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8th Grade – Summer Reading

In order to prepare for science in 8th grade, Ms. Colloton and Ms. Van More are offering an optional (extra credit) summer reading assignment for rising 8th graders. Especially if you are considering honors 8th grade science, this would be a good place to start, although everyone is welcome and gets credit. You may choose to read one of four books:

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – an exceptionally written book that both introduces students to genetics, disease, and cells, and puts it in a societal context of race relations from the 1950s to the present. Read this if you like biology, genetics, and US history
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (either the adult or young reader’s edition) – documents the personal and professional lives of the first African American women to work at NASA in the space program. Read this if you like math, physics, astronomy, and US history
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba (adult edition) and Bryan Mealer (young reader’s edition) – follows the life of William Kamkwamba in his quest for education and use of engineering to bring water to his village in the midst of drought (adult version written by William, himself). Read this if you like engineering and learning about life in Malawi
  • Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan (adult or young reader’s edition) – A look at how our food choices and industrial food processes affect one another. Choose this if you like biology, environmental issues, and food science.

After you have read one of the books, have a discussion with a parent or other adult who lives with you about what the most interesting parts of the book were in your opinion and how the book shows how science and society are connected. Then have your adult sign below verifying that you both read the book and had a discussion. Additionally, answer the discussion question below in a short (paragraph) response (at least 10 sentences).

For credit, this is preferably due the first day of school.

Please contact Ms. Van More or Ms. Colloton with questions.

My students read _________________________________and discussed those points they found most interesting.

__________________________________                            ___________________________________

Student name                                                                                   Parent/Guardian signature

Required discussion question.

Please summarize your discussion with your parent or other adult. Please include overall impressions and thoughts as well as how the book showed the connection between science and society. Include how you can connect what you learned in the book to something in your own life. This is not a summary of the book.