All students must read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand or Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission by Hampton Sides
The Summer Reading Assignment is to be completed independently. Students are expected to work alone generating responses that reflect their independent views, analysis and interpretations of each of the readings.
Below there are assignments that are to be completed along with the reading of the novels. Students will submit the assignment the first day of school. The assignment is to be handwritten. In addition to responding to the assignments there will be follow-up assignments given the first week of school.
Assignment: Students will complete this activity for one of the novels.
option #1-Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
option #2-Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission by Hampton sides
You will keep a reading log to support your reading of the novel you select. The requirements for your reading log are provided below.
Your reading journal will represent your own personal dialogue with the novel. It is designed to provide the foundation for original literary analysis. Think of it as a conversation that you are having with the novel as you are reading it. You want to continually be relating to and making connections with the text.
**You must have a minimum of 25 entries**
Journals must be handwritten on 8 1⁄2 X 11 lined notebook paper.
1. Divide your paper in half vertically.
2. Label the left column “Evidence.”
These are exact passages or quotations from the text.
You must write exact quotes from the text in the left-hand column in the sequential order as they appear in the novel. If the sentence is especially long just write the key words and use an ellipsis (…). You should be keeping your journal as you are reading the novel, so this format should not be difficult. Your quotes should be evenly distributed throughout the book. They cannot all be from only a few chapters in the book, but should demonstrate that you did indeed read the entire novel. Quotes do not have to be only dialogue. They can include descriptive passages as well.
3. Label the right column “Commentary.” These are your thoughts or reactions to the Evidence from the text.
4. Number your entries.
5. As you read, quote important ideas from the text in the left column using quotation marks and putting the page number at the end in parentheses.
6. In the Commentary column note your reaction or response to each quotation in COMPLETE SENTENCES. Do not restate the Evidence. Do not write “John said this,” and expect it to count as personal commentary. Do not use unidentified pronouns!
7. Do not merely summarize or paraphrase the quote in your Commentary. You must respond or react to it!
8. Reading logs must be handwritten.
The evaluation of this assignment will be divided into two parts, each worth one-half of the grade—Entries, Quality, and Classifications (See the following section for classification format). The second part of your grade will be based on the quality of your commentary.
What defines quality commentary? Quality commentary includes observations and thoughts about the text which show that you are focusing on details and are thinking about them thoroughly and insightfully. Once you have read your text and completed your journal, you will already have a great set of notes which can be used for future assignments. You also should have gained a great deal of insight about your particular text.
Reading Journal – Format Examples and Commentary Assistance
Annotating Text – Reading Strategies
➢ Examine the front and back covers (books)
➢ Read the title and any subtitles
➢ Examine the illustrations
➢ Examine the print (bold, italics, etc.)
➢ Examine the way the text is set up (book, short story, diary, dialogue, etc.)
As you examine and read these, write questions, and make predictions and/or connections near these parts of the text.
Mark in the text:
➢ Characters (who)
➢ When (setting)
➢ Where (setting)
➢ Important information
Write in the margins:
➢ Make predictions
➢ Formulate opinions
➢ Make connections
➢ Ask Questions
➢ Analyze the author’s craft
➢ Write reflections/reactions/comments
➢ Look for patterns/repetitions
AFTER READING – Preparing to write an essay!
➢ Reread annotations—draw conclusions
➢ Reread introduction and conclusion—try to figure out something new
➢ Examine patterns/repetitions—determine possible meanings
➢ Determine what the title might mean
Use these symbols to label EACH ONE of your 75 commentary entries.
(C) = Connect: Make a personal connection to the passage by relating the quote to something in your life from your past or present or from another literary work which you have read.
(CL) = Clarify: Answer earlier questions that you recorded and/or confirm or disaffirm earlier predictions that you made.
(DI) = Determine Importance: Determine the significance of the passage. How is the passage hooked to other important events in the story? What does the passage reveal about theme?
