communicating to Success

Pairs will learn and practice healthy forms of communication through a towers building exercise. 

Pairs will make agreements to utilize the healthy forms of communication for future rapport building.

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.

9.3.1 The Power of Goal-SettingIn 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 GoalsThis 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 AdviceIn 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
9.3.4 Goal Tracking and ReflectionStudents 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.
9.3. Event_ Rise to the Challenge!This event provides the opportunity for mentors and mentees to work together towards a short-term goal (create a paper airplane that can fly over 10 feet), evaluate their achievements, reflect, and adjust before attempting to improve upon a second try.

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).

9.4.1 Summer Top 100This lesson prepares students to plan for the summer by asking them to identify their priorities.
9.4.2 Personal GrowthStudents will use the STEP plan to discuss what they want to get out of their summer.
9.4.3 Time and MoneyIt 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 PlannerStudents need dedicated and supported time to research and reflect on different types of summer opportunities.
9.4 Event A
"STEP Research"
Through research and iteration of the mentee's STEP plan, Mentors and mentees practice reflecting on and adjusting a plan to achieve a goal in a low-risk environment, so they become more comfortable applying that process to a longer term goal.
9.4 Event B
"My STEP Plan"
Mentor/mentee pairs practice collaboration and honest feedback as they work to present the STEP plan as a team. Shared goals also encourage pairs to think as a team and build trust.

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.

9.5.1 Opportunities for GrowthThis lesson introduces the concept of growth versus fixed mindsets, which is the focus of this unit.
9.5.2 My OutlookIn 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 PersistenceIn 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 Event_ The Power of YetInserting the word “yet” can have a profound effect on how students think of things they cannot (yet) do. In this lesson, students will practice this simple technique in hypothetical scenarios and then apply “the power of yet” to their own lives. 

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. 

9.6.1 Freshman Year Check-InStudents 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 PeekAfter 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 PathIn 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.
9.6 Career Exploration CheckupEach year, pairs will connect at one event to discuss and check-in on their “big picture” progress towards figuring out a happy and fulfilling life after high school. The program’s career exploration model is organized around four key questions.  The rubric that pairs will use to reflect on their progress is organized the same way.

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.

9.7.1 Vision of the FutureIn 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 SelfTo 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 GoalStudents will set a second goal for the summer based on their academic goals, personal interests, or values.
9.7.4 End of Year SurveyIn this lesson, students will have an opportunity to complete the End of Year survey and reflect on the year with their mentor.
9.7.5 Closing Out the YearStudents 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.
9.7 Leveraging Your MentorMentors can be a valuable resource for mentees as they navigate personal challenges and the post-secondary process as well as figure out a career that interests them and how to pursue it. In this event, pairs reflect on their relationship and when mentees go to their mentors for help, and identify new ways mentors can support mentees.
9.7 End of Year CelebrationIn any relationship, long stretches without meaningful communication can be damaging. It is important for pairs to determine how and how often they will communicate over the summer if they are able to keep in touch or meet-up at this point in the program.

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. 

Professional Email WritingStudents 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