FHS Summer Reading Journal Prompts

  • FHS Summer Reading: Keeping a Journal

    To help yourself successfully complete this year's summer reading assignment, you may want to keep a journal as you read. In this journal, you can record your reactions to the reading by using the questions on the back of this sheet as your prompts. The journal will help you in several significant ways:

    • Your journal will serve as a good basis for review when your teacher asks you to complete an assessment during the first full week of school in September.
    • English teachers use the summer reading assignment as the basis for a grade worth 5-10% of your quarter one average.
    • Your teacher may ask you to make some kind of presentation separate from the in-class essay. The journal can be used in place of or as part of this assignment.
    • You can improve your critical and close reading through journal responses.
    • Students entering honors classes may be required to turn in journals during the first full week of school. Students entering CP classes may be able to turn in journals for extra credit. See the Summer Reading List for your grade level for more information.
    • Use the prompts below as the bases for your journal entries. You must respond to at least five of the prompts for credit.
    • Do not summarize the book. Summaries will not be accepted for credit.


    • Date each entry.
    • Fully develop with examples and explanations of the examples.
    • Respond to at least five different prompts.
    • Each response must include textual evidence cited with the page number.
    • Each response will require a minimum of 2-3 paragraphs.
    1. How are the characters developing? Do you dislike certain characters? Are some characters dynamic? Are some flat? Do the characters change over the course of the story? How are the events or other characters influencing or motivating the characters?
    2. Are there recurring themes, ideas, images, and symbols? Why do you think the author is repeating them? What do you think of the author’s decision to repeat them?
    3. What are the conflicts in the book? Why are these conflicts developing? Are these conflicts internal (within the characters) or external (from outside sources)?
    4. Can you relate to any of the characters? Do parts of the book remind you of yourself or others? Why? Can you feel what any of the characters are feeling?
    5. Who is the narrator of the book? From what point of view is the story told? Why do you think the author selected this perspective and what effect does it have? Would a different narrator or different narration improve the book?
    6. Write a letter to one of the characters. Include three specific events of which the character was a part. Comment on the character's response to events or offer advice. Ask questions.
    7. Evaluate the writing style of the author. What are the sentences, word choice, descriptions like? Does the style help the story line? Could the style be improved? How
    8. What is the author's tone towards his or her subject? What two words best define the tone of this book? What scenes, episodes, or examples are good examples of the author's tone?
    9. What is the mood created in the reader by this book? What examples best reveal the mood of this book?
    10. If you could be one of the characters for one day, who would you be and why? Who would you definitely not be and why. Explain your choices.
    11. What would you change in the story? How would you improve it?
    12. Select a passage and annotate it for literary elements including theme. Then after you annotate it, explain why you chose this selection over others.



    4- Responses are specific and richly developed; each refers to strong examples from the text; response provides documentation (page number)
    3- Responses are fully developed; each refers to appropriate examples from the text; response provides documentation (page number)
    2- Responses are partially developed; each cites an example from the text, but the example may not connect completely to the question; provides documentation
    1- Responses lack specific examples from the text; responses are general; no documentation
    0- Shows little or no evidence that the student read the text thoughtfully OR student did not respond to the prompts

Last Modified on June 15, 2020