St. John Greek Orthodox Day School, Tampa

Summer Reading 2006 

Download the Summer Reading 2006 booklet in PDF format.

At St. John, summer reading is an important part of our curriculum.  This booklet includes required and suggested summer reading.  It is organized by grades.  Please check for required titles and be sure to complete assignments before the school year

All summer reading assignments are available on the school website under the student info tab.

Parent Tips for Success with Summer Reading

  • Create an inviting atmosphere for reading.
    It is not a contest and should be enjoyable. 

  • Read with your children or read what they are reading.

  • Talk with them about what they are reading.

  • Set a good example by reading for enjoyment yourself.

  • Get started early.

  • Consult for wonderful, thoughtful information about reading and suggestions for other worthwhile titles.

Click your child's grade for the 2006-2007school year:

Pre-School and Pre-Kindergarten

Think of reading aloud to your children as supplying essential brain food.  Fifteen minutes a day, five days a week for a year adds up to  3900 minutes a year.  Each minute adds food to your child�s brain.  No school, no matter how wonderful, can replace those minutes.  First-grade teachers know within the first three days of school which children in their class have arrived with the brain food to be successful in elementary school.  This does not mean that children are reading on their own but that they are ready to learn to read.

STUDENTS ENTERING PRE-KINDERGARTEN:  Please draw a picture from one of the books you read over the summer and bring it the first day of school!

Our early childhood teachers suggest these authors who may be counted on for great stories:

  • Jan Brett

  • Marc Brown

  • Eve Bunting

  • Eric Carle

  • Johanna Cole

  • Mem Fox

  • Kevin Henkes

  • Robert McCloskey

  • David McPhail

  • Robert Munsch

  • Dr. Seuss

  • David Shannon

  • Judith Viorst

  • Rosemary Wells

Entering Kindergarten

Suggested Titles and Authors 

Please read aloud to your child each day.  

Read everything-books, signs, the newspaper, boxes in the grocery store, billboards, etc.  Keep it light; make it fun.  The goal is for your child to make a connection between written words and sounds.  As your child listens to you, he or she will begin to recognize a wealth of language.

Our Kindergarten teacher suggests:

  • Environmental Print�words wherever they are!

  • Eric Carle books (repetition)

  • Dr. Seuss collections (phonics)

  • Nursery rhymes and fables

  • Books with numbers

  • Sequencing books

  • �Ready-to-read� or �An I Can Read Book� books -
      (entry levels)

For specific suggestions consult your public library or    

Entering First Grade

Entering first grade students and a parent are encouraged to join in the St. John 1st grade Summer Book Club. Information will be mailed home over the summer by homeroom mothers.

The following authors are suggested as great reads and their titles will be used in the summer book club.

David Adler 

Jim Arnosky

Judi Barrett

Nathanial Benchley

Melvin Berger 

Questin Blake

Stan Bonsall

Marc Brown

Eve Bunting

Betsy Byars

Janell Cannon

Eric Carle

Doreen Cronin 

Tomie DePaola

Bernice DeRegniers

P. D. Eastman 
Douglas Florian 
Mem Fox  

Paul Galdone 

Bob Graham  

Kevin Henkes  

Lillian and Russell Hoban

Edith Thatcher Hurd
Keiko Kasza

Steven Kellogg

Theo Le Sieg or Dr. Seuss

Patricia Lauber

Leo Lionni 

Bill Martin Jr.   

David McPhail  

Susan Meddaugh 

Else Holmelund Minarik

Ann Morris

Trinka Hakes Noble

Margie Palatini   

Peggy Parish

Wendy Pfeffer
Pinkney Brothers

Gloria Rand 

Chris Raschka

Peggy Rathmann 

H. A. Rey  

Robert San Souci

Marjorie Sharmat 

Paul Showers

William Steig 
Judith Viorst  
Bernard Waber 

Sarah Weeks

Vera Williams

Bernard Wiseman
Ed Young  
Harriet Ziefert


Entering Second Grade 


The summer reading requirement is in two parts:

  1. To read to a parent or another adult for ten minutes a day, at least four times each week from the suggested reading list found on the website.  Students will need to complete the reading log found in the 2nd grade packet.

  2. To read the two books listed below and complete the assignments found in the 2nd grade packet and described below.

Required reading (2):

  1. Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry

  2. The Magician�s Boy by Susan Cooper

Required reading projects:

  1. For both Gooney and Magician�s Boy make a book banner which includes a picture of an interesting event, the title, author, and your name.

  2. Complete the �Rate this Book� graph sheet for 5 of the other books you read over the summer.

The book banner pattern and graph sheet may be found on the St. John website as well as in the 2nd grade summer packet. 

Click here to download the book banners and book rating worksheets.

Entering Third  Grade


Required Reading (3):

  1. The Talking Earth by Jean Craighead George; Illustrate a scene from the story.  (You must show Florida accurately as it is described.)

  2. The King�s Equal by Katherine Paterson

  3. A Grain of Rice by Helena Clare Pittman; Write a letter to Mrs. Larkin and tell her which of the two   books above you liked best and why.


Read at least one of the books from the following list:

Me Tarzan 

Silver Balloon 

The Enormous Crocodile 

Georgie Lee 

Mercy Watson to the Rescue 

The Matchlock Gun  

Hundred Dresses  

Abu and the 7 Marvels  

Amelia Hits the Road  

Surviving Brick Johnson  

Fire in the Sky

Bug Boy 

Ha!Ha!Ha! 1000+ Jokes, Riddles, Facts & More  


Upchuck and Rotten Willy  

A Ghost in the Family 

Betsy Byars 

Susan Bonners

Roald Dahl 

Sharon Phillips Denslow

Kate DiCamillo 

Walter Edmonds

Eleanor Estes

Richard Matheson

Marissa Moss

Laurie Myers

Candice F. Ransom

Carol Sonenklar 

Lyn Thomas

Pamela S. Turner

Bill Wallace

Betty Ren Wright


Entering Fourth Grade

Required Reading:
All entering 4th graders must read the three books listed below and complete the following assignments.

  1. Crossing Jordan 

  2. In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

  3. Ghost in Room 11

Adrian Fogelin

Bette Bao Lord

Betty Ben Wright


1. Write an original ghost story based on what you learned about ghost stories from Ghost in Room 11. You must set your story either in a school or at a summer camp.

2. Illustrate one of your favorite scenes from either Crossing Jordan or In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson.  Be sure to include the title, author and your name on the back of your illustration.

3. Write a new ending to either Crossing Jordan or In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson.  The ending must be true to the character in the story and have a logical tie to the story leading up to that point.

Entering Fifth Grade

Required Reading:
entering 5th graders must read the three books listed below and complete the following assignments.

  1. Hoot

  2. Island of the Blue Dolphins  

  3. Love That Dog

Carl Hiassen

Scott O�Dell

Sharon Creech


1. Love That Dog: As you read the book notice the different types of poems.  Write a poem on a piece of paper in any style you choose.  It can be about any subject.  Illustrate around the poem with pictures that describe the poem.  Be sure to sign your name to your work.  You are welcome to do more than one poem.

2. Island of the Blue Dolphins: There are three skills sheets to complete. For the first sheet, you are to design a new for the book.  

Click here to download the Island of the Blue Dolphins skill sheets.

3. Hoot: Write two paragraphs as described below.  Each paragraph should have a strong introductory sentence and closing sentence.  Each paragraph should be at least 7 sentences long.  They should be written neatly, in cursive.

#1: Research the burrowing owls described in the book.  Using your research, write an informative paragraph about the borrowing owls.

#2: Answer the following question in paragraph form. What are some of the things that Roy discovers about himself, about others, and about nature throughout the story?

Middle School Summer Reading Blogs

Each Middle School class (6th, 7th, & 8th) will have its own summer reading Blog.  The purpose of the Blogs is to allow students to respond to a St. John summer reading assignment, to read the thoughts of fellow students and to make thoughtful responses to other student ideas.  Faculty have posted questions on each of the Blogs. Students are expected to answer the questions thoughtfully.  Students at St. John have all signed an acceptable-use contract and this summer assignment is governed by that contract.  Students who abuse the Blog will have their privilege removed and be required to write the answers and hand them in the first day of school.  The Blog will be monitored by the faculty over the summer.

Students who were at St. John during the 05/06 school year were taught how to access the Blog.  They were also given a school email account which is to be used only for school business.  These instructions serve as a reminder.

To access the blog from your home browser: The URL is  Each student has his/her own account. 

The username is the first letter of the first name plus the surname plus .sjg.  For instance:  Marsha Quinn = mquinn.sjg.  Each student has created his/her own password. If you have forgotten your password, click on forgotten password and follow the directions.

Once you enter your username and password you will be at your own gaggle homepage.  From this page you can email (remember only for school purposes), and find your summer reading BLOG.  Please do not forget that all Blogs are monitored for language, content, and meanness and should not be used inappropriately.  We will know and you will lose the privilege.

From your home page:

Click on the white box on the left titled Jump to.

Click on profile pages.

Click on My School�s Profile page.

From the Blogs box, click on staff Blogs.

Select your rising grade from the drop down menu.

Assignment instructions:

On the Blog page you will find 2-3 questions for you to answer.  Please answer each question thoughtfully.  You click on �comments� to access your writing space.  When you are finished writing your comments you will need to click on �submit comment� for your thoughts to be published to the Blog.  You will also be able to read the comments of fellow students.  You may respond to postings made by your peers.  Each student should have 2 postings per question.  It will be best if you post on two different occasions.

Entering Sixth Grade

I. Required Reading:
Students must read these 3 titles and complete the following assignments. 

  1. The Giver 

  2. Walk Two Moons  

  3. Worlds Afire  

Lois Lowry

Sharon Creech

Paul B. Janeczko


  1. The Giver: Answer all three questions found on the Blog and respond one other time to your peers.            

  2. Walk Two Moons: �Don�t judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins,� is an important quote from this insightful novel. This quote and story deal with how differently we each perceive different situations. In one short paragraph, choose one person whose moccasins or shoes you would like to walk in. Why? For example, I would like to walk in the first female president�s shoes- at least for a little while! Choose someone whose shoes you would like to walk in and write a short paragraph describing why you chose this person. This is the easy part for all of us. 

  3. Walk Two Moons: In another paragraph choose someone whose moccasins you would not like to walk in. Why not? Finally, how might your feelings change toward that person if you did �walk two moons� in his or her moccasins? I would not choose to walk in a homeless person�s moccasins because it would make me uncomfortable, but if I did, I would probably see them very differently. Think about it!

  4. Worlds Afire: Illustrate three scenes from the fire using the details the author provides.

1. Draw the scene before the fire. What are the characters doing? What is the mood?

2. Draw the actual fire.  What are the characters doing now?  What is the mood now?

3. Draw the scene after the disaster.  Again, address the characters and the mood through your artistic expression.

II. Choose at least one book from Vandergrift�s 100: List of Young Authors and Titles which may be found at


Assignment: On 1/2 or whole poster board, develop a kind of storyboard for your book.  Divide the board into eight equal squares.


A. Title, author, illustration (design an original cover)

B. Setting�what is the time and place? Illustrate.

C. Main characters�who are they?  Illustrate.

D. Plot�write a short summary of the story.  Illustrate.

E. Conflict�what is the main problem?  Illustrate.

F. Solution�how is the problem resolved?  Write a brief explanation.

G. Do you agree or disagree with this resolution?

H. What is your personal opinion of  the book?  Would you recommend it to a friend or not?  Explain! 

Entering Seventh Grade

I. Required Reading:
Students must read the three books listed below and complete the assignments.

And Then There Were None  


A Land Remembered, Student Edition, Volume 1 

Agatha Christie

Elie Wiesel 

Patrick Smith


  1. And Then There Were None:  Complete the Prediction Chart and Character Chart.

  2. Night: Complete the Conflict Chart.

  3. Night: Wiesel describes many incidents that will be forever etched in his memory.  Think of a vivid memory from which you have derived some wisdom or lesson that will stay with you your whole life.  Write a personal narrative that describes the incident and what you gained from it.

  4. A Land Remembered: Answer all three questions found on the Blog and respond one other time to your peers.

II. Choose at least one book (excluding the Diary of Anne Frank and The Outsiders) from Vandergrift�s 100: List of Young Authors and Titles which may be found at


Assignment: Draw a book jacket to describe your favorite chapter from the book.  Write one paragraph telling why you chose this chapter as your favorite.

Entering Eighth Grade

I. Required Reading:
Students must read the two books listed below, choose two from the following list, and complete all assignments.

  1. Left For Dead

  2. The Pigman

Pete Nelson

Paul Zindel


1. Left For Dead:  Answer all three questions found on the Blog and respond one other time to your peers.

2. The Pigman: Character Development�Write a 3 to 5 paragraph essay answering the following question.  What do John and Lorraine learn from their experience in this book.  Do you think they will be better people for having known the �Pigman�? 

II. Choose two from the following list


Copper Sun


Ender�s Game

Flowers for Algernon


The House of the Scorpion

A Northern Light


To Kill a Mockingbird

Touching Spirit Bear  


Sharon Draper

Jerry Spinelli

Orson Scott Card

Daniel Keyce

Walter Dean Myers

Nancy Farmer

Jennifer Donnelly

Laurie Halse Anderson

Harper Lee

Ben Mikaelsen


  1. Choose one of the characters from one of the above books and write five entries in their journal/diary.  Really show what you think the character would be thinking.

  2. Illustrate a scene from one of the above books.


�A room without books is like

a body without a soul.�

Marcus T. Cicero

Great Roman Orator

106-143 B.C.



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