Class of 2026! We are so excited to spend the year working with you all. The AS level English Language course is an integral part of your high school curriculum, and we plan to cover a wide range of material that will benefit you not only this year but with future classes -- both at Belleview High School and in college. Because so much material needs to be covered this year, Summer Reading is extremely important. These assignments will help build a foundation for the year and introduce you to pertinent terms, writing styles, and information needed to be successful. Please read all instructions carefully and complete all work to the best of your ability -- without the aid of other students, sources, or the internet. The assignments will be due the FIRST DAY we return to school (August 10th) to your corresponding English teacher (either Mrs. Wingate or Mr. Jordan). You will also take a test on each novel during the first few weeks of school. Reach out to your teacher via e-mail with any concerns or questions.
This summer you will read two books and complete assignments for each. The books are The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway and A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines. It is strongly recommended that you actually read the books as opposed to listening to the audio books; furthermore, the movie or online summary notes are not to be used as substitutes for the books. Copies of the books are available in the school library, or you may check them out from the public library or purchase your own copy. If possible, we always encourage you to purchase your own and annotate your copies; however, that is not a requirement. Assignments must be handwritten in dark blue or black ink. Please work to complete all parts of the assignment. Your work will be thoroughly vetted for plagiarism; please start the year off on the right foot, and do your own work.
Be sure to follow the instructions for each prompt. Some of the types of writing will be new to you, so follow the guidelines and just do the best you can. All pieces must be between 250-350 words. Do the assignments after you read – not while reading. Use a separate piece of paper for each assignment.
Assignments for The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- Write a DIARY entry from the perspective of Santiago soon after catching the big fish. Create a tone of excitement and exhaustion. Do not copy exact phrases or sentences from the book. Instead, take the information from the book, put yourself in the position of Santiago, and write what Santiago realistically could have written.
Tips for writing a Diary
- Use dates for each entry; you should have multiple entries (not necessarily consecutive days).
- Write in first person (I, me, my, we, our, us).
- Write in a confidential tone – you may write things in your diary that you wouldn’t even tell your best friend.
- Personal writing in diary form can allow the reader to:
* see a glimpse of the writer’s more private thoughts and feelings
* explore reasons and motives for behaving in a particular way or feeling
- Pretend you own a company in Key West called Deep Sea Adventures. Create a LEAFLET (Pamphlet/Brochure) that encourages tourists to take a day-long fishing trip with one of your guides. Write the text (the words) for the leaflet. Only write the text -- no pictures or drawings. Do not copy exact phrases or sentences from the book. Instead, take the information from the book and combine that with your realistic imagination to produce your leaflet.
Tips for writing a persuasive Leaflet
- They use headlines (which is a writer’s term for a title) and may use sub-headings or slogans that promote the company’s core values or qualities.
- Promote a strong, single point of view rather than a more balanced argument.
- Make direct appeals to the reader (e.g. We need your help…, You don’t want to miss out…)
- Use highly-charged language (e.g. utterly gorgeous or totally unacceptable)
- Use vivid imagery or examples to engage or entice the reader (e.g. the morning fog slowly lifted, revealing a captivating sight: the snow-capped Rockies standing tall in all their glory)
- Provide statistics or data to persuade the reader
- Create a sense of urgency for the reader of the leaflet to act now
- Generally have shorter-ish paragraphs
A leaflet example:
Let’s Speed It Up. Are you In? (This is the headline)
Everyone knows that driving to work is slow and often miserable. Sitting in the car, watching the traffic lights, crawling along to your destination. Yet do you really want to join the cycling Lycra-brigade? Turning up to meetings sweaty and red-faced? No, you do not.
There’s Another Way (This is a sub-heading)
The Electrobyke lets you glide through traffic without breaking a sweat. The perfect blend of style and power, the Electrobyke makes the commute effortless. And if you wish to do your part in saving the planet, this is an easy, cost-effective way to do it.
Electrobyke: easy, economical, extraordinary. Get up to speed and join the in-crowd today!
- Imagine you are a news reporter and write a NEWSPAPER ARTICLE after Santiago returns with his “catch.” Comment on the fish’s appearance as well as the story of the old man and his quest to regain his former glory. Do not copy exact phrases or sentences from the book. Instead, take information from throughout the book to craft a realistic news story.
Tips for writing News Reports
- Often include a short, catchy opening (hook) that grabs the reader’s attention.
- After the “hook,” they generally capture the most important details (the five W’s & one H) in the first few paragraphs instead of slowly revealing important information like short stories or novels do.
- The five W’s – who, what, when, where, why
- The one H – how
- Generally have shorter-ish paragraphs
- They are written in 3rd person (he, she, they, them, or using the person’s name)
- Generally include short quotations from eye witnesses or relevant individuals involved.
- Have a headline (a title) that sums up what happened
An example of a News Report:
Butler’s Buzzer-Beater Sends San Diego St. to Title Game
Countless times throughout his youth,guard counted down the imaginary clock in his head. "Three, two, one ..." he'd say on his home court before firing off an imaginary winner.
