•  Professional Biography
    Falcon Image Cristina Mai
     English Department

    Cristina Mai is in her 11th year as a teacher in Loudoun County at Briar Woods. Before getting her teaching certificate for public schools in Virginia, she taught computer software to adults, Italian to college students at Indiana University, and English to students at a private school in Italy.   She earned her BA in English with a concentration in writing from Mary Washington University and her MA from Indiana University where she studied Italian.

    She is also the yearbook adviser and proud to work with the small, exceptionally dedicated and talented group of students who have the monumental task of creating the single largest publication our school puts out: the Briar Woods Yearbook.



    2020-2021 Schedule 

    Grades in Phoenix /Resources in Schoology

    Block 1 - English 9A

    Block 5 - English 9H

    Block 2 - Planning

    Block 6 - Dept Planning

    Block 3 - Photojournalism 1,2,3 (yearbook)

    Block 7 - Photojournalism Study Hall

    Block 4 -English 9A

    Block 8 - English 9H


     Overview of 9th Grade Year - By Quarter


    Students are encouraged to purchase copies of the novels we study in class.  This is not mandatory; however, students benefit greatly from annotating and interacting with the text. 


    Quarter 1 Plan: Introduction of character analysis, symbolism, and theme analysis skills through Literature Circles, poems, and novels.  Writing: Introduction of AXES writing format for Literary Analysis writing.

    Topics: Annotations, big ideas and themes, symbolism, characterization, assertions, commentary, evidence, MLA format citations, relationships between elements of literature.  


    Quarter 2 Plan: Continued application of literary analysis skills through novels, short stories, and poetry with the addition of historical context.  Writing: Continued application of AXES paragraph and developing introductions and conclusions to form a complete essay. 

    Topics: author's word choice, distinguishing literary forms, cultural or social function of literary text, influence of historical context, assertions, selecting effective evidence, commentary. 


    Quarter 3 Plan: Continued application of literary analysis and synthesis skills through in-class plays, poetry, and Literature Circles and/or independent reading.  Writing: Focus on persuasion and analysis, developing counterclaims

    Topics: Figurative language, elements of poetry, active vs passive voice, providing counterclaims, assertions, evidence, and commentary. 

    Quarter 4 Plan: Final application of literary analysis skills through in-class texts focused on plays, short stories, and poetry with Literature Circles or independent reading.  Focus on synthesizing information from multiple texts. Writing: Final application of AXES paragraphs in literary analysis, evaluation of sources, and counterclaims. 

    Topics: Compare/contrast details in literary texts, counterclaims, differentiate between fact and opinion, describe cause and effect relationships, ethical use of internet, MLA format, and research.



Last Modified on September 3, 2020