MS Summer Reading and Resources

2018 Summer Reading & Resources

Sandy Spring Friends School develops the trained mind, the skilled hand, and the healthy body within a nurturing community centered in the Life of the Spirit. During the summer months, we encourage our middle school students to explore their unique gifts through activities that interest them. The assignments below are provided to enhance a student’s curiosity about different topics and to guide parents who may be seeking appropriate academic activities for their child(ren). We hope our middle school students will use them to think, discuss, create, enjoy, and mostly to “Let Their Lives Speak.”

Required Summer Reading

All MS students are tasked to read the graphic novel March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, as well as two other books of interest. Our Humanities faculty members recommend titles from Maryland’s Black-Eyed Susan and Newbery nominees and award winners. While students are not required to generate a product (e.g. book report, poster, etc.), English classes are launched with conversations about students’ favorite summer reads. There is no need to bring in these books in the fall; faculty encourage families to utilize their local libraries for books and suggestions.

Global Languages

Math

Click here to see information from Heidi Duff about the skills needed for various levels of MS math (Foundations, Pre-Algebra, Bridge to Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry), as well as optional online resources to help build upon these skills.

Science

The DC metro area is ripe with summer events and opportunities for enrichment in Science. All of the museums in the list below have great regular daily exhibits to visit; in addition, this list provides some special exhibits that relate to the specific study areas for each grade. Middle School Science Summer Enrichment

Humanities

Humanities Summer Enrichment

(Click here to download PDF of info below)

Rising Sixth Graders: World Cultures and Geography

Local Day Trips: The following Smithsonian museums on the Mall in Washington: African Art Museum, Freer Gallery and Sackler Gallery (Asian Art), The National Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Museum of the American Indian, Natural History Museum, National Museum of African American History. Also, the National Geographic Museum (17th St. NW).

Books: Excellent historical fiction available at the public library.

  • Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (An orphaned boy in medieval England leaves his village and is taken on by a traveling juggler known as Bear. He learns about the social, cultural and political world of England during the time of plague and warfare.)
  • Stowaway by Karen Hesse (Based on a true story, a boy stows away on the ship on which Captain Cook began a secret mission 1768 in search of an unknown continent on the bottom of the globe. He survives storms and cannibals and proves himself a valuable member of the crew.)
  • Dragon’s Gate by Laurence Yep (A boy leaves his village in China in 1867 to join his father in California to work on the transcontinental railroad. He survives danger, disease, death and racial prejudice, hoping someday to return to China and fight for independence from Manchu rule.
  • Journey to Jo’burg: A South African Story by Beverley Naidoo (A sister and brother journey from their village to find their mother in Johannesburg and learn about the dangers of their country during the fight against apartheid.)

Rising Seventh Graders: U.S. History from the Revolution through Reconstruction/Government

Local Day Trips: In Washington D.C.: Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of African American History, American History Museum, the National Archives, Frederick Douglass House (Anacostia), President Lincoln’s Cottage (Rock Creek Church Road, NW), Ford’s Theater (10th St., NW)

In Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia: Mount Vernon (Alexandria); Monticello (Charlottsville); Manassas National Battlefield (Prince William County); Antietam National Battlefield (Sharpsburg); Monocacy National Battlefield (Frederick); Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (West Virginia); Fort McHenry (Baltimore); the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (Washington DC to Cumberland, MD), USS Constellation (Baltimore).

National Parks: The National Park Service has many historical sites across the country. If you are traveling, check their web site for parks around the country.

Books: Excellent fiction and historical fiction available at the public library.

  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (An orphaned young woman moves from the Caribbean to live with her aunt and uncle in the Puritan settlement of Wethersfield, Connecticut and struggles to find her place in a very different world.)
  • A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials by Ann Rinaldi (While waiting for a church meeting in 1706, Susanna English, daughter of a wealthy Salem merchant, recalls the malice, fear, and accusations of witchcraft that tore her village apart in 1692.)
  • Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson (A yellow fever epidemic wipes out 10% of Philadelphia's population in three months. 16-year-old Matilda, separated from her sick mother, is forced to cope.)
  • The Fighting Ground by Avi (Thirteen-year-old Jonathan goes off to fight in the Revolutionary War and discovers the real war is being fought within himself.)
  • The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss (Each of the girls in a middle-school clique reveals the strong, manipulative hold one of the group exerts on the others, causing hurt and self-doubt among the girls.)

Rising Eighth Graders: U.S. History from the 1870s to the present

Local Day Trips: Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of African American History, American History Museum, Baltimore Immigration Museum (Locust Point), Baltimore Museum of Industry (Key Hwy.), B & O Railroad Museum (Baltimore).

National Parks: The National Park Service has many historical sites across the country. If you are traveling, check their web site for parks around the country.

Books: Excellent historical fiction available in the public library.

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. (A classic coming of age story of an Irish American adolescent girl struggling to survive life in a tenement in early 20th Century New York.)
  • Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix. (The story of the shirtwaist factory strike and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911 from the perspective of two immigrant girls and the daughter of a wealthy businessman. Excellent history about industrialization and labor in early 20th Century America.)
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (The hardships of living in Oklahoma during the dust bowl in the 1930s told in a series of poems.)
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (The story of the children of an African American family living in rural Mississippi during the Depression. An instance story of the horrors of growing up in the Jim Crow South.
  • Red Moon at Sharpsburg by Rosemary Wells (As the Civil War breaks out, India, a young Southern girl, summons her sharp intelligence and the courage she didn't know she had to survive the war that threatens to destroy her family, her Virginia home, and the only life she has ever known.)
  • True North: A Novel of the Underground Railroad by Kathryn Lasky (Because of the strong influence which her grandfather, an abolitionist, has in her life, fourteen-year-old Lucy assists a fugitive slave girl in her escape.)
  • Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (The unforgettable story of young Jethro Creighton who comes of age during the turbulent years of the Civil War.)
  • The Cold War Pigeon Patrols and Other Animal Spies by Danielle Denega (How animals are used for espionage in a setting that deals with war.)
  • Crash by Jerry Spinelli (Seventh-grader John "Crash" Coogan has always been comfortable with his tough, aggressive behavior, until his relationship with an unusual Quaker boy and his grandfather's stroke make him consider the meaning of friendship and the importance of family.)
  • The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss (Each of the girls in a middle-school clique reveals the strong, manipulative hold one of the group exerts on the others, causing hurt and self-doubt among the girls.)
  • The Greatest: Muhammad Ali by Walter Dean Myers (An illustrated biography of boxing great Muhammad Ali that addresses his politics, his fight against Parkinson's disease, and boxing's dangers.)
  • Guts by Gary Paulsen (The author relates incidents in his life and how they inspired parts of his books about the character, Brian Robeson.)
  • Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson (Sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks inherits her uncle's homesteading claim in Montana in 1917 and encounters some unexpected problems related to the war in Europe.)

Athletics, Electives, and Arts