Antelope Valley School District


Honors/AP Summer Reading Requirement


Assignment to be completed during the summer break:

  1. Students are required to read all of the novels/texts from the appropriate grade list.
  2. Students will be required to submit a reading journal and annotations for each novel/text you read (see attached guide for reading journals and annotations)

When you get back to school:

  1. All students will be required to write an in-class essay about the summer reading.

●       These assignments are due on the first day of school and will count towards your grade; so it is very important that you complete all the reading and work.

●       If you have questions you can contact Ms. Hinton in room 951 or at (Please don’t leave questions to the last minute).


Incoming 9th Grade:                                                                                 

●       Animal Farm                                                               George Orwell

●       Of Mice and Men                                                        John Steinbeck           


Incoming 10th Grade:

●       MacBeth                                                                      William Shakespeare

●       The Color Purple                                                        Alice Walker


Incoming 11th Grade:

●       Columbine                                                                   David Cullen


Incoming 12th Grade:

●      Hamlet                                                                       William Shakespeare


**Annotations must be on the play or written with post-its. No notes, or reading journals will be accepted.

***If you would like a printed version to write on, please come see Ms. Hinton by May 28th


In addition reading and annotating the play, you must complete the following tasks:

●       UC Personal Insight Assignment w/ Common App

-Full Assignment Prompt on next page                             

*All summer reading novels should be available at the Public library to borrow or for purchase online. The 11th grade essays are available at If you are having trouble obtaining the novel or work, or need the essays printed, please contact Ms. Hinton ASAP for assistance.

Summer Reading Journal

You will be required to write a minimum of 5 journal entries for each novel you read over summer break. These journals should be at least one page typed and double-spaced. Use a normal (Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri), 12-point font. Format and head your assignment (and all future assignments) according to MLA rules. (See:


1)    The first paragraph should be a SUMMARY of what you had read so far. Focus on key elements and details. Your summary should help others not familiar with the text "see it" or understand what it's about "in a nutshell." It should begin by mentioning which pages/chapters are covered by this journal entry, include a few sentences that explain key details or elements, and lead to your “judgment” or thesis claim about its main point or purpose.


2)    Your ANALYSIS paragraph should begin with a sub-claim about how specific groups of details or elements support your thesis and overall main point. The basics of a good body paragraph: begin with your sub-claim, and then include examples and evidence that support your assertion. Introduce, explain, and then link the evidence to your claim.

You should consider the following questions when looking for a focus:

●        What is the title?

●        Who is the narrator?

●        What voice does he/she speak in (i.e. 1st person, 3rd person). Why is he/she speaking?

●        How is the story/chapter/section organized? How does it begin or end?

●        Who are the characters and what are they like?

●        What is the tone like? What is the mood like?

●        What conflict or issue is explored? What happens? When? Where? To whom?

●        Do any images, words, phrases, etc. repeat themselves?

●        Is there any figurative language being used?

●        -What world is being created? What values, ideas, and views are being represented? Which social

●        groups are being represented? “Will all readers be equally at ease with the range of representations?”

Annotating the Text

Critical Reading Strategies

Pre-reading strategies:


Step 1: Prediction: Read the title and make a prediction about the contents of the text (Write the prediction next to the title).

Step 2: Number the paragraphs.

Critical Reading Strategies:


Read With the Grain

Reading to get the general idea of the text-not analyzing the information.

●       Note the publication information (author, date, medium).

●       Read through the text quickly to get the general idea.

●       Underline any words that you do not know (if necessary) in order to go back and define when you reread.

Read Against the Grain

Read the text carefully, look for the author’s purpose.

●       Circle key terms, cited authors and other essential words or numbers that are related to the main ideas of the text.

●       Underline the author’s claims (major claim, and topic sentences).

●       Highlight, star, or note the evidence that supports the author’s claims.

●       Define any vocabulary words that make comprehension difficult.

Annotate the Text


Left Margin: Author’s Purpose

●       Summarize, paraphrase, note any information that leads to understanding the author’s purpose

●       Types of evidence

●       Rhetorical Appeals (Ethos, Logos, Pathos)

●       Rhetorical Strategies


Right Margin: Reactions

●       Write down personal reactions to the reading (information that stands out, questions that arise, problems, etc.



Personal Statement Assignment


As “College Application Season” approaches, you will be tasked with presenting yourself and your story in a way that sets you apart from the rest. Your personal statement is your opportunity. Writing a well-thought out and honest personal statement enables you to fill in any gaps in your application, while presenting who you really are, and why you will be a great addition to the university in which you are applying.


For this assignment you will complete the following:


Brag Sheet: Typed, edited, and saved in your Google Drive

DUE: 8/16/19 Point Value: 500


Personal Insight Questions (Detailed instructions and suggestions below):


Four, edited and revised, in response to the UC prompts that are given when applying for admission (below).

Must be typed, edited, and saved in your Google Drive


DUE 8/16/19   Point Value: 1000


UC Prompts Personal Insight Questions:


What do you want UC to know about you? Here’s your chance to tell us in your own words.


●        You will have 8 questions to choose from. You must respond to only 4 of the 8 questions.

●        Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.

●        Which questions you choose to answer is entirely up to you:  But you should select questions that are most relevant to your experience and that best reflect your individual circumstances.

Keep in mind

●        All questions are equal:  All are given equal consideration in the application review process, which means there is no advantage or disadvantage to choosing certain questions over others.

●        There is no right or wrong way to answer these questions:  It’s about getting to know your personality, background, interests and achievements in your own unique voice.  

Questions & guidance

Remember, the personal questions are just that — personal. Which means you should use our guidance for each question just as a suggestion in case you need help.  The important thing is expressing who are you, what matters to you and what you want to share with UC. 


1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.  
Things to consider: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking lead role in organizing an event or project. Think about your accomplishments and what you learned from the experience.  What were your responsibilities? 

Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities.  For example, do you help out or take care of your family?

2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.  
Things to consider:  What does creativity mean to you? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? What have you been able to do with that skill? If you used creativity to solve a problem, what was your solution? What are the steps you took to solve the problem?

How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Does your creativity relate to your major or a future career?

3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?  
Things to consider: If there’s a talent or skill that you’re proud of, this is the time to share it. You don’t necessarily have to be recognized or have received awards for your talent (although if you did and you want to talk about, feel free to do so). Why is this talent or skill meaningful to you?

Does the talent come naturally or have you worked hard to develop this skill or talent? Does your talent or skill allow you opportunities in or outside the classroom? If so, what are they and how do they fit into your schedule?

4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
Things to consider: An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for college. For example, participation in an honors or academic enrichment program, or enrollment in an academy that’s geared toward an occupation or a major, or taking advanced courses that interest you — just to name a few. 

If you choose to write about educational barriers you’ve faced, how did you overcome or strive to overcome them? What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who are you today?

5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?

If you’re currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, “How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends, or with my family?”

6.  Describe your favorite academic subject and explain how it has influenced you.
Things to consider: Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had inside and outside the classroom — such as volunteer work, summer programs, participation in student organizations and/or activities — and what you have gained from your involvement.

Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or career? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject (honors, AP, IB, college or university work)?

7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?  
Things to consider: Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team or a place – like your high school, hometown, or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community?

Why were you inspired to act?  What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community?

8. What is the one thing that you think sets you apart from other candidates applying to the University of California?
Things to consider: Don’t be afraid to brag a little. Even if you don’t think you’re unique, you are — remember, there’s only one of you in the world. From your point of view, what do you feel makes you belong on one of UC’s campuses? When looking at your life, what does a stranger need to understand in order to know you? 

What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge, or opportunity that you think will help us know you better? We’re not necessarily looking for what makes you unique compared to others, but what makes you, YOU.

If you are not applying to a UC (although, I am not sure why you wouldn’t), you will respond to the Common App Personal Insight Questions below:


***You are required to respond to ONE prompts (minimum/maximum 650 words).


2018-2019 Common Application Essay Prompts

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. [No change]

2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? [Revised]

3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]

4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. [No change]

5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]

6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? [New]


7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. [New]


Before submitting these essays to your teacher (and anyone else you will have review them), be sure to do the following:



• In addition to checking your spelling, be sure your grammar is correct and your essays flow smoothly.

Solicit feedback. Allow 5 people to read and comment.


• Your personal statement should reflect your own ideas and be written by you alone, but others — family, teachers and friends — can offer valuable suggestions. Ask advice of whomever you like, but do not plagiarize from sources in print or online and do not use anyone’s published words but your own.

Don’t procrastinate!!!!

This is your future, your opportunity, seize it!!!

Marla Bolton

Titles: Teacher

Amy Hinton

Titles: Teacher

Karen Rasch-Herrera

Titles: Teacher

Deborah Roth

Titles: Teacher