Summer Reading 2021 (High School)
High School Summer Reading Program 2021
The selection for this summer is a novella, a short novel, less than 100 pages. It will be emailed to your students by July 1st. This will give students over a month to read and complete three short assignments.
The program will be a bit different this year. The book has been divided into three sections of approximately 10 short chapters each. There will be a required short, written response, specific to grade level, for each of the three sections that will be graded by their teachers. Students will submit their responses online according to the assigned deadlines to help students stay on track and engaged. The intent of these short assignments is to enable students to start the school year with both the knowledge of a shared piece of literature as well as a potentially high grade. Because of these assignments, teachers will not need to give a test on the novella’s content. However, students who do not complete the three required responses by the deadlines will have to take a comprehension test on the first day of school during office hours.
Please see the vocabulary list attached below. From a pedagogical perspective, the value of vocabulary cannot be underestimated. Numerous studies show a direct correlation between the size of students’ vocabulary and their academic success. In the article “Vocabulary size revisited: the link between vocabulary size and academic achievement,” it is noted that students with a limited vocabulary struggle to read academic texts [not to mention tests like the ACT or PSAT] because they cannot understand what they are reading. And the authors come to an interesting conclusion: “Student achievement may, potentially, be explained as much by vocabulary size as by academic ability.” (Treffers-Daller and Milton) Now that might be a controversial statement, but it serves to emphasize the importance of students developing and expanding their vocabularies.
Students will have an assessment on the 135 vocabulary words during the first full week of school. The test will be matching. We recommend that students study the sections (read over, recite, write out, use the Quizlet app…) for at least 5 minutes a night, and they should make great progress. If they learn or at least review the words before reading the chapters, the book will be much more meaningful and enjoyable.
Parents, please help your child start off the year successfully. This book is short enough to be read aloud as a family activity – the way books were read and enjoyed for centuries. If reading aloud doesn’t work for you, encourage your child’s reading by setting aside a couple of sessions of quiet each week and asking them questions about the novella.
The importance of reading cannot be minimized. Although students now have more distractions than ever, the ability to concentrate and focus on an extended text is invaluable for their future.