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Team E Summer Reading


SUMMER READING – JUNE 2015cartoon sun with sunglassesstack of cartoon books

Special Delivery From Your Team E Humanities Teachers

Dear Students and Families –

Summer is here again!  That means travel, relaxation, fun, adventure, and… reading!  Take the wonderful invention of the book along with you on your journeys this summer, even if your journey begins in your own back yard.  That’s the great thing about reading:  no matter where you are, a book is always a welcomed companion.

There are great reasons to indulge in reading over the summer.  First of all, it’s fun! ☺  It also gives your teachers a chance to give you a head start on next year’s activities and inquiry, and gives you a chance to show off your great talent and work ethic.  Research shows how important it is to keep your reading neurons engaged from June to August, and you will dive into summer reading when you get to high school too.  Please do your best work on this assignment.  Not only is it a great way to start the year off impressing your teachers, but we will build upon this background as we start our journey into learning about the western hemisphere this year.  Don’t be left behind!  Be sure you read, and do your best work.  DUE ON MONDAY, AUGUST 17th, 2015.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT for summer reading this year:  HEROES!  

What is a hero, anyway?  If you named your #1 hero, would everyone agree with you?  As you may or may not know, heroes have been with us since the dawn of humans, and guess what?  Their journeys have been a source of inspiration through literature for literally thousands of years!  The hero’s journey will be one of our guiding themes this year, and we will be tracing this journey from ancient times (ever hear of Homer?) all the way to the present day.


  1. Choose someone from any time in history or fiction that you consider a hero. This can be an actual person, or a character in a respectable work of fiction.  See attached listing below of heroes from your Team E teachers for ideas.

  2. Review the resources about the hero’s journey below.  Optional:  Continue researching this on your own. Become familiar with the stages of the hero’s journey, and its significance.    

  3. Find a book at or just above your reading level (see #1).  This may be a biography or autobiography, a novel, historical fiction, or another genre.

  4. Type a paragraph, complete with thesis statement, support, and conclusion.  Label the top of the page with your first and last name, the date, the title and author of your book, and a creative title for your paragraph.  In your paragraph, be sure to answer these questions (feel free to go beyond these as well).  What are the traits of a hero?  How does (the person you chose) fit the definition of a hero?  What elements of his/her life contribute to creating a heroic personality?  What are the conflicts and challenges s/he faced, and how did s/he overcome those challenges?  Is it important to have and recognize heroes in a society, and why or why not?  Finally, what is a hero to you?

  5. Watch the TEDEd video link below.  Create a chart that tracks your hero going through the stages of the hero’s journey.  There is a sample chart posted on our school web site, so use that as your model.  You will identify and explain each stage of the journey.  We will build upon this at school, so do your best work and be prepared.  


Impress us with your talent, insight, and high standards.

Remember, take your cue from the summer sun! This is your time to shine.

cartoon sun 


Socrates; Mother Theresa; Gandhi; Martin Luther King Jr.; Harry Potter;  Archimedes; Bilbo Baggins; Crazy Horse; Harriet Tubman; Amelia Earhart; Mia Hamm; Leonardo da Vinci; King Arthur; Luke Skywalker; Maya Angelou; Leonard Peltier;  Oprah; John F. Kennedy; Nelson Mandela; Emily Dickenson; Paul Revere; Yitzhak Rabin; Joan of Arc; Jackie Robinson; Woody Guthrie;  Ronald Regan; Michelle  Whie; Steve Jobs; Achilles; Frodo; Jackie Onassis; Jonas Salk; Paul Revere; Michelle Kwan; Jimmy Carter; Lance Armstrong; Odette; Marina Navratolova; William Shakespeare; Barack Obama; Golda Meir; Beethoven; Susan B. Anthony; F.D.R., Eleanor Roosevelt; Ishi; Billie Jean King; Pablo Picasso; George Bush; Ben Franklin; Hercules; Amy Tan; Bono; Naomi Shihab Nye; Babe Ruth; Marie Curie; a specific president of the USA; Jason Collins; astronaut or firefighter ;  athletes who have overcome challenges; famous (or not) person who works or worked for the greater good to help others with world hunger, AIDS work, war, animal rescue, environmental conservation, or other noble cause; ETCETERA…


Other helpful resources:

  • Joseph Campbell’s book, The Hero With A Thousand Faces

…and any other Joseph Campbell resources, including on-line interviews with Bill Moyers

  • T. A. Barron’s book, The Hero’s Trail

His website has all kinds of fun hero resources:

Team E Summer Reading June 2015

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