Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan All students entering 8th grade at Grady Middle School are required to read two novels during the summer: one required, and one choice. The required novel will be used as a reference text as well as used to teach new skills. Therefore, each student must purchase the book from any major book store or download it to an eReader. There will be a comprehensive assessment given over the novel during the first week of school.
This same required novel will be used by all grade levels during advisory.
In the tradition ofOut of My Mind,Wonder,andMockingbird,this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life... until now.
Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is
nota tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.
Required Reading – Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan ELA Assignment Packet Includes the Following:
Double-Entry directions, example, and template
Book review template for a fiction or nonfiction book of your choice, preferably read on MyOn
Article Critique Assignment with Grading Rubric
Information about Independent Reading Units for the Upcoming School Year
Lists of Suggested Book Titles for Independent Reading for the Upcoming School Year
Organizing Your Summer Reading Assignment
Students should make the conscious effort to put their best work forward. Please adhere to the following:
Errors in writing conventions such as spelling, capitalization and punctuation should not be present.
All answers and responses should be in complete sentences with text support.
If you use another source, you must cite it both in your document (in-text citation) and on a works cited page. See the MLA manual or online at the Purdue Owl for help.
Students will complete a double-entry journal with seven quotes and seven reflections over the course of the whole book, Counting by 7’s.
Directions: Double-Entry Journals (also known as dialectical journals) is a special type of reading log in which the pages are divided into two columns. In the left column students write quotes from the story they are reading, and in the right column they reflect on each quote. They may relate a quote to their own lives, react to it, write a question, or make some other connection.
Example: The following are excerpts from a 5th grade student’s double-entry journal about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Lewis, 1950).
I tell you this is the sort of house where no one is going to mind what we do.
“How do you know?” he asked, “that your sister’s story is not true?”
Still they could see the shape of the great lion lying dead in his bonds.
They’re nibbling at the cords.
I remember the time that I went to Beaumont, Texas to stay with my aunt. My aunt’s house was very large. She had a piano and she let us play it. She told us what we could do whatever we wanted to do.
It reminds me of when I was little and I had an imaginary place. I would go there in my mind. I made up all kinds of make-believe stories about myself in this imaginary place. One time I told my big brother about my imaginary place. He laughed at me and told me I was silly. But it didn’t bother me because nobody can stop me from thinking what I want.
When Aslan died I thought about when my Uncle Carl died. This reminds me of the story where the lion lets the mouse go and the mouse helps the lion.
Choice Novel: Book Review Template
Book Review Template for Middle School
Summary: Write a summary of a fiction or nonfiction book of your choice. You are encouraged to read a book on www.MyOn.com. Your username is your iStation log in, and the password is MyOn.
First Paragraph- Write about the setting (where the story takes place, usually the time and place). Introduce the main character or characters in the story. For example, what are the characters’ names? Qualities? What motivates them? Discuss what conflict or problem the main character faces in the story. If you’re still having trouble starting, you can answer the questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Second Paragraph- Summarize what happens up until the high point (climax) of the story. Don’t give away the ending; this should be just enough to tease the reader into wanting to get this book. Use some of these transition words to help write the review:
As a result
Opinion- Write a paragraph giving your opinion on the book. Use these guidelines:
Write about why you like or dislike the book. Give details. For example, was the book confusing? Was it too easy to read, or was it too hard? Was it predictable/believable? Did you like the ending? What was your favorite part? What connections did you make with your life or with other books? Talk about the author’s style of writing and give examples from the book. Minimum five sentences.
Recommendation- Explain whether you would recommend this book to students, or not. Rate the book from 1-5 stars, five being the best, and give examples from the text why you gave it the rating you did. Examples should include a quote or quotes from the book, or a summary of the part of the book that you liked or did not like.
Nonfiction Article Critique Assignment Please follow the directions below.
Search for TWO (2) NON-FICTION pieces. The world-wide web is the optimal source for searching. However, not all locations are trustworthy.
One (1) of the pieces must be a non-fiction article. You may use the “Nature of of Modern Science and Scientific Knowledge” by Dr. Martin Nickels article or the “Learning Science” by Isaac Asimov for this assignment. The other piece may be your choice and may include a documentary, non-fiction book, or YouTube video, for example. Remember, both pieces must be NON-FICTION.
