Academics

Summer Reading

Summer is a time for students to refresh and recharge. Summer is also a time to prepare for the coming school year. Assignments in reading, math and other subjects help each class start on the same footing, providing a unifying start to the new school year. The reading assignments for Summer 2023 will be updated on this page before the end of the May.

Lower School Summer Projects & Materials

Summer Reading for Students Entering 1st-4th Grades:

The most important thing Selwyn’s Lower School students can do to stay ready for the next grade is to read! This includes reading self-selected books independently, reading aloud to a parent, sibling, or pet, being read to by parents, and listening to audiobooks. Below are some ways to maintain a love of reading over the summer–and here is a link to some books our teachers and librarian recommend. We strongly encourage students to choose several options from this list:

  • Join your local library’s summer reading incentive program. Some bookstores also offer this (ex: Recycled Books).
  • Keep track of the books you’ve read with a sticker chart, poster, calendar, or fun reading tracker app.
  • Create a weekly or biweekly “Family Book Club,” where everyone reads the same book, and then have a meeting (with treats!) to discuss it.
  • Visit different libraries in your area. Make a fun trip out of it! Or, if you are traveling, check out the local libraries there.
  • Set a reading goal as a family. For example, “As a family, we want to read 500 pages by mid-August.” Once the goal is met, go somewhere fun to celebrate!
  • Create a Reading Challenge to try a book from various genres: poetry, nonfiction, biography, graphic novel, audiobook, fantasy, etc.
  • Host a “Book Character Costume” party with friends.
  • Make a piece of art inspired by a book you love. This could be a poster, sketch, diorama, mobile, or collage.

However your family chooses to enjoy reading this summer, please tell us about it! Students can bring any lists, trackers, photos, art, or news to share on the first week of school. We can’t wait to hear about the reading fun you’ve had!

Fact fluency in math is also important for all Lower School students! For those entering grades 1-3, practice addition and subtraction facts from 1-20. For students entering 4th, practice related multiplication and division sets for 1-12. Here are some fun ways to get this practice in over the summer:

  • Dice games
  • Bingo
  • 1-Minute challenges as a family (see if you can “beat the clock” together!)
  • Flashcards
  • Color-by-number pages (readily available online)
  • Card games
  • Prodigy (online math game)
  • SplashMath (online math game)

Feel free to get creative with this – practice any way your student prefers. Make it a family activity and have fun with it!

Middle School Summer Projects & Materials

Students Entering 5th Grade: Read Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo and write a report using the format in the linked document.

Students Entering 6th Grade: Read The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner and write a report using the format in the linked document.

Students Entering 7th Grade: Read Rise of the Halfling King (Tales of the Feathered Serpent #1) by David Bowles, and read a literary classic of the student’s choice from the list linked here. Students are to write a report over the classic they choose. Any 7th grade students enrolled in Algebra will need to purchase a TI-30XIIS scientific calculator.

Students Entering 8th Grade: Read Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi, and read a literary classic of the student’s choice from the list linked here. Students are to write a report over the classic they choose. All students entering 8th will need to purchase a TI-30XIIS scientific calculator.

Upper School Reading List

9th grade: Your assignment for Summer Reading is to choose an author and read and annotate one book by that author.  In the upcoming school year you will read two additional books by that author and three literary criticisms in order to complete the Author Study Project in English 1.  Choose an author whom you enjoy, one who writes minimally at your grade reading level, and one who is considered a well-known author (as opposed to one who is newly published) because it will be easier to research information on that author and the novels for your project. Helpful hint:  If you are able, purchase your own copy of the book so that you can annotate on the pages.  If not, use a notebook to write the page number and your comments. Email Mrs. Kosednar if you are not sure about your author at mkosednar@selwynschool.com

Be prepared to discuss your novel and author when school starts.

Ancient Civilization Students: Read What Makes Civilization (2nd. Edition) by David Wengrow.

10th grade: Read The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston, and complete these reader response questions.

Chemistry Students: Read The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean, and complete these reader response questions.

Statistics Students: Read Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil.

11th grade: Read Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Bring your copy of the book to the first day of English 3 and be prepared to discuss Thoreau’s ideas and writing style.

12th grade: Read Utopia by Thomas More. Bring your copy of the book to the first day of English 4 and be prepared to discuss More’s ideas and writing style.

Government Students: Read The Future of Freedom by Fareed Zakaria.

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