(LI) = Literary Term: Identify the literary device being used and offer your interpretation of the language.
(P) = Predict: Using information given in the plot or the action, predict events that you anticipate will occur.
(Q) = Question: Ask something about the passage – who, what, when, where, why, and how.
(R) = Reflect: Pay close attention to the dialogue used between characters. What do you think each character’s dialect (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation) reveals about his or her background, ethnicity, education, or upbringing?
(V) = Visualize: Does the passage paint a picture in your mind? Draw a graphic representation of the passage.
Label each entry in your reading journal with one of the above classifications. Using this classification system forces you to think about HOW you read and WHAT information you are noting. It will also help you make connections and expand your comprehension.
EXAMPLE: READING JOURNAL
Study the evidence in the chart below. For each quotation, you must have thorough and well thought out commentary.
5. “Jose Arcadio Buendia, trying to surprise Divine Providence in the midst of the cataclysm, was the one who least understood it” (60).
6. Linda: “Well, you’ll just have to take a Rest, Willy, you can’t continue this way.”
Willy: “I just got back from Florida.”
Linda: “But you didn’t rest your mind.Your mind is overactive, and the mind is what counts, dear” (1.3.115).
It is the middle of this quote that I find interesting. Divine Providence is the same thing as fate. How can you surprise fate? I don’t think that you can. Just another side of how misguided Jose Arcadio
Buendia is at times. (Q)
Nowadays, it seems that vacations
can often contribute more to one’s
stress than if one were not to take a
vacation. If one is overburdened by work, being away from that buildup of work only exacerbates his or her worry. Willy does not understand this concept; he expects too much out of himself because he expects that a vacation should naturally relax him.
Linda is correct in stating the mind is what counts because an “overly active mind” can contribute to physical fatigue. However, the problem lies deeper than Willy’s mind; his problem is the job that feeds this overly
active mind. (C) (R)
Reading Journals must be handwritten in a single-subject, spiral bound notebook. Please remember, if I cannot read it, I cannot grade it. Take your time and write neatly and thoughtfully.
You may use both the front and back of the paper, and you may write on every line. You may use any color of pen or pencil as long as it is legible. Get used to reading and responding to the text. An immediate response is imperative. Knowing the ending of a story influences your emotional response as you read and may alter your commentary in a significant way. It is imperative that you write your commentary AS YOU NOTE YOUR EVIDENCE. Failure to do so may result in a loss of points.
HOW should I choose the evidence (quotes) for my reading journal?
Find a line or passage which made a strong impression on YOU. It could be something you seriously disagree with; if so, go ahead and counter the argument in your Commentary. On the other hand, if it’s something you like, is this something you want to remember and/or live up to in your own life? Would your life be any different if you do?
Find a line or passage that offers a powerful statement. You are allowed to define the power in any way you wish. Sometimes a passage is particularly persuasive, emotional, descriptive, or meaningful—but there are all kinds of other things that set one line apart from the rest. Decide for yourself.
Consider the assignment you will be completing on this novel and use your reading journal as a tool. What does the prompt ask you to contemplate? Use your log to trace that idea and you will already have textual support for your essay!
Find a line or passage that confuses you. You find yourself wondering if you might understand the whole text better if you could make sense of this part.
Find a line or passage that helps you understand the text or that reminds you of another text that you have read. (How is this similar to or different from the other, and how can that comparison or contrast contribute to our understanding of the text?)
Find a line or passage that demonstrates a noteworthy way of connecting with and persuading the reader.
Spelling and Grammar / Opinions
You can use informal style as long as you write in a way that does not undermine your credibility as a commentator. (Significant grammar problems will affect your readability and your credibility.) Please be certain to use school appropriate language and refrain from the use of profanity. Certainly your personal opinions will be evident in your Commentary section, but remember this is not a place simply to VENT! (I like this book. I hate this book.) Every sentence that you write in the Commentary section must be tied to the Evidence provided. The Commentary section is to be used to help you understand and relate to the text.