Summer Reading: It’s Crunch Time Kiddos
Have you ever tried to lose five pounds before a class reunion? With the date impending did you take extra laps around the block after work or refuse that oh so enticing slice of chocolate cake? If you ever felt like there could be some ‘tweaking’ on your behalf, with your class reunion only a few weeks away, you understand totally how to make the most of crunch time. With summer vacation set to end in three weeks, my ‘we’ve got plenty of time’ motto is now turning into a lie. School will pick back up in a few weeks. And believe you me, I feel the crunch as we are a bit behind. Visits to grandparents’ houses, Fourth of July and a few days at the beach threw us off course. We still have assigned summer reading to complete! When I was in school any summer reading assignment we got was parent self-imposed. Nowadays even my soon to be first grader has an assignment to complete by the first day of school. So we are cutting down the TV time and upping the number of pages read daily. In other words we are spending our crunch time tweaking and fine tuning.
Bonus! All reading activities presented here are based on Common Core State Standards
Friendly Parent Reminder: Always, always, always check the DRA or Lexile levels to ensure your kiddo is reading on grade level or above!!
What will they comprehend? Write arguments to support claims using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. First have your high schooler choose a topic of interest: women’s rights, racism, classism, saving the earth, domestic violence, immigration, nuclear weapons, people of color at CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies (or lack thereof). Whatever you’ve heard them complain about have them read all about it. Next have them make an argument by outlining the following: Introduce argument/claim Establish the significance of the argument/claim Distinguish the argument/claim from opposing argument/claim Create an organization that logically sequences argument/claim, counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. Will your high school scholar need a reminder on how to make an argument…no worries check out this video: Have them check with at least 3 reliable sources on their topic. What’s a reliable source? Have your teen check out this quick video on reliable sources before they go off researching into internet land.
Your high school scholar can find suggested resources to avoid here
Write down 6 quotes from sources found: Make sure six chosen quotes are from the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Copy each passage or quote on blank white paper and write the page number.
What will they comprehend? Analyze a film or live production of a story or drama and how stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.
First, choose a movie and book to compare. Suggestions? Beloved by Tony Morrison
What’s this story about? Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened.
Watch it on Netflix
To really push your middle school scholar to the next level have them read the Margaret Garner story – the woman whom Beloved is based on. They can then make THREE comparisons: Toni Morrison’s fictional account, the movie and the historical version!
Or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird Trailer
Watch it on Netflix
What will they comprehend? Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact). Choose any book of interest to your kiddo. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
What’s this story about? A sudden cyclone appears on a Kansas prairie and a young girl named Dorothy is carried off in the winds to a place called Munchkinland in the distant Land of Oz. There, Dorothy is mistaken for a sorceress, and the home she knows as Kansas is seen as some distant and exotic land beyond the great desert that isolates Oz from the rest of the world. Have your whiz kid choose two characters in the book. They should write down similarities and differences. Have them give examples from the story of where they saw these similarities and differences.
I thought the Wizard of Oz provided a host of characters to compare, plus you can have the kiddos compare the written version to the movie version for this book as well! (Sweet!!) The Wiz movie Trailer
What will they comprehend? Identify, think about and be able to answer questions about characters, settings, and major events in a story. Find a lovely story of interest to your kindergartner. Find book suggestions here for kids. After reading the story make sure to go over the ‘Story Retelling Hand’ To start your kindergartner (and preschooler)off on the critical thinking track have them review the Story Retelling Hand Thumb: Who are the characters in the story? Pointer: What is a significant detail that happened at the beginning of the story? Middle: Tell one or two significant details that happened in the middle of the story? Ring: What is the ending of the story? Pinkie: What was your favorite part of the story? What was the moral/lesson or most important part? Palm: Make connections with the story. Has your little genius what does this story remind them of: something that has happened to them or someone they know, another book they’ve read or a something they saw on television
Here’s to Closing the Achievement Gap!