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Summer Reading Assignment for Students Entering

English Classes in Grades 6 – 8


Dear Parents/Guardians:


Reading is the foundation for academic success in all subject areas.  In order to meet New York State Common Core Learning Standards and maintain the flow of learning achieved during the school year, we are asking students to participate in a summer reading program.  

This program sharpens reading skills while providing opportunities for students to explore various types of literature.


Students are strongly encouraged to read a book that sparks their interest.  In addition, students may also wish to borrow a book from their current teacher’s classroom library. This might be a great way for students to read the same book with a partner or small group to further stimulate their reading and thinking. Any lists shared with students are suggestions and not requirements. We believe that summer reading should be a time for students to engage with books they enjoy and choose to read. Our primary goal is to keep students reading and engaging with texts during the summer vacation.


Attached you will find a list of possible book projects that students may choose to complete. These projects will allow students to demonstrate their appreciation and understanding of what they read.  Ranging from writing a Book Review to creating a virtual world in platforms such as Minecraft, it is our hope that students find a way to meaningfully engage with reading. This summer reading experience will allow students to delve more deeply into the themes and motifs of  novels and create powerful background knowledge that will deepen comprehension of future texts.


In September, students who have completed Book Projects will have the opportunity to display their work to the entire student body during an in-school book fair and sharing event. We know that the great work our students do will lead many other students to discover new books and further drive a desire to read.


For this initiative to be successful, we need the same support from you that we receive from September through June.  We hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer.  Happy reading!


1. In the News. Each student creates the front page of a newspaper that tells about events and characters in a book just read. The newspaper page might be an editorial or editorial cartoon, ads, headline news, etc. The title of the newspaper should be appropriate for the book.

2. Create a Comic Book. Each student can turn a book, or part of it, into a comic book, complete with comic-style illustrations and dialogue bubbles.

3. Picture Books. After reading a book, create a picture book version of the story that would appeal to younger students.

4. Resume Writing. Create a resume for a book character. Be sure to include in the resume a statement of the applicant's goals and a detailed account of his or her experience and outside interests.

5. Poem. Write a poem about the book, one character in it, or some other aspect of  the book. The poem must be at least 16 lines long, but does not have to rhyme.

6. Poster.  Make a poster for the movie version of the book on poster size paper (12X18). Create a “hook” that will make your classmates want to “see” the movie.

7. Character Analysis.Write a 1+ page in-depth report on a character in the book. (What traits does the character have? What motivates the character? Is he/she well developed by the author? Do you agree /disagree with the way the character handled events in the book? Why? Would you like to meet the character? Why? Etc.)

8. Literary Terms Analysis. Write a 1+ page report defining 1-3 literature terms—simile, metaphor, personification, symbolism, foreshadowing, flashback, etc. Also include at least three examples of each term from the book.

9. Power Point Presentation.  Create a Powerpoint presentation about the book. Include setting,

character, plot, theme, etc. in your presentation.

10. Re-write.  Write a 1+ page “new ending” for the story. Include a brief summary of how the book really ended and why you chose to end it that way.You MUST make it a believable ending that fits with the characters.

11. Critique it. Write a 1+ page “review” of the book for a newspaper or magazine.

12. Game On. Create a board game with the story elements in your book—character, setting, plot, theme, mood, etc.

13. Senses. Locate phrases in the book that appeal to the 5 senses—hear, smell, touch, taste, see and explain how they enhanced the plot. You must have 2 phrases for each sense. Be sure to tell the page and paragraph of each example

14. Character’s Cave. We learn a lot about people by what they keep in their closets, what they have on their walls, what they select to put in a room. Select a character you know well and create a living room, bedroom, or another room that would mean a lot to the character. Draw it or write about it, making sure to include an explanation of why you designed the room as you did.


15. D. J. Design a 12 track playlist for a character you know well, being sure that the collection includes music that expresses as many aspects of the character as you are aware of. Include a short explanation of why you chose those songs. You may choose to create a 12 song soundtrack instead. If you choose this option, explain why you chose each song to accompany the specific part of the book. *Songs must be school appropriate.

16. Librarian. Select ten book choices for a main character. Select a character and then think about what he or she might like and also what you think they need to know more about. Scan library shelves, the Internet, or use the classroom library. Why did you select the nonfiction books you did? What do you hope your character will like about or get out of the texts you chose?

17. Book Review and Trailer. Write a book review for your selection. The review must include a photo of the book, summary of the text, information about the author, and your opinion of the story. The review should be at least a page in length. The trailer can be a re-enactment of important story parts, a photo collage of book pages and related media with a background song.

18. Build the World of the Book. Using a virtual work platform such as Minecraft, build a setting that was featured in the book. This might mean building part of a small town, recreating a building and crafting a landscape. Include ingame signposts and important objects and symbols to clarify the relationship of your creation to the book.

19. Book Trailer. Create a “Book Trailer” for the book you have read. A book trailer is like a movie trailer but for a book. Your book trailer should “sell” the book and make people want to read it. An effective book trailer mixes images, video, music, text and spoken words. Book trailers usually do not exceed 2 minutes but can be as short as 30 seconds. This website has some tips to help get you started.

Happy Reading!


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Dover Middle School   2368 Route 22   Dover Plains, NY 12522   Phone: (845) 877-5740   Fax: (845) 877-5749

The Dover Union Free School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities.  
The following people have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Donna Basting, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Staff Development, and Technology
2368 Route 22, Dover Plains, NY  12522
845-877-5700 x1233 

Genie Angelis, High School Principal
2368 Route 22, Dover Plains, NY  12522
845-877-5700 x1143

For further information on notice of non-discrimination, visit for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.

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