Grade 9 Honors
Welcome to Honors English I
Summer Reading 2017 ~ Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
All students entering ninth grade honors must read this novella and complete the following written assignment (a typed paper copy is due on the first day of school). Students will also have an in-class essay exam (essay prompts below), during the first week of school. Please contact Mrs. Afanasiw (Mrs. A) at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding the assignment. If you would like to sign out a school copy of the book for the summer, please let your ELA teacher know.
As you read Steinbeck’s novella, keep in mind the following essay prompts. In addition to reading the book, for your summer written assignment, you will choose four quotes that you would use in an essay based on either Prompt A or Prompt B (you choose the prompt). Please write the quote and page number, and then explain, in one well-developed paragraph for each quote, why the quote would work well in an essay based on your chosen prompt. Try to comment on literary devices and stay focused on your selected prompt rather than merely summarizing each quote. The goal is to analyze, not summarize! When writing about literature, remember to stay in third person present tense.
When considering the concept of the “work as a whole,” it is a good idea to look for the development of character, conflict, and theme in the novella as you select your quotes. Please number your responses. Remember, you are not writing the essay for your summer assignment; you are completing the analysis of the four selected quotes, one paragraph per quote. All work must be original as explained in the high school’s Academic Integrity policy (found on the high school website); the main idea is that you must not present ideas from another source or classmate as your own.
Select ONE prompt to focus on for your summer note-taking assignment:
Prompt A: In great literature, no scene of violence exists for its own sake. Choose a scene from Of Mice and Men that confronts the reader with a scene or scenes of violence. In a well-organized essay, explain how the scene or scenes contribute to the meaning of the work as a whole (theme). Avoid plot summary.
Prompt B: It has often been said that what we value can be determined only by what we sacrifice. Consider how this statement applies to a character from Of Mice and Men. Select a character that has deliberately sacrificed, surrendered, or forfeited something in a way that highlights that character’s values. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how the particular sacrifice illuminates the character’s values and provides a deeper understanding of the meaning of the work as a whole (theme). Avoid plot summary.