Summer Bridge Activities

Summer Before Grade Nine

Students are to read:

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Required) and read at least one of the following:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings—Maya Angelou
  • Bless Me Ultima—Rudolfo Anaya
  • China Boy—Gus Lee
  • Nectar in a Sieve—Kamala Markandaya
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier—Ishmael Beah
  • The Kite Runner—Khaled Hosseini


Language Arts Optional Summer Bridge Activities

Daily Writing Journal

Write a brief journal entry each day. Write about a personal experience or a current event from  the day. Your journal entry should describe what happened and how the experience made you or others feel and/or react.

Daily Reading Log:

Read a piece of text each day for 20-30 minutes. Options include, but are not limited to:  an independent reading book, magazine, play, informational brochure or article, transcript of a video, subject-area textbook, newspaper, poem, etc. Keep a reading log to document the date you read, the title of the text, the author of the text, what type of text it is (article, textbook, poem, etc.), and evaluate the difficulty of the text (on a scale of 1- Easy to 4- Difficult).

ELA Menu Choices:

Complete one of the following menu choices each day based on the text you read.

Choice #1: Predicting

Before reading the entire text, look at the title, any subheadings, images, sidebars, charts, or tables, and write three predictions about what the text will be about. 

Choice #2: Images and Illustrations

Before you read the text, closely analyze an image/illustration that accompanies the text. Compose five statements that begin with, “I notice…” and three statements that begin with “I wonder…” Then read the text to determine if your statements are confirmed and/or answered.

Choice #3: Word Parts

Make a list of fifteen words from the text that contain prefixes, suffixes, and/or Greek or Latin roots. After writing each word, break it into its applicable parts.

Choice #4: Asking Questions

Select a character or individual you would like to interview from the text. List seven questions that you would like to ask this person in order to learn more about them and/or an event associated with them. Refrain from yes/no questions.

Choice #5: Author’s Purpose and Point of View

After reading an informational text piece, determine what is the author’s purpose for writing and provide a brief description of his/her viewpoint or perspective on the topic.

Choice #6: Visualization

Visualize the setting (time and place) of the text. Using a blank piece of paper and details from the text, illustrate the setting of the text. 

Choice #7: Asking and Answering Questions

Create two low level questions that begin with who/what/where/when and provide the correct responses to the questions. Then create two high level questions that begin with why or how and provide appropriate responses in complete sentences. 

Choice #8: Chronological Order

Create a comic strip with five frames each representing the five major events in the text. Illustrate each event and write 1-2 sentences describing what is happening in the scene. 

Choice #9: Synonyms and Antonyms

List five verbs and five adjectives from your text. Next to each listed word, write at least one synonym and one antonym for that word. Refer to a thesaurus if needed.

Choice #10: Traits

Select a character/individual from the text to analyze. Make a two-column chart. On the left side, identify a character trait that describes the person. On the right side, provide evidence from the text that supports the trait identified on the left. Select at least two traits with corresponding evidence. 

Choice #11: Conflict

In a brief paragraph, explain the conflict of the text. Identify the two forces working against each other and explain what each side would like to accomplish.

Choice #12: Making Connections

Make three connections to the text. One connection should involve yourself, another connection should involve something in the world, and the last connection should be to another text. Explain your connections. 

Choice #13: Cause and Effect

Create a two column document. Label one side “cause” and the other “effect.” Find relationships between the people and events in the text. Demonstrate your understanding by generating three sets of cause and effect statements. 

Choice #14: Five-Word Summary

Think of five main words to be used in summarizing the text. List the five words on your paper. Use the words to describe the text to an adult family member.

Choice #15: Figurative Language

Using a three-column chart, identify three examples of figurative language (simile, metaphor, alliteration, hyperbole, personification) from the text. Copy the phrase or statement from the text in the first column, state the type of figurative language it is in the second column, and explain its meaning in the last column.