Middle School Language Arts Summer Learning


Learn new words!

  • Learn new words at www.vocabtest.com. Use level A for rising 6th grade, level B for rising 7th grade, and level C for rising 8th grade.
  • HSPT Quizlet – help prepare for the Fall 2020 HSPT


Analogies are important critical thinking skills (and they are on the HSPT).

  • Watch this video to learn how analogies add flavor to writing.
  • There are several analogy practices you can complete HERE

Writing Activities


Try a new type of formula poetry. Once you’ve polished your poem with vivid words and figurative language, publish it in a font that reflects your ideas and add a related graphic.

Writing Prompts

Each week, try to spend 10 solid minutes free writing on a topic that interests you or answer a journal prompt such as those found HERE.

Change Perspective

Watch the video of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs then select your favorite children’s book and retell it from a new perspective. Don’t forget to add illustrations!

Comic Strips

Create a comic strip that tells a short story—remember to have a conflict and solution. Include three new vocabulary words. Templates can be found HERE.

Comma Fun

Watch the video of the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Pay attention to how commas can change the meaning of a sentence; the illustrations will show the humorous differences. Create your own sentence that can have a new meaning depending on commas. Draw an illustration to depict each meaning.

See ● Think ● Wonder—Art Connection

  • Look at one of the following paintings from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. List out 10 things you see, 5 ideas you think, and 3 concepts you wonder about. HERE is a chart you can use.
  • Pretend you are a character scene and write a diary entry for the day.


Reading Choice Board

After taking a new adventure by reading a book, select one of the activities in this choice board.

Create a dossier on a character. Pretend that you are a foreign spy sent to report on your chosen character. Compile a secret file with general and specific information regarding your character. Be sure to include information beyond physical characteristics. What motivates the character? What habits does the character have? Who does the character associate with? Etc. Don’t forget the photo. Pretend the book has been made into a movie. Create a trailer to advertise the story. In  your video, include information about the characters, setting, and main conflict, but don’t spoil the ending. Think about the audience for this movie and what might excite them about the story. Create a movie of yourself as a TV reporter and give a report of a scene from the book as if it were happening live. Pay attention to setting and costume of character in movie.  Include interviews with important characters and information pertinent to the setting.
Create a mini-comic book relating a pivotal chapter of the book. Make sure the story line is clear through words and illustrations.


Create a movie of an interview of a character from your book. Pay attention to setting and costume of character in movie. Have questions that will give the character the opportunity to discuss his/her thoughts and feelings about his/her role in the story. Create a diary that one of the story’s main characters might have kept throughout the entire book’s events. Share the character’s thoughts and feelings not just be a summary of events. The physical diary could reflect the character’s personality.
Design and produce a series of postcards. On one side draw or paint an appropriate image. On the other side, compose a message to from one character to another. The messages could share the character’s feelings about what is happening. Write and record an original song that tells the story of the book. After reading a book of history or historical fiction, make an illustrated timeline showing 7-8 events of the story and draw a map showing the location(s) where the story took place.

Book Recommendations 

  • Refugee by Alan Gratz
  • Swing by Kwame Alexander
  • Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements
  • Restart by Gordon Korman
  • Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Scat by Hiaasen
  • The Book of One Hundred Truths by Julie Schumacher
  • Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
  • The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
  • Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
  • The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  • Kira-kira by Cynthi Kadohata
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  • Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli
  • No Slam Dunk by Mike Lupica
  • The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  • Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  • Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham
  • The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funk
  • Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
  • Witness by Karen Hesse
  • The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood
  • Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship by Russell Freedman
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Readers Edition) by William Kamkwamba
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose
  • Chasing King’s Killer by James Swanson
  • Code Girls: The True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II (Young Readers Edition) by Liza Mundy
  • Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery by Russell Freedman
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Russell Freedman
  • Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman
  • Hidden Figures: Young Readers’ Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick
  • Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt
  • The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane by Russell Freedman