Please do not wait until the last minute to complete this assignment. This is about 60% of your final reading grade

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Meyer Levin School of Performing Arts

Phoenix Academy

Room 240


2011/ 2012 SCHOOL YEAR

Teacher: Mrs. Gillian Joseph

Book Projects



  1. Get a binder along with plastic covers (with holes to be placed in the binder)

  2. At the beginning of the portfolio place a Book log (included in this booklet)

  3. After reading each book the student must fill in the log sheet

  4. Complete one of the activities for book responses included in the booklet (one per book)

  5. Place log sheet and activity in the plastic cover. Please make sure that each activity has the date on which it was completed.

This portfolio is due on May 18, 2012, and must contain a log that reflects 20 books and 20 different activities. There are many activities so NO activity must be repeated.

Please do not wait until the last minute to complete this assignment. This is about 60% of your final reading grade.

Please note that the books done in class and those used in your group projects and PowerPoint cannot be placed in your portfolio.

To complete assignments in a timely manner, students MUST spend 30 minutes or more reading every night.

6th Grade Reading List

Avi. Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Historical Fic/Mystery). Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.

Babbitt, Natalie. The Search for Delicious (Fantasy). There is a disagreement in the castle over the definition of "delicious," so Gaylen ventures into the kingdom to find the true meaning. In his search, Gaylen consults with ancient dwarfs, odd woodland creatures, and a delightful mermaid.

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. A Little Princess (Classic). A delightful story about Sara Crew, a rich, young girl whose life changes forever on the dreadful day her father dies. Sara, now poor and living at the mercy of the mean Miss Minchin, survives the suffering while maintaining her sweet nature.

Byars, Betsy. Cracker Jackson (Realistic). Eleven-year-old Cracker Jackson is in the middle of a serious problem. He must find a way to save his adult friend Alma from her violent husband. This realistic fiction addresses issues of friendship and family relationships.

Cameron, Ann. The Stories Julian Tells (Realistic). Julian is a fast thinker and a great storyteller, but some of the stories that Julian tells get him and his brother into all sorts of trouble

Dahl, Roald. The Twits (Humorous). The misadventures of two terrible old people who enjoy playing nasty tricks and are finally outwitted by a family of monkeys.

Danziger, Paula. Earth to Matthew (Realistic). Matthew is completing sixth grade and everything around him is changing. He has a sister who bosses him and parents who embarrass him. He battles with his classmates, Vanessa and Amanda, and he notices a change in his feelings about girls. Where will Spaceship Earth take Matthew next?

Fenner, Carol. Yolonda's Genius (Realistic). After moving from Chicago to Grand River, Michigan, Yolonda is determined to prove that her younger brother is not a slow learner but a true musical genius.

Giblin, James Cross. The Riddle of the Rosetta Stone (Non-Fiction). This exciting book describes how the discovery and deciphering of the Rosetta Stone unlocked the secret of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Jacques, Brian. Redwall Series (Fantasy/Adventure). This epic animal fantasy moves the reader through a series of adventures filled with villains, heroes, mysteries and riddles. This is a classic tale of good versus evil.

Johnson, Angela. Heaven (Realistic). Marley's life used to be heaven until she discovered that Mom and Pops are not her real parents. Although her life is filled with kind and loving people, she still can't help experiencing feelings of anger and betrayal.

Levine, Gail Carson. The Wish (Fantasy). When Wilma gets one wish, she asks to be the most popular girl at school-but when her wish is granted, it’s more than she bargained for.

McKissack, Patricia. Color Me Dark (Historical Fiction). (or any title in the Dear America Series) Eleven-year-old Nellie Lee Love records in her diary the events of 1919. Her family moves from Tennessee to Chicago hoping to leave the racism and hatred of the South behind.

Myers, Walter Dean. Darnell Rock Reporting (Realistic). Darnell is getting poor grades in school and his teachers don't like his attitude. But things take a turn for the better when he reluctantly joins the school newspaper and discovers his talent as a reporter.

Naylor, Phyllis. Jade Green (Ghost Story). Orphan Judith Sparrow is sent to live with her uncle in his haunted house, and strange and mysterious things begin to happen when she disobeys her uncle's "green" rule.

Paulsen, Gary. My Life in Dog Years (Biography). The author describes how dogs have impacted his life from childhood through the present day. He recounts stories of Snowball, his first dog, and Cookie, the dog that saved his life.

Ryan, Pam Muñoz. Esperanza Rising (Historical Fiction). Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California. There they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

Smith, Robert Kimmel. Chocolate Fever (Humorous). Henry Green loves chocolate. In fact, he eats so much chocolate that he develops chocolate fever. This humorous book is filled with interesting characters and lots of laughs.

Spinelli, Jerry. Knots in My Yo-Yo String (Memoir). This autobiography of author Jerry Spinelli’s early years is written with warmth, humor, and drama. From his first memories, continuing through his high school years, the author fondly recalls a highly unusual childhood.  

Van Draanen, Wendelin. Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes (Mystery). When thirteen-year-old Sammy finds herself with an abandoned baby on her hands, she sets out to find the young mother, who may belong to a gang, and accidentally jeopardizes her position on the softball team.

Other Books

Absolutely Normal Chaos
by Sharon Creech

A prequel to the Newbery Medal-winning Walk Two Moons, this book chronicles the daily life of 13-year-old Mary Lou Finney during her most chaotic and romantic summer ever. Mary Lou's summer journal -- which she begins grudgingly as a dreaded assignment for school -- becomes a hilarious chronicle of the circle of people and events that make her summer. There is Carl Ray, the mysterious and troublesome cousin that comes to visit; Beth Ann Bartels, her best friend who's recently gone boy crazy; Alex Cheevy, the boy that makes Mary Lou's brains "mushy;" and, of course, the Finney clan, her "normally strange family." What follows is the story of a summer filled with lessons and observations on love, death, friendship, and family.

Belle Prater's Boy
by Ruth White

When Woodrow's mother suddenly disappears, he moves to his grandparents' home in a small Virginia town where he befriends his cousin, and together they find the strength to face the terrible losses and fears in their lives.

The Complete Chronicles of Narnia
by C. S. Lewis, Chris Van Allsburg (illus.)

Enter the magical land of Narnia, where enchanted creatures live and battles are fought between good and evil! The seven volumes of C. S. Lewis's famed fantasy series come boxed in a hardcover case.

Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson, Donna Diamond (illus.)

An extraordinarily powerful tribute to friendship, this Newbery Award-winning novel recounts the unlikely friendship of a country boy, Jess, and his neighbor, an uprooted city girl named Leslie. When Leslie is killed during a storm while trying to reach Terabithia, their secret hiding place, Jess must gather all his strength to come to terms with his loss and find a way to heal.

The Giver
by Lois Lowry

Eleven-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. There is no war or pain, and there are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12, he is chosen to receive special training from The Giver himself -- a man who alone holds the key to the true pain and pleasure of life: memories. Now it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. What will Jonas do once he experiences the power of deep emotions? This gripping and provocative Newbery Award-winning novel keeps readers turning the pages and exploring the special qualities that make us each human.

I Heard the Owl Call My Name
by Margaret Craven

Amid the grandeur of the remote Pacific Northwest stands Kingcome, a village so ancient that, according to Kwakiutl myth, it was founded by the two brothers left on earth after the great flood. The Native Americans who still live there call it Quee, a place of such incredible natural richness that hunting and fishing remain primary food sources. But the old culture of totems and potlatch is being replaces by a new culture of prefab housing and alcoholism. Kingcome's younger generation is disenchanted and alienated

The Island
by Gary Paulsen

Every morning 15-year-old Wil Neuton gets up, brushes his teeth, leaves the house, and rows away from shore. He's discovered the island, a place where he can go to be alone and learn to know nature -- and himself. On the island he watches the loons and the fish in the lake, and he writes and paints. It feels good to get away from the tension rising between his parents -- tension brought on by yet another move to a new town. But Wil can't stay away from the outside world forever. He must face Ray Bunner, the bully determined to challenge him, and his parents, who worry when Wil decides to stay on the island indefinitely. Can Wil bridge the growing gap between himself and the rest of the world? from its heritage. And now, coming upriver is a young vicar, Mark Brian, who has two years to live. Sent to this Indian parish in British Columbia, Mark embarks on a journey of discovery that can teach him -- and us -- about life, death, and the transforming power of love.

The Midwife's Apprentice
by Karen Cushman

In medieval England, a nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp-tempered midwife and in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she wants most: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.

Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think about life before the war. But it's now 1943, and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town. When the Nazis begin "relocating" the Jews of Denmark, Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family. And as Annemarie helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis and embarks on a dangerous mission, she learns how to be brave and courageous -- to save her best friend's life.

The River

by Gary Paulsen
In this exciting sequel to Hatchet, 15-year-old Brian Robeson, who survived alone in the wilderness for 54 days, returns to the wilderness at the request of a government survival school. This time, however, he won't be alone: Derek Holtzer, a government psychologist, will accompany him to observe and take notes. But during a freak storm, Derek is hit by lightning and falls into a coma. Afraid that Derek will die of dehydration unless he can get him to a doctor, Brian's only hope is to build a raft and try to transport Derek a hundred miles down the river to a trading

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
by Mildred D. Taylor

The Logans, a black family living in the South during the 1930s, are faced with prejudice and discrimination which their children don't understand. It takes the events of one turbulent year -- the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she is black -- to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family's lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride, for no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans possess something no one can take away.

On My Honor

By Marion Dane Bauer

Joel doesn't want to ride his bike with Tony to a remote state park to climb rock cliffs. He tries every trick to convince Tony that such an adventure is a bad idea. The truth is that Joel is afraid. Unable to dissuade his friend, Joel goes to his father for permission. Hoping he won't be allowed to go, he is dismayed when his father places him "on his honor" to be careful and sends the boys on their way. Joel becomes more frightened when, midway through the trip, Tony stops and suggests a different adventure--a swim in a rapidly moving river. Joel allows Tony to bully him into a swim that very quickly turns tragic when Tony disappears in the muddy waters. Remembering that he has been placed "on his honor," Joel has a difficult time confronting his parents and Tony's with the truth about the terrible event that he has witnessed. He soon learns, however, that one cannot escape truth and reality.



  • Write about the most exciting part or the most boring part of the story.

  • Rewrite your favorite part of the book using yourself as a character and a favorite place as a setting.

  • Create another character for the story. Tell how things would change with this character's presence.

  • Write a book review that might be published in the newspaper.

  • Pretend you are a character in the book. Describe your experience in the story during a conflict.

  • Write the same story plot, only use a different setting (time and place).

  • Plan a party that your characters would want to attend from your book. Where would they enjoy going, what kind of food would they want to eat, what would they wear...

  • If you had written this book, what part would you have written differently? Explain what would have happened if some major event did happen differently.

  • Write a letter to the author giving reactions to the book.

  • What object, person, or animal from this book would you most want to have at your house? Explain why.

  • Pretend you are a newspaper reporter whose job is to interview one of the characters. Write your interview.

  • Create a newspaper page for your story. Summarize the plot in one of your articles. Cover the weather in another. Include an editorial and a collection of ads that would be pertinent to the story.

  • Write a letter to the main character of the book asking questions or making complaints about the situations in the book.

  • Write a letter from the character to the reader explaining his or her actions in the story.

  • If you could change places with one of the characters, who would it be and why?

  • Pretend you are a movie critic. Criticize the book as if it were a movie.

  • Which character from the book would make a good friend? Why?

  • Pretend you are a character in the book and write a diary throughout the chapters.

  • Write about one problem in this story and how the character(s) solved it. Was it a good solution? Why or why not?

  • Write a "Dear Abbey" column for all of the characters in your story. Respond to their problems.

  • Why did the author write this story? Express your opinions.

  • Compare and contrast your story with another you have read for class this year or last. Remember to include how the novels are alike and how they are different.

  • Describe the setting of the story, where and when it took place. Think about the setting of this story. Why about why you would or would not like to spend a week visiting this place.

  • Choose one character in this story. Think about what the character was like at the beginning of the story. Write about how the character has changed by the end of the story. What events led up to the changes of the character?

  • Write a letter to a character in the story telling about your reaction to him or her in the book.

  • Pretend that you have been chosen to write a sequel to this story. Write a brief summary of the sequel. Include information about the sequel's plot, setting and main characters.


  • Create a painting of a scene from the story. Explain.

  • Summarize the plot of your story by creating a cartoon version of the story. Use about 6 to 8 frames.

  • Pretend you are a character from your story. Think about where this character's favorite place would be and what that character would do in their favorite place. Draw a picture and write a brief explanation.

  • Redesign the front and back cover of your novel. Include the pertinent information as well as the short summary on the back. Draw 1 picture to put on the inside of your novel. State where in the story your picture would go.

  • Draw a picture of your favorite part of the story. Add a caption explaining what is happening in your picture.

  • Draw a picture time line showing the important events in your story.

  • Draw a movie poster advertising the story, and cast a real actor in each character's role. Explain it.

  • Make a series of 5 drawings depicting the major events in the story. Describe them.

  • Sketch a portrait of a character. Write everything about him or her. Makeup a poem about your character.

  • Make a travel poster inviting tourists to visit the setting in your book.


  • Which character in the story is most unlike you and which is most like you? Make graphs showing how you are not alike and how you are alike!

  • Graph student reactions to critical decisions in the book.

  • Make a graph of the personalities of all of the characters in your book.

  • Make a graph depicting your favorite parts and your least favorite parts in the book.


  • Make a bookmark illustrating this story. On the back of the bookmark, write at least 5 words you would use to describe the story.

  • What award would you nominate this story for? Most exciting? Most likely to make you laugh your head off? Design and make an award for this story!

  • Construct a mural about the book. Tell about it.

  • Construct a scrapbook of your favorite character. Explain it.

  • Design and make a sample of a magazine, (names of articles, title, authors...) that a character(s) would enjoy reading from your story. Make jewelry a character in your story would want to own. Explain your choices.

  • Put together a collage of the story from magazine pictures. Describe.

  • Make a diorama of a scene from your story.

  • Make a diorama of a scene from your story and another book, by splitting itin half.


  • Demonstrate how to make/do something learned from the story.

  • Put together a bulletin board of the story.

  • Put together a display of other books the author has written. Tell about them.

  • Prepare a recipe from something mentioned in the book. Show the class how to make it and give them a taste!

  • Invent something new that you could add to the story to make it more interesting. Your invention could help a character with a conflict, change the event in the story...

  • Make a time capsule for one of the characters. Explain what is in the capsule.

  • Make a dream house for one of the character's in your book. Share with the class.


  • Create a dance that is set to music that explains the mood of your story.

  • Rewrite a portion of your novel as a play. Perform the play in class.

  • Write out songs pertaining to the story.


  • Do a community project that relates to the book. Explain it to the class.


  • Pretend you are a news reporter. Make up some stories, based on the book and report it using a video camera. Add a commercial in between stories. Sell something one or more of the characters in the story would want to buy.

  • Write and record a radio advertisement that will make people want to read the story.

  • Pretend you are a news reporter and two main characters in different stories meet. What type of news would take place from their meeting? Make a video with news stories of their meeting and what happens as a result. Write and perform a TV commercial, on video, to sell the book.

  • Rewrite a chapter section of your story from another character's point of view. Record it on tape. Add sound effects to your recording. Play it in class.

  • Take photographs to represent someone in your story and the changes that person goes through. For example, if a character is sad all of the time at the beginning of the book you could take a picture of something blue as a symbol to represent being sad. If an event changes the character to make him happy you might want to take a picture of a something that makes you think of happiness. Paste your pictures in a book and explain.


  • Write a poem about your story. Include characters, setting, plot, and theme.

  • Pretend you are a character in your story and write a poem from that person's point of view.

  • Write a poem about a specific event that happened in your story.

  • Choose a familiar melody, such as Mary Had a Little Lamb, and change the lyrics so they pertain to the story.

  • Write a poem about the most important person in your story. Explain your reasoning for choosing that character.


  • Research to find some additional facts that would relate to your book. Tell the facts and explain the relationship to the book.

  • Study the life cycle of an animal mentioned in the story.

  • Research and prepare a report on the author's life. Present it to the class.


  • Rewrite the story as a picture book. Read to a younger child.

  • Rewrite the story as a puppet show for younger kids.

Name___________________________ GRADE________________


Book Title and Author

Date Started

Date Ended

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