First Name & Last Name
Month Day, 2014
8th English & Reading
Mrs. Leahy/Ms. Narvaez
Paragraph 1: Summary of the article including author’s purpose (What did the author want us to know?)
Paragraph 2: What did you learn from this piece of nonfiction?
Paragraph 3: Connect this piece of nonfiction with the novel or another content area, i.e. science, math, history, art, Wonder, etc.
Paragraph 4: What did you think about this article? Do you agree with it? Disagree? Use this last paragraph to reflect.
Note –Required Font Size: 12pt.
Required font: Times New Roman, Calibri, etc
In-text citation is expected when using another source to support your ideas. I will be looking for it.
MLA Citation: Author of the Article – Last Name, First Name; Title of the Article, Date Article was Written or Given to You
Using the nonfiction reflection format below, write a multi-paragraph response for each piece.
Scoring the Article Critique Students will be assessed in two of the four Language A criterion:
Criterion A – Analyzing Criterion D – Using Language
Scoring Rubric 7 – 8: Response clearly demonstrates understanding of the task, completes all requirements, and provides an insightful explanation/opinion that links to or extends aspects of the text.
5 – 6: Response demonstrates an understanding of the task, completes all requirements, and provides some explanation/opinion using situations or ideas from the text as support.
3 – 4: Response may address all of the requirements, but demonstrates a partial understanding of the task, and uses text incorrectly or with limited success resulting in an inconsistent or flawed explanation.
2 – 1: Response demonstrates minimal understanding of the task, does not complete the requirements, and provides only a vague reference to or no use of the text.
Response does not provide enough information for the teacher to evaluate.
0: Response is irrelevant or off-topic or has been plagiarized.
Double-Entry Journal with seven quotes and seven reflections
Book Review for another book, fiction or nonfiction, read on MyOn
Two nonfiction reflections:
Reflection of a nonfiction article
It may be an article from another teacher’s summer reading assignment
Reflection for another piece of nonfiction in whatever format I choose, whether it’s another article, a documentary, a book, a YouTube video, a podcast, an interview….
Sources are cited in-text and as well as on a works cited page.
All of this is due the first week of school. You may email your work when you finish it over the summer to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com
Independent Reading for 2015-2016 8th Graders
Henry W. Grady Middle School
Eighth grade ELA classes will participate in independent reading throughout the school year. This handout is intended to provide students with a jump-start on the required reading for our first and subsequent independent reading assignments.
Each independent reading unit will involve reading a book from an assigned genre, completing written literature circle questions, sharing in small groups, and completing a written IR (independent reading) assessment. The requirements and expectations of IR questions and assessments will be covered with students in the Fall Semester when school starts.
The written IR assignments that students will do throughout the year will require them to use specific details from the text. Therefore, we strongly urge you to buy copies of the books so that your student will still have the books in his/her possession when it is time to do the assignments. A tentative timeline for our independent reading assignments is included below for your reference and a list of suggested titles for each IR assignment is included at the end of this handout.
IR (Independent Reading) Genre Timeline for 2015-2016
IR #1 – September/October – Mystery/Science Fiction/Fantasy
IR #2 – November/December – Biography/Nonfiction
IR #3 –-January/February – WWII/Holocaust/War in the Pacific
IR #4 – March/April – Historical fiction with an emphasis on US history
IR #5 – April/May – Free Choice
Each IR Book must meet the following requirements:
-is 200 pages or more (this is only a guideline; if the book is a bit shy of 200 pages, it is acceptable).
-appropriate level of reading and interest for your student
-parent approves of the book (we will collect signed parent approval forms throughout the year)
The first independent reading unit will begin approximately four weeks after school begins. Students will need to bring a copy of their mystery/science fiction/fantasy book with them at this time.
Suggested Titles for Independent Reading Assignments
NOTE: These are just suggestions. Students may select books not on this list provided that the books meet the previously described requirements and have parent approval.
IR #1 – Mystery/ Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
Last Shot by John Feinstein
Scorpia by Anthony Horowitz
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
1984 by George Orwell
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan