Dear Rising Seventh Grader

Dear Rising Seventh Grader

June 2015

Dear rising seventh grader,

I remember how excited and nervous you were when you first entered my classroom. Now, here you are, ready to begin your journey through seventh grade. This next school year will bring you one step closer to high school.

Make sure that you enjoy your summer. I plan on doing the same! This helps to recharge you and prepare you for the work that lies ahead. As you are enjoying the long summer days, remember that it is important to continue reading. Find literature that interests you. We’ve explored many genres this past year. Branch out – try something new! It’s not just about your summer reading assignment. Continue with new discoveries or genres you already enjoy. Newspapers, magazines, and novels all hold vast amounts of information. Explore the world! It’s important as you enter seventh grade that you continue to sharpen your comprehension skills which will prepare you for state testing, the ITBS, and eventually, the TACHS exam in eighth grade. Remember that having an opinion and being able to support it are important components of being a critical reader.

Attached to this letter you will find OPTIONAL study sheets for the required books. The study sheets do not have to be returned to me. As you know, however, these sheets will help you prepare for the test. The summer reading test will be given on Monday, September 14, 2014 on the required books. This will be your first test grade for the first quarter. Both of your summer novels will be part of our first unit study in ELA. It is crucial that you read these novelscarefully as we will be discussing them upon your return. Aside from the study guide questions, you will also find sheets for the novels.These sheets are NOT optional. We will be using them during our work in the first unit. They will count towards your first quarter grade. The summer assignment will also be posted to my web page at the beginning of July in the event you misplace yours.

I am looking forward to continuing the learning journey with you. If you have any questions or if you are looking for some other reading options during the summer months, you may email me at .

Enjoy your summer!

Mrs. Ziesel

These questions are to be used as a study guide for the test in September. You may record your answers in whatever way is easiest for your use - in a notebook, on theme paper, or by typing them. The answers do not have to be submitted to me. This is a study tool foryour use.

My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

1.Who barges into the Meeker tavern in April 1775, and with what news?

2. How does Sam feel about fighting the Lobsterbacks?

3. How does Sam answer when the minister, Mr. Beach, asks him if he thinks he knows better than the King and parliament?

4. Where does Sam tell Timmy he is going and why did he come home?

5. After father orders Sam out of the house, what does father do?

6. What is father’s opinion of Sam’s cause?

7. After church, where does Tim find Sam hiding?

8. What changes occurred in Redding due to the war in the summer of 1775?

9. Who passes secret information on Sam's whereabouts to Tim?

10. How does Tim respond when the Continental officer threatens his father?

11. Why doesn't Sam rush into the tavern to help his father?

12. What happens when Sam and his father meet face to face?

13. In the winter of 1776, how does the war now affect Redding?

14. In April of 1776 what job does Mr. Heron want Tim to do?

15. How do Tim and his father react to Mr. Heron's offer?

16. How does Betsy Read interfere with Tim and Mr. Heron's plan?

17. What argument do Life and Susannah have over Sam's letters?

18. Why does Life go to Verplancks Point and who does he take with him?

19. What is Tim's job on the journey to Verplancks Point?

20. What happens to Tim and his father on their way to Verplancks Point?

21. Who aids Tim and his father in their time of need?

22. What do Ezekiel and Tim discuss before falling asleep?

23. Why does Father decide to return home the same way they traveled to Verplancks Pointand not to stop at the tavern?

24. What happens to Father on the road between Ridgebury and Redding Ridge?

25. Where does Mother think Life is?

26. How is business at the tavern now that just Tim and his mother are running it?

27. What news does the wounded Continental messenger have about the British troopmovement?

28. When Captain Betts comes into the tavern after he is released by the British, what doeshe tell Tim to do?

29. Why won't Mother allow Tim to ring the church bell?

30. Where does Tim find Sam and in what shape is he?

31. What is Mother's plea to Sam when she sees him? What is Sam's reply?

32. What news of Life and Jerry Sanford do Mother and Tim receive in June of 1777?

33. Do Tim and Mother follow Sam's advice with regard to the cattle?

34. Who does Tim go to see about the false charges against Sam?

35. How does Colonel Read clarify the problem for Mother and Tim?

36. When Tim goes to Colonel Putnam in Sam's defense, what happens?

37. What is Tim's plan to save Sam the night before the execution? Is it successful?

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

1. Where do the boys live?

2. Where does the woman tell Buddy he will be going and what is his reaction to the news?

3. How is being six years old a turning point in kids’ lives, according to Bud?

4. Why is Buddy so impressed by the six exclamation points on the flyer? Why does he keep the flyer in his suitcase?

5. Why does Toddy begin to breathe “like some kind of big animal was inside of him”?

6. Why does Bud keep a numbered list of “Rules and Things”?

7. Where does Bud have to spend the night? Why?

8. What does Bud think he sees in the corner of the shed? What did he really see?

9. What does Bud want to do at the end of Chapter 3?

10. What does Bud do to get revenge on Toddy?

11. Why do you think he chooses this particular act of revenge?

12. To where does Bud run away? Why does he go there?

13. Why does Bud insist that he not be called “Buddy”?

14. What advice does his momma give him? How does he explain what she meant?

15. What are the Pretend Poppa and Pretend Momma doing for Bud?

16. What special treat does Pretend Momma give the children?

17. What does Bud first think happened to Miss Hill? What actually happened to her?

18. At the end of Chapter 7, Bud realizes that a door has closed. To what “door” is he referring? What does he know will happen next?

19. Bugs and Bud have a conversation at the beginning of Chapter 8. What does Bugs want to talk about? What does Bud want to talk about?

20. What do the boys do to seal their “brotherhood”?

21. What do the boys have to do in order to pay for their dinner?

22. Bud says, “I know the kind of things librarians think are special.” What do you think librarians might see as special gifts?

23. Why does Bud really like Civil War books?

24. How are the sounds of the country different from the sounds of the city?

25. In Chapter 10, Bud thinks the man in the car is something. What does he think the man is and how does he come to this conclusion?

26. Why does Bud pretend to be asleep when the woman tries to wake him up?

27. What does Bud learn about his “father” while he is pretending to be asleep?

28. According to Mr. Lewis, what is a union?

29. What do the workers plan to do in order to get a union?

30. How is Bud immediately certain that he has found his father?

31. Why doesn’t Bud cry when he tells his “father” that he is his son?

32. What is Herman E. Calloway’s reaction to Bud’s news?

33. Why is everyone having such a difficult time believing that Mr. Calloway is Bud’s father?

34. Why do you think Bud finally broke down and cried?

35. What does Bud see that reminds him of his mother?

36. On what condition is Bud allowed to stay with the band?

37. What does the band’s music make Bud think of?