Independent Reading Projects
500 points

I. Note Card - (25 POINTS) Due Wednesday, March 29th at the end of class.  Turn in an index card with the following information:

Top right corner - Your full name and class period

Middle of card - Bibliography entry for your book

Follow format for works cited: Author (last name first), title (underlined), city, publishing company, date published.

Bottom left corner - Type of book (horror, romance, sci-fi, young adult, general fiction, etc.).

II: Journal Responses – (50 POINTS) After you complete reading each class period, write a short journal response in relation to the following prompts.  These journals will be collected at the end of this unit and will be checked periodically throughout.  Write using complete sentences. Number your entries.  If you have no entry for a particular number, leave it blank (i.e. you read about no symbols, mark "N/A" for number 6 for your entry that day).

  1. Write the day and date at the top of your journal.

  2. Write how many pages you read today (start page to end page).

  3. Summarize what happened between those pages.

  4. If a character is introduced, write the character’s name and provide a short description of her/him.

  5. Identify and explain major themes in the text.  Summarize events which highlight these themes.

  6. Identify and explain symbols in the text.  Summarize events which highlight these symbols.

  7. Make predictions—what do you think will happen next?

III. Creative Representation -  (100 POINTS)  Choose one of the following:

Create a book jacket (11" x 17") that could be used for a hardbound edition of your book. Include an introductory summary of the story and a brief biography of the author on the flaps. Your purpose is to persuade readers to buy the book, but you must also be true to the flavor and purpose of the novel. You will want to create a striking illustration for the jacket as well.

Create a sculpture, portrait, or some likeness of a particular character from the novel. As some physical aspects demand to be portrayed, be sure to reflect the emotions and personality of your character. Include a paragraph describing your art work, including a quotation from which the project was inspired.

Create a colorful diorama of a particular scene from the novel. Pay attention to setting and characters. Include a paragraph describing the particular scene, including a quotation from which the project was inspired.

Create a mobile of at least 5 characters from the novel. Include a picture and description of the character on the mobile. Include quotations from which the descriptions were inspired.

Imagine that your book is to be made into a movie. You are to design the soundtrack. Create a tape / CD containing at least five (5) songs to match your book. Include a paragraph describing how the music relates to the book, including quotations from which some of the selections were inspired.

Choose a scene from the novel. Illustrate the scene in the form of a comic strip, lasting at least 10-15 frames. Utilize color and captions. On the back write the quotation or paragraph from which the project was inspired.

Research a concept discussed in the novel - a particular disease, chemical properties of a substance, geographic location, etc. Create a handout that summarizes the information found. Include bibliographies for all sources used. On the back, write a paragraph describing how this topic relates to the novel, including a quotation from which the project was inspired.

OTHER - Other suggestions must be approved by me.  You may opt to write one of the literary essays below to fulfill this requirement.

IV. Seminar -- (50 POINTS) Participate fully in a two day seminar.  Contribute at least three times over the course of two days.


Character analysis - Choose one character and analyze physical description, personality, role in the novel, effects of being static/dynamic

Symbol - Choose a recurring object from the story that signifies something greater than itself. Describe what the object symbolizes and its role in the story, providing examples from the novel.

Theme - Choose a recurring idea - could be journey, power, things are not what they appear to be, childhood trauma, etc. Provide examples from the novel.

Culture - Analyze the culture of the characters in the  novel. Every novel has some culture represented.  (Remember there are many cultures even in the United States!) If the culture is "American," pretend you are a stranger to even basic morals, practices, etc. Focus on the aspects of culture most relevant to your text.

Writing Style - How is the novel literally organized - type of sentences, type of vocabulary, order of plot, point of view, length of chapters, description of characters, events, setting, the ending.

Power - Explain how power is used and abused within the novel.  Explain how the use of power affects the protagonist's life.  Compare the use of power in your novel to the use of power in Orwell's 1984.

VI. Evaluation – (25 POINTS) Write a response on the back of your initial note card evaluating the novel.  Is it "good"? What makes it "good" or not?

VII. Review questions – (25 POINTS) Write 6 questions that   would be appropriate to test a student over your book.  Poor questions or questions written verbatim from websites will earn zeros.  You must also provide the correct answer for each (for true / false, you must also provide an explanation of the correct answer).

2 questions must be multiple-choice with 4 choices or more.

2 questions must be true / false.

2 questions must be short answer.


IX. Participation - (50 POINTS) You will receive points for silent reading each day in class.  If you are off task, working on other homework, sleeping, etc., you will receive a detention and zero points for the day.

If you are unsure about ANY aspect of the assignment, it is YOUR responsibility to ask questions during appropriate times in class, before/after school, or via e-mail at: