Reading/Language Arts/ESL

Check back periodically for additions and changes.

(for Parents, Students & Teachers)

District Language Arts' Philosophy


Summer Reading 2015


K-8 Parents,

As a district, we do not believe it providing one list of must read books for K-8 students for the summer. Instead, we want to refer you to titles of numerous grade-appropriate books that have been collected by many sources. Summertime is the best time to give students lots of choices for their reading


Recommended Reading Lists 2010


12 Summer Reading Lists for Kids and Teens
About.com has compiled 12 different lists from various sources.

ALSC - Association for Library Service to Children
This site includes downloadable lists seperated into grade spans.

Scholastic Book Lists and Recommendations
These lists can be seperated by age, genre, and interests.

NSTA - National Science Teachers Association
This list contains outstanding science trade books for students in grades K-12.

Parents - Best Children's Books by Age
These Lists include a wide variety of titles divided by age ranges and interests.

Books that Celebrate Cultural Diversity
This site includes multiple titles that celebrate cultural diversity.  Selections are accompanied by descriptions, including appropriate age ranges.

Moody - Math and Science Trade Books
This resource
contains various titles that teach math and science concepts while entertaining elementary and middle school readers.

International Literacy Association
Multiple annotated lists chosen by students.


I. ESL Information for Parents and Teachers 

   1.  Helping Children Read and Succeed  - Helpful tips for parents and guardians with English Language Learners.

2.  WIDA Webinar for parents - WIDA advances academic language development and academic achievement for linguistically diverse students through high quality standards, assessments, research, and professional development for educators.

3.  New Powerpoint for parents! (Click here.)

4.  New Powerpoint for parents and schools (Click here.)

5.  Family Reading Guide Hmong/English Version - Ideas for parents

6. Family Reading Guide Spanish/English - Ideas for parents

7.  Family Reading Guide Somali/English - Ideas for parents


II. Reading/Language Arts Parent Resources: 


Elementary Thematic Units:

  Kindergarten First Grade Second Grade Third Grade Fourth Grade
Fall All About Me Families Our Country The Many People of Our Land United States Regions
Winter Let's Play in the Neighborhood Communities People and Places in History Immigration Pennsylvania History
Spring Animals All Around Fairy Tales Our World Overcoming Slavery Pennsylvania Government & Citizenship


Middle School Thematic Units:

  Fifth Grade Sixth Grade Seventh Grade Eighth Grade
Fall Explorers From Nomads to No Man Left Behind Creating a Nation Where Do I Belong?
Winter Colonial America From the Pyramids to the After-Life and Beyond Challenges and Expansion With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Spring Revolutionary War From the Steps of Socrates' Sandals to the Roar of Hannibal's Elephants Reform and Division That Ain't Right!   Play by the Rules

In grades 1-8, an interdisciplinary thematic approach (combining social studies and language arts) is being used.    

Descriptions of each theme are being posted above. 


High School Language Arts :   Information

New!!  Summer Reading List for High School English Courses (Click on this link) 


International Literacy Association

National Council of Teachers of English

Kelly Gallagher � Secondary Teacher of English

Reading Resource

Common Lit Site

 The Purdue Writing Lab

Middle  School Language Arts :   Information


Test Design Information and Scoring Samplers � Grades 3-8

Middle School  Resources

International Literacy Association

National Council of Teachers of English

Kelly Gallagher � Secondary Teacher of English

Reading Resource

Common Lit Site

 The Purdue Writing Lab

Elementary School Language Arts :   Information

Aesop's Fables Online

Online Rhyming Dictionary


1.  Activities to Accompany Popular Novels.  The City of Ember, Bridge to Terabithia, Because of Winn Dixie, and many more...

2. Children's Book Central.   A great resource for children's literature!

3. Literacy Activities and Information for All Grades  The University of Connecticut's literacy website

4. Writing Resources for Teachers.    The National Writing Project.

5. Using Primary Sources.   The National Archives website.


Booktalks � Quick and Simple

According to the FAQ�s, a booktalk is like a movie trailer � revealing just enough of the book to encourage others to read it without giving away the key points. The database at this site contains talks on over 1200 titles for students at all grade levels. Other parts of the site will help you set up and use booktalks with your students as well as link you to other book review resources. A nice example of a teacher sharing her research and hard work with everyone.

The core of this site is the large number of reviews of children�s books, a resource that�s regularly updated.  They also feature an extensive collection of ideas for using the literature in many different curriculum areas.  Although the site it a little chaotic and has lots of text ads and Amazon links, the large number of well-annotated recommendations, organized by topics, curriculum areas, and authors is worth a visit.  Sign up for their email newsletter to get notices about new additions.

A very regular (two or three times a week) short podcast series about children�s books by a couple (and occasionally their daughters) who are very passionate about their subject. Often recorded in a coffee shop near their home, the programs sometimes include interviews with authors, children�s literature experts and reviews submitted by listeners. Their focus is on books that are lower profile, not necessarily ones that everyone will have heard of. The podcast can be heard using the player on the site, downloaded from the page, or subscribed to in iTunes. Excellent example of using podcasts to express your passion on a topic.

If you or your students are curious about the people who create books, there may be a web site dedicated to the writer of your favorite book. The problem of how to find that site is solved at this site. The page isn�t fancy but it does contain a list of hundreds of authors and illustrators which link to one or more tribute sites. An excellent reference that needs to be in your bookmark file.

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, two former teachers, this site encourages �active reading� through the use of a structure called Learning Ladders. In addition to providing detailed instructions on how to create your own Learning Ladders activities, the site features many other resources for teaching literature, primarily in the elementary grades. This is actually part of a larger site for �life-long learners� called eduscapes which features a variety of resources for teachers and parents.

Thanks to Tim Stahmer of Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, VA for the description of these sites.  

Other sites for teachers: 

V. Reading Specialist Resources

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Mrs. Vicki Jones,  K-12 Director of Language Arts Services