Summer Learning Program

Summer Learning Program

At Long Trail School, we believe that learning takes place everyday in our lives.  During the summer, we are not as programmed as we are during the school year and have more flexible time to spend reading, brushing up on some skills, or reviewing some foundational information for a class.  We want our students to stay connected to the classroom but in a more informal, relaxed way.  The assignments listed below represent our 2021 Summer Learning program. To find your assignments, look at the grade you will be entering in the fall.


School wide reading focusing on Social Justice

When we return to LTS in the fall, as a school community we will engage in discussions and learning centered around these books. Students and faculty are expected to read ONE of these choices; if you wish to read more than one, please feel free. Manchester’s Northshire Bookstore will keep a supply of these books on hand throughout the summer; some are available in audio versions and through local libraries as well. Read and share with a friend!

*Note: we encourage parents to discuss this book choice with their children, perhaps doing a family read-along this summer. We also suggest you look online for book reviews/critiques prior to selecting a book for your child to read, as these books vary in language and reading level, situations and intensity.

When Stars are Scattered, Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (264 p., RL ages 9-12)
This graphic novel tells the true story of Omar Mohamed and his brother Hassan, who lived in a Kenyan refugee camp. Omar grabs the chance of an education, hoping it will bring better luck than the hardships of their life of minimal food and healthcare. This book focuses on the value of family and the realities of daily life for those in refugee camps.  

The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person, Frederick Joseph (272 p., RL 7-9) 
This book, written as a series of true race-related incidents, presents how the author felt in the moment and how he might handle these scenarios now. He consults artists and activists who add their perspectives to his own. A valuable tool is the author’s encyclopedia of racism, cataloguing historical events, terminology and other useful information to assist readers in learning how to become better community members. 

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford (274 p., adult)
Diane Guerrero, well-known television actress, was only 14 and in school when her parents were deported. Since she was born in the US, she was able to remain in the country but had to rely on a network of friends to support her efforts to learn, grow and excel in her chosen career. This book shines a valuable light on the undocumented: their lives, their daily fears, and the citizen children they are raising here. 

Black is the Body, Emily Bernard (240 p., adult) 
“Blackness is an art, not a science. It is a paradox: intangible and visceral; a situation and a story. It is the thread that connects these essays, but its significance as an experience emerges randomly, unpredictably. . . . Race is the story of my life, and therefore black is the body of this book.” The Julian Lindsay Green and Gold Professor of English at the University of Vermont, Bernard shares her experiences as a black person in a variety of situations, including living and teaching in a predominantly white state. Previewed by some LTS students in 2021, this book of essays elicited weeks of engaging discussions and reflection. 


In addition to choosing one of the books listed above, students are asked to complete the following assignments:


HL/SL 20th Century History

This documentary deals with a number of the Cold War events we will cover next year and asks some important questions about empathy and morality in terms of foreign relations and war. I have adapted and shortened the assignment from The Choices curriculum on this.  It is a watch the doc and reflect exercise. 

Language and Literature (CP)

Read Night by Elie Wiesel (attached). Be ready to share your thoughts about this book with your classmates.

Language and Literature (SL)

Select a podcast series and listen to at least one season/7 episodes. Then create an index of the episodes, using THIS as a template. Remember to utilize the information gained about podcasts as a text type in your overview and analysis. Be prepared to present your work to your classmates in the first days of school. 

Language and Literature (HL)

Read Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral by Phyllis Wheatley (attached).


HL/SL/Advanced History of the Americas

This podcast assignment has four episodes of Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History (the links are included on the document).  Students should write a short reflection for each episode.

Language and Literature (CP)

Read Night by Elie Wiesel (attached). Be ready to share your thoughts about this book with your classmates.

Language and Literature (SL)

Pick a book of poetry by Mary Oliver (there are over 30) and read it. You will be writing a summative analysis of the book in your first class in the fall. Additionally, please have two poems chosen/take notes for discussion in class.

Language and Literature (HL)

Read The Frogs by Aristophanes (attached).

HL/SL Biology

Complete Topics 2.102.6: Molecular Biology/Biochemistry, Biozone reading and workbook pages 51-73 (small page numbers in the corner.)


American Literature (all levels)

Read Brown Girl Dreaming, Jaqueline Woodson, 2018 ISBN-13: 9780147515827

A coming of age story set in South Carolina and New York in the 1960s and 1970s, Woodson’s memoir is written in poems. These poems resonate with the remnants of the Jim Crow era and the intensity of the Civil Rights movement. This memoir will capture your heart as you experience Woodson’s growing awareness of herself as a part of a complicated family in a complicated time—which speaks to and about a multitude. Be ready to share your thoughts about this book with your classmates.


Literature by Genre (all levels)

Read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Reader’s Edition, William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, 2016 ISBN-13: 9780147510426

A memoir of how one young man used science and ingenuity to change his circumstances. Kamkwamba’s family was devastated by a terrible drought that struck his Malawian village. Faced with no crops for food or income, young William looks to books to find a solution. What he discovers is a life-changing way to repurpose materials to provide for his family. Be ready to share your thoughts about this book with your classmates.


Early Literature

Read Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival, Velam Wallis, 2004 ISBN-13: 9780972494496

“Velma Wallis and her mother were chopping wood at the mouth of the Porcupine River, where it flows into the Yukon, when Wallis first heard the legend of the Two Old Women – an elderly pair’s “journey into hardship.” Passed from mothers to daughters for many generations, the ancient story of abandonment is tragic and shocking but comes with a surprise that will lighten your heart. In 1993, Velma Wallis’s retelling of the legend in book form challenged her people’s oral traditions and revealed old taboos, yet revealed universal themes…Two Old Women has been translated into seventeen languages, selling more than one million copies. Today, the legend is still being passed between mother and daughter, and from sister to sister, with its hopeful lesson for us all.” –book jacket description Be ready to share your thoughts about this book with your classmates.


Language Arts

Read Asha & the Spirit Bird, Jasbinder Bilan, 2019 ISBN-13: 9781911490197

Asha lives on the family farm with her mother in rural India. Her father is away working in the city, and when the money he sends stops suddenly, a wicked aunt arrives. She’s determined to seize the property – and the treasure rumoured to be hidden on the land. Guided by a majestic bird which Asha believes to be the spirit of her grandmother, she and her best friend Jeevan embark on a journey to the city, across the Himalayas, to find her father and save her home…” Be ready to share your thoughts about this book with your classmates.


Language Arts

Read Wishtree, Katherine Applegate, 2017 ISBN-13: 9781250043221

Meet Red, a 216 year old red oak, who tells an engaging story of community, compassion and culture. As Red introduces the many birds and animals who shelter in his branches, the reader also encounters the human world below, with its complexities of ownership, friendship and even judgement and hatred. This fantasy with its talking animals is an important reminder about the power of memory, caring and education. Be ready to share your thoughts about this book with your classmates.