Summer Independent Reading Assignment for Middle School - for Students Incoming Grades 6-8

Students were issued the following assignment at the end of the school year in June. We hope this flexible independent reading assignment helps keep students’ brains active over the summer.

 Description: Independently, you are going to choose a novel that you want to read over the summer holiday. You will then choose and complete at least three of the following activities. Through these activities you will show that you can:

· Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes, as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

· Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, character or plot.

· Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts and information through the selection, organization and analysis of relevant content.

·  Present new knowledge in a unique and creative way that promotes multi-disciplinary learning.

·  Express ideas and knowledge through authentic expression such as purposeful writing and images.

The due date for this project is Friday the 23rd of August. You will need to have hard copies of each activity that you have completed ready to submit to your English teacher on this day.

Project assignments:

A. Book review: Review your novel. Include the following: a) title and author, b) genre of the story, c) names of major characters, d) brief description of conflict/conflicts, e) what you liked/disliked about the book, f) a recommendation for a specific audience, G) analysis of three literary elements, such as setting, plot, characterization, conflict, point of view, theme or tone. This information should be presented as a typed or handwritten essay.

B) Letter to the author: Write a letter to the author of the book. Tell him/her what you liked and disliked about the story and his/her writing style. Give the author specific reasons and examples from the story to support what you say. Be sure that your letter is in the correct format.

C) Trash digging: Imagine you were to go through the trash of one of the characters. Explain what you might find and why. Base your ‘finds’ on the story and character actions. Please describe at least ten items.

D) Record deal: Design and create a record sleeve for your novel. The back cover should list the soundtrack for the novel including at least ten song titles with the artist’s name. Inside the sleeve, in a listed format, write a one to two sentence explanation for each song. On the front cover, design a cover that includes the novel’s title, author and important literary elements, such as symbols, setting and characters.

E) A picture is worth a thousand words: Digitally or with paper and art supplies, create a poster that includes the title of your chosen book, the author and at least three symbols incorporated into your collage or drawing. This poster should be creative and colorful. Your poster should be accompanied by a one paragraph explanation of each symbol that you have included.

Please avoid reading the following books, as they are part of the sixth through eighth grade novel studies:

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

The Miracle Worker by William Gibson

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

The Outsiders by S E Hinton

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Lord of the Flies by William Golding