English Department Summer Reading Program
Grades 9 - 12
Honors & Advanced Placement Summer Reading List
Why Summer Reading?
The Modern American School is a college preparatory school that encourages and promotes year-round learning and the reinforcement and strengthening of reading and writing skills by instituting summer reading selections. MAS recognizes the value in and importance of summer reading as a means of not only improving reading and writing skills, but also as a way of helping to prepare students for standardized assessments such as the SAT and AP exams. One of our academic goals is to prepare students to succeed in the college and university environment. Colleges and universities expect students to come having already read a significant amount and variety of literary works. That goal cannot be achieved exclusively during the school year. Additionally, we believe that a summer reading program will maintain and improve reading proficiency as research has shown that student reading skills deteriorate when they do not read over the summer months. Students are encouraged to research the selections to help make the most appropriate decisions about what to read (based on content and difficulty).
Criteria for Selecting Summer Reading Books
The works selected for summer reading assignments have been purposely chosen for their literary merit and timeless themes. These great books, like all great literature, have stood the test of time because their themes attempt to answer life’s philosophical questions about the genesis of man, the goal of life, and the inevitability of death. The English Department at MAS strives to select works that likewise speak to the larger human experience. Consequently, these works touch the soul of the reader and provide the student with the opportunity to hold the philosophy of each work. Students are trained to validate or reject the world views of the authors they read. In addition to developing critical thinking skills, works of literary merit help students expand their vocabulary, improve their reading comprehension, and develop their analytical reading and writing skills.
Directions for Daily Entry Journals:
The format below will be used for all DEJ assignments which you complete for summer reading.
Each entry of your journal should be labeled with the book title, author, and chapter number.
Each page of your DEJ pages should be divided into two columns (as shown below).
Use this side of the page to discuss the facts. Tell what happened/what was discussed. Include important details and plot points. Use quotations and examples to support your observations.
This is not the place to give your opinions or thoughts, so even if you disagree with something or if you have questions about it, refrain from giving these reactions in this section. Summary is the key here.
React to what you reading. Feel free to user “I” and discuss your opinion. This is also good place to make connections with other readings or classes you have taken.
Try to do more than judge the quality of the writing and the possibility of the story.
Be critical while thinking about HOW and WHY the piece invites your reaction.
Select any key quotation from the chapter and cite the page number in parenthesis at the end of the quotation. Also, write a sentence which connect the quotation to the rest of the chapter. For example, why is this quotation important? List unfamiliar and/or key words here and use a dictionary to find a definition. This is where definitions should be written. Analysis is the key in this part.
PLEASE SEE MODEL OF A GOOD SUMMER READING DEJ ENTRY:
Shakespeare’s Macbeth ACT I Scene I
The setting is a heath in Scotland, where three witches wait to meet Macbeth during thunder and lightning. Their conversation is filled with mystery. They say that they will meet Macbeth "when the battle's lost and won" and when "fair is foul and foul is fair"
This scene is important because it establishes a dark mood that dominates the whole paly. The quotation "fair is foul and foul is fair" gives me the feeling that something bad will take place in the play. The presence of the witches and thunder adds to the supernatural flavor of the play. The language is somehow difficult to understand because it is written by Shakespeare, but with the help of dictionaries things become easier.
Heath : Moorland
Foul: filthy and dirty
Note: The above model is ONLY for ONE scene; you may choose to do the summary and observations by Scene, ACT, or Chapter as long as you are consistent.
Selected Summer Reading Lists (Grades 9-12)
HONORS NINTH GRADERS:
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Macbeth by Shakespeare
HONORS TENTH GRADERS:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Julius Creaser by William Shakespeare
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
AP ELEVENTH & TWELFTH GRADERS:
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller
Rubrics for DEJ (Daily Entry Journals)
The DEJ portrays a deep understanding of the book and includes understanding of plot, characters and setting. It has illustrative quotes.
The DEJ portrays an understanding of the book. The DEJ mentions plot, characters, and setting. More details could be included.
The DEJ demonstrates some confusion about the book. Plot, characters, and setting may not be mentioned. No quotes are cited.
The DEJ does not demonstrate an understanding of the book.
The DEJ is organized, detailed, and well-thought out. Effort exceeds the standard.
The DEJ is somewhat organized, detailed, and well-thought out.
The DEJ may lack details and planning, and/or be disorganized.
The DEJ is messy and disorganized, perhaps rushed. Effort was not put into the DEJ.
The DEJ is free of spelling and grammatical errors
The DEJ is mostly free of spelling and grammatical errors.
The DEJ contains many spelling and grammatical errors
The DEJ contains many spelling and grammatical errors. The project contains so many spelling and grammatical errors that make it difficult to read.
Benefits of Joining Summer Reading Program
A certificate will be awarded to participants who complete the requirements of the DEJ assignment; such certificates help in college acceptances;
Bonus marks will be given to students who complete the assignment successfully; they should get 10/12 according to the above rubrics.
Students who complete the assignment will be members of the MAS Reading Club.
We wish you a productive summer break and we look forward to discussions when you return.