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Summer Reading Lists

Dear Parents of Rising Kindergarteners,

Welcome to Kindergarten! We are looking forward to getting to know you and your kindergartener this next school year. CLICK HERE for the list of Kindergarten books to help get you started on your summer reading journey with your child.

Summer is an important time for developing and firmly establishing the vital and delightful habit of reading. If you have not already done so, use this summer to begin this habit of reading to your child daily. Students who love and consistently engage with good stories and their ideas will be well prepared for a successful Kindergarten year.

Select books related to your child’s interests and throw in some he/she wouldn’t ask for, but that you think he/she may enjoy. Look for books with rhymes (especially nursery rhymes) or fun word patterns. “Easy Series” is a good place to start at this age. You can also encourage your child to look at books independently, maybe even retelling the story in his/her own words. Try chapter books to train the mind and develop the discipline of listening attentively and with focus. Consider how often your child sees you reading for your own enjoyment, too. 

As you read with your child, ask questions that lead him/her to—

  • Make a prediction (i.e., what will happen next)
  • Tell about something at the beginning, middle, or end of the story – this helps to develop comprehension and the ability to sequence events
  • Identify rhyming words or word patterns (i.e., Cat and Hat – rhyme; both end with -at)

Talking together about what you read not only develops academic skills in your child, but also gives a treasured peek into his or her mind and heart.

Teachers will be happy to hear about the reading journey of your children. These conversations are great springboards into the rich, delightful books and stories students will encounter as we read together over the school year!

Dear Parents of Rising First Graders,

Summer is an important time for engaging in the vital and delightful habit of reading with your child. Students who love hearing and engaging with good stories will be well-prepared for a successful first grade year.  CLICK HERE for the list of First Grade books to help get you started on your summer reading journey with your child.

Time spent reading strengthens brain connections, builds vocabulary, improves concentration, and helps train the mind to develop the discipline of listening and attention. We have three goals in mind for summer reading:

  1. Share your love of reading with your child and let them see you reading for enjoyment.
  2. Read books aloud together.
  3. Have your child practice reading with your help or even independently as able.

As you read together, ask questions about what you have read. For example, “What you do think will happen next? How will the story end?” This will engage your child in making predictions. Discuss the characters and how to make connections with them. Ask questions and discuss the sequence of the story: “What happened first? Then? Next? Last?”

Select books related to your child’s interests: books to read aloud, easy readers to encourage independent reading, chapter books, science books with pictures, and nursery rhymes are a few suggestions.

Dear Parents of Rising Second Graders,

CLICK HERE  for a list of 2nd Grade book suggestions to help start you on your summer reading adventure.

The years of first and second grade are critical skill development times in a young child’s life. Like the athlete on a sports field or a musician with an instrument practicing to succeed, so too the young student needs to give daily time and attention to the skill of reading. Summer is an opportune time to engage in the vital and delightful habit of reading daily to strengthen reading fluency skills and to prepare for both the expectations and delights of second grade. 

Students should set a goal to read aloud with you for at least 20 minutes a day over the summer.

Here are a few tips to help guide your reading time:

  • Sit in a quiet place where the child can focus with minimal distractions.
  • Read a selection 2–3 times (or repeat over several days) so that the child can hear/see himself growing in accuracy and smoothness, resulting in more confidence and enjoyment of the reading experience. Poetry is excellent for this practice.
  • Feel free to do alternate readings (take turns reading pages) as the need arises.
  • Ask questions about the story to further engage him and develop comprehension skills. Who is the story about? Where does it take place? What happened at the beginning? In the middle? At the end?

In addition to the daily 20 minutes, quality time can be spent reading independently or having a parent read aloud to the child. One of the best ways to instill a love of reading is for children to see and hear parents read and enjoy a good book with them. 

Dear Parents of Rising Third Graders,

A strong foundation of reading skills and love of good stories will prepare your child for success in third grade. 

Summer is a critical time to strengthen and maintain fluency and comprehension skills and to prepare for both the rigors and delights of third grade reading and literature.

To that end, CLICK HERE for a rich variety of great books to help launch your summer reading. Though this list is not exhaustive or exclusive, it provides excellent examples of books at the level of comprehension and vocabulary with which we will be engaging in our classrooms. In addition to your student’s independent reading, you all may enjoy reading a book aloud as a family or listening to audiobooks.

A solid commitment to consistent reading over the summer will be necessary preparation for third grade. Students should read at least 20 minutes daily. Students should practice good fluency skills when reading aloud—reading the words accurately, reading the sentence thoughts smoothly, and using expression reflective of what is happening in the story. Taking time to read parts of the story aloud will sharpen these important oral reading skills. We will do a lot of reading aloud in class together, so it will help to practice and build stamina!

Set aside time to allow your child to narrate (retell) back portions of various chapters. Recalling specific details builds visualization and comprehension. Other key strategies to practice include making predictions, imagining themselves in a scene or story, sharing an opinion, journaling a 3–4 sentence written response, and making personal connections to self, family, and God’s Word.

Teachers and students will be using those first days of school to talk about their summer reading and share the great stories they encountered. These conversations are great springboards into the rich, delightful books and stories students will encounter as we read together over the school year!

 

Dear Parents of Rising Fourth Graders,

A love and habit of engaging with literature that offers good stories, compelling characters, noble truths, and great ideas to ponder and discuss will prepare your child for a successful year in fourth grade.

The purpose of the summer reading program is to strengthen independent reading skills and to explore quality literature. Research has shown that children who read over the summer benefit in the following areas: reading comprehension, writing style, vocabulary, spelling, and grammatical development. Students should read at least 30 minutes daily. 

CLICK HERE for a list of suggested 4th Grade books to help launch your summer reading quest. The list is not exhaustive, and you may find other books beyond our list that lead to faraway lands, treasure, or a great mystery. You may even find great ideas for adventures to continue in outdoor playtime!

Summer reading can be a positive experience for the entire family. Audiobooks for road-trip, family trips to the library, and reading great books aloud together at home create wonderful summer memories. Consider reading the same book as your child and having “book-talks” at dinner. While reading these great books, take time to discuss them, from the characters and plot to the deeper truths, ideas, and themes the author might be presenting.

Teachers and students will be using those first days of school to talk about the summer reading and share the great stories they encountered. These conversations are great springboards into the rich, delightful books and stories students will encounter as we read together over the school year!

 

Dear Parents of Rising Fifth Graders,

A love and habit of engaging with literature containing good stories, compelling characters, noble truths, and great ideas to ponder and discuss prepares your child for a successful fifth grade year. Summer is a time to be refreshed, explore, take a vacation, and dive into those great books. CLICK HERE for a variety of great 5th Grade books to help launch and guide your summer reading.

The purpose of the summer reading program is to strengthen independent reading skills and to explore quality literature. Research has shown that children who read over the summer benefit in the following areas: reading comprehension, writing style, vocabulary, spelling, and grammatical development.

To help foster rich times of delight and enjoyment of reading, I would encourage making visits to the library a regular part of your summer activities. Check out books of various genres, including poetry, biographies, and non-fiction.

Although no particular books are required, your child should spend a significant amount of time reading, at least 30 minutes daily, over the summer so he or she is prepared for the many exciting reading adventures in our studies in the classroom.

Teachers and students will be using those first days of school to talk about the summer reading and share the great stories they encountered. These conversations are great springboards into the rich, delightful books and stories students will encounter as we read together over the school year!

 

Dear Parents of Rising Sixth Graders,

A love and habit of engaging with literature containing good stories, compelling characters, noble truths, and great ideas to ponder and discuss prepares your child for a successful sixth grade year. CLICK HERE for a list of great 6th Grade selections (in all of the formats mentioned below) to help your student get started reading this summer.

Summer reading plays an important role in the formation of life-long readers and learners. The purpose of the summer reading program is to strengthen independent reading skills and to explore quality literature. Reading over the summer significantly impacts a student’s growth in critical thinking, vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of habitual reading in a student’s educational development. Although no particular books are required, your child should spend a significant amount of time reading, at least 30 minutes daily, over the summer so he or she is prepared for the many exciting reading adventures in our studies in the classroom.

Summer reading may include books read aloud together as a family (great for more difficult books that warrant discussion), books read individually (perfect for pleasure reading), audiobooks (great for long trips in the car!), and even short stories and poetry. 

As we pursue truth, goodness and beauty in class together next year, we will focus our attention on “big ideas” including faith, sacrifice, stewardship, empathy, strength, and perseverance. We encourage you to begin to think about these themes with your student as they read over the summer. Read with them. Ask questions. Drink deeply from rich literature together.

Teachers and students will be using those first days of school to talk about the summer reading and share the great stories they encountered. These conversations are great springboards into the rich, delightful books and stories students will encounter as we read together over the school year!

 

Dear Rising 7th-12th Upper School Students and Parents,

Summer is often a time for new travels and experiences.  Did you know this can happen without leaving your home?  Reading great books gives a reader intimate experiences that journey to the past, the future, and places they may never see in person.  

Summer reading plays an important role in the formation of life-long readers and learners.  We cannot emphasize enough the importance of habitual reading in a student’s educational development. The purpose of reading the selected books below is to strengthen independent reading skills and explore great books that will serve as the basis for initial conversations in the classroom next year.  CLICK HERE for a recommended list for further reading and use as a wonderful resource for selecting books to read. (Parents, we included a few recommendations on the list for you as well.)  

Families are asked to purchase the required summer reading book below for the student’s appropriate rising grade.   Students should read and annotate before the first day of class in August.  The annotated book should be brought to their literature class when school resumes and will serve as tool for discussion.

  • Grade 12: Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
  • Grade 11: The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Grade 10: The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  • Grade 9: The Labors of Hercules by Agatha Christie
  • Grade 8:  Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
  • Grade 7:  Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

What do we mean by annotation?  As students read, they should mark (annotate) books for later reference.  Reading itself is the main focus and many pages may pass without being marked, but reading with a pen/pencil in hand is a good habit to develop.  Markings should include marginal notes or questions about character development, key themes and plot development, and passages worth quoting later should be underlined or flagged.  Some even use small post-it notes/flags to mark pages of importance.  As students notice rhetorical or literary devices, those should also be noted.  Students should also come to class with one or two questions that the book raised.

Happy reading as you begin your summer adventures!

Summer House Reading Contest

Each summer, Covenant holds a Summer House Reading Contest to get a jump start on earning your house points for the upcoming school year. This contest runs between June 1 and last Sunday before the first day of school and the house with the most pages read receives 100 points!

To help you find suitable reading materials, we have also provided our Summer Reading lists.