Summer Literacy Packet

Last year I was inspired to put together a summer literacy packet after reading about a few other blogger/teachers who used them with great success.  I had a few students complete the packet last year and I awarded them 7th grade survival packs when they mailed the completed packets back to me.  Because my students move on to a new school after spending the year with me, I don’t expect to receive many completed packets.  However, I do like to give my students the option.

This year I updated the packet a little.  I added a new week of activities that focuses on Shakespeare, because my students will be expected to read “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in 7th grade and I decided to give them an opportunity to become familiar with some of his work.  

Week Seven: Shakespeare


In 7th grade, you will be reading some of Shakespeare’s magnificent work.  William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language.  His surviving pieces include approximately 154 poems and 38 plays.  He wrote three types of plays- tragedies, comedies, and romances (also called tragicomedies).



Writer’s Activity Choices Week Seven (pick one & put your initials):

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,

Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,

Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:

There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,

Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;

And there the snake throws her enamelled skin,

Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in.

         Imagine the scene as you read the piece. What do you see? You may need to look up some brief          definitions of unfamiliar words – for instance,  “woodbine” (honeysuckle) or “eglantine” (sweet-  briar).  In your writer’s notebook illustrate the scene you imagined, using the text as a reference.       Be sure to color it in! (Initial here, _______, if you select this option.)


  • Many of Shakepeare’s most famous quotes are still used today.  Choose one of the following quotes and in your writer’s notebook, write a paragraph explaining what the quote means.  In another paragraph, explain why this quote is still relevant to kids and teenagers today. (Initial here, _______, if you select this option.)


                                          -“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
 By any other name would smell                                                                           as sweet.”  Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

                                          -All that glitters is not gold.”  The Merchant of Venice (II, vii)

                                          -“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness,                                                                              and
 some have greatness thrust upon ’em.”  Twelfth Night (II, v, 156-159)


Reader’s Activity Choices Week Seven: (pick one & initial it):


  • Go to the library and check out a book based on one of Shakespeare’s plays.  A list of possibilities is below.  Shakespeare is tragic, gory, violent, and romantic.  It just depends on which story you choose!  Write me a letter-essay telling me your thoughts about the book.         (Initial here, _______, if you select this option.)

1.     Romeo’s Ex: Rosalind’s Story by Lisa Fiedler

2.     Dating Hamlet: Ophelia’s Story by Lisa Fiedler

3.     Ophelia by Lisa Klein

4.     The Wednesday Wars by Gary S. Schmidt

5.     King of Shadows by Susan Cooper

6.     <The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood

7.     The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper

         You may also read any age-appropriate non-fiction or a middle grade version of one of his plays. Talk to the librarian or bookseller for more ideas.          


I really hope that the students who choose to complete the packet do the Shakespeare activities because I think it will open up a whole new world to them.  The y seemed excited about the idea of it today, but the summer is long.  🙂


Summer Adventure Packets

Tonight, I finally finished the summer adventure packets for my kids! It was definitely a labor of love, but I feel like they are finally perfect. Jen Barney shared the packet she uses in her class, and I used Stacey‘s as a mentor/template and then added in my own activities. I can’t wait to see if any of my students take advantage of this….

You see, my students move on to the middle school next year, so they will be responsible for emailing or snail mailing their completed packets to me. That’s a hefty amount of responsibility in the summer! But I have some truly awesome 7th grade survival packs planned, so hopefully someone completes it!

I will also be handing out my list of amazing books, places to get books, and blogs to check out. This is the first year I will be doing this, too. This way,my kids will have a list of books I love and think they will love, even if I can’t booktalk them!

Summer Literacy Packet (6th grade)

Must-reads 2008