Check back periodically for additions and changes.

(for Parents, Students & Teachers)

District Language Arts' Philosophy


 Summer Reading 2011


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



2011 Summer Reading Lists
These lists, from the Mountain Brook City Schools in Birmingham, Alabama, recommend books for students in grades 1 through 3, 4, 5, 6, junior high school (grades 7 through 9), and high school.

Summer Reading Lists
Middlesex Middle School in Darien, Connecticut, provides reading lists for social studies and science, as well as English.

Summer Fun Reading List
These lists include books for students in K through 5. Book lists are divided by grade levels of students entering grades K and 1, 2 and 3, and 4 and 5, as well as into such categories as poetry, picture books, and classic fiction to read aloud to the whole family.

Elementary Summer Reading List
This list from the Wayland (Massachusetts) Public Schools includes fiction titles for beginning readers, students in grades 2 and 3, and students in grades 4 and 5, as well as lists of books of poetry, books of fairy tales, biographies, books for families to read aloud, and more.

Boulder (Colorado) Public Library Booklists for Kids
This list of lists from the BPL includes summer reading chapter books and summer reading picture books.

Fairfax County Public Library Books for School-Age Children
Though not specifically created as summer reading lists, these lengthy lists include great summer reading ideas. Individual lists are offered for students in grades 1 to 6.

Summer Reading Lists
This resource from Fairfax County (Virginia) Public Schools includes four separate lists -- for students going into grades 6, 7 and 8, 9 and 10, and 11 and 12.

Boston Public Schools Summer Reading Lists
Four lengthy book lists -- for students in grades K through 3, 4 and 5, 6 through 8, and 9 through 12 -- offer titles sorted by genre. These lists, created in association with the Boston Public Library, include titles in Spanish for students in grade K through 8.


I. ESL Information for Parents and Teachers 

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

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


II. Reading/Language Arts Parent Resources: 




Elementary Thematic Units:

  Kindergarten First Grade Second Grade Third Grade Fourth Grade
Fall coming soon Families Our Country The Many People of Our Land United States Regions
Winter coming soon Communities People and Places in History Immigration Pennsylvania History
Spring coming soon 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.  Look for updates. 

New!!  Summer Reading List for English III,   Honors and AP (Click on this link) 

High School English Units:   UNDER CONSTRUCTION



Level 2 Level 3
English 1      
English 2      







Five New Links for Teachers---May 23, 2011


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.


Aesop's Fables Online   http://www.aesopfables.com  


Online Rhyming Dictionary http://www.rhymezone.com


Middle School Literature Resources http://edtech.kennesaw.edu/jcheek1/larts.htm#Literature





Other sites for teachers: 

V. Reading Specialist Resources


Words! Words! Words! (Most often used quotes)

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