Childhood imagination met adult reality Saturday night, a collision of fate, opportunity, and thousands of practice shots to meet the moment. Now a San Diego State junior, Butler took a pass with seven seconds left, drove the length of the floor, and hit a 17-foot pull-up jump shot that will long live in NCAA lore.
Butler's shot swished pure through the rim, the buzzer sounding with the ball descending from its arc toward destiny. It delivered No. 5 seed San Diego State aover No. 9 , completing a 14-point second-half comeback and giving the Aztecs their only lead of the second half.
After making the fifth-biggest comeback in Final Four history, San Diego State will play in the school's first national title game againston Monday night.
"I always dreamed of this moment," Butler said. "I'm just happy it was able to come to fruition."
When the ball splashed through, Butler strode confidently toward midcourt, where his teammates leapt upon him in joy. On the FAU bench, the players and coaches stood in stunned silence, victims of the first pure buzzer-beater of this NCAA tournament.
Another News Report example:
Tornadoes Rock the Southeast
It was a devastating evening for many in the Southeast – and one they soon won’t forget.
At least 26 people were killed and dozens injured after powerful storms and at least one tornado pummeled Mississippi on Friday night, ripping roofs off homes, nearly leveling some neighborhoods, and knocking out power for thousands.
President Joe Biden spoke with officials after the deadly tornadoes and said he is “praying for those who have lost loved ones in the devastating tornadoes and for those whose loved ones are missing.”
Search-and-rescue efforts for storm victims began after a confirmed tornado struck the towns of Silver City and Rolling Fork, the latter of which was described by one resident as obliterated.
The overnight tornado that flattened much of the community of Rolling Fork was rated at a strength of EF-4, according to a member of the National Weather Service team surveying the damage. Meteorologist Bill Parker told CNN they have estimated the town saw maximum winds of 170 miles per hour.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has issued a State of Emergency in all counties affected by the severe storms.
“The loss will be felt in these towns forever,” Reeves tweeted. “Please pray for God’s hand to be over all who lost family and friends.”
- Imagine you are Manolin, the young boy in the novel. You have asked Santiago if you can join him on his fishing trip, and he has allowed you to come along. Write a BLOG post describing your first day at sea with the old man. Create a tone of adventure and anticipation. Do not copy exact phrases or sentences from the book. Instead, take information from the book and use your realistic imagination to craft your blog.
Tips for writing a Blog
- Blogs have become a popular way of sharing experiences or feelings but differ from diaries in that they are meant to be read by others.
- They might utilize specialized or technical lexis (words) or jargon.
- They are often informal and chatty/conversational in tone and may address their audience directly (through the use of the second person pronoun “you”).
- They also can provide a means to give advice and to sell or promote ideas or products.
- They use headlines (which is a writer’s term for a title) and may use sub-headings.
- Generally written using first person pronouns (I, me, we, our, us).
Assignments for A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
Again, be sure to follow the instructions for each prompt. Some of the types of writing will be new to you, so follow the guidelines and just do the best you can. All writings must be between 250-350 words.
- Pretend you are a writer of a newspaper or magazine and write a REVIEW of
the novel you just read -- A Lesson Before Dying.
Tips for writing a Review
- Reviews express an opinion about the item being reviewed using positive or negative commentary and vivid imagery.
- Provide an overview of the “key facts” of the experience (in this case, you would likely “review” (discuss/evaluate) the characters, the plot, the resolution, the best and/or worst aspects of the book, etc.)
- Convey the writer’s expertise or knowledge in the field (in this case, you are conveying your knowledge of books that makes your review credible)
- Make comparisons (good or bad) to other books, characters, or storylines, sometimes using exaggerated or humorous ideas.
- Adopt an informal, chatty language designed to engage with the reader.
- Can use first person pronouns (I, me, my, we, our, us)
- Twenty years after the events of the novel, Grant decides to write an autobiography. Write a portion of the autobiography in which Grant reflects on his time spent with Jefferson and how his experience with Jefferson changed his outlook on life. Do not copy exact phrases or sentences from the book. Instead, take the information throughout the book and combine it with your realistic imagination to produce your piece.
Tips for writing an Autobiography/Memoir
- Should be written in first person (I, me, my, we, our, us)
- They generally record significant moments or experiences which have shaped the writer’s character or influenced the direction their lives took.
- Reflections often include anecdotes (brief stories) or descriptions of significant places or settings in the writer’s life.
- The writer often reflects on people who have been influential or have played significant roles.
- Should be written using past tense verbs (walked and talked – not walks and talks)
* The assignments must be handwritten in dark blue or black ink. Each must be between 250-350 words.
* Read all instructions carefully and complete all work to the best of your ability – without the aid of other students, sources, or the internet.
* The assignments will be due the FIRST DAY we return to school (August 10th) to your corresponding English teacher (either Mrs. Wingate or Mr. Jordan).
* You will also take a test on each novel during the first few weeks of school.
* Reach out to your teacher via e-mail with any concerns or questions.
* Come with a positive attitude, and we will have a wonderful school year!!