Mrs. Mongon News


     Students have finished reading Night, a memoir written by Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel.

     In terms of writing, students will be asked to write a 5-paragraph literary analysis. The focus will be on how the author's techniques emphasize the theme of his work. Students have worked together to identify examples of each of the techniques.

     Each marking period students will be required to read an independent book of choice. For the third marking period, students will have a choice: sit in the "hot seat" and answer questions created by classmates or submit a book review.




2023 Grade 8 Summer Reading Assignment

This summer, choose any fiction book of interest to you that you have not read and that is at your appropriate reading level.

1. Choose THREE (3) quotes, sentences, or passages that are significant, powerful, thought-provoking or puzzling to you and write them on the attached page. Be sure to include the page number.  You should choose one quote from the beginning of the book, one from the middle, and one from the end.

The quotes you choose may do the following: 


• Relate to the character’s challenges, struggles, hardships, joys, or memories. 

• Remind you of something. 

• Make you think, question, or realize something. 

• Address a change in the character, setting, or plot that is out of the ordinary. 

• Stand out as powerful to you about the character, setting, plot, or theme.

2.  Write ONE journal reaction/response in relation to one of the quotes. The journal entry should be a minimum of one and a half pages typed (MLA format).  Another journal response about one of your chosen quotes will be written when you return to school.  You can do any of the following for your journal responses, you can choose your own ideas, or you can do a combination of any ideas below:

• Question/Predict: While you read, ask questions about the character or try to predict actions of the character based on the quote. (This can be adjusted for plot, setting, and theme as well.)

• Connect: Relate to personal experiences. Relate to life, self, or others. Compare and/or contrast. 

• Analyze/Evaluate: Analyze the quote. Form opinions and develop your own judgments about the character and your own ideas about events taking place at this point in the novel. What is the author trying to say about the character, setting, theme, or plot events? 

• Interpret: Determine the meaning of what you’ve read, and relate it to the character’s traits, personality, or values. Determine the author’s style as it applies to theme, mood, syntax, diction, and figurative language. 

• Reflect: What does the quote say about all people and humanity? What does it say about the other characters in the book? 

• Interact: Argue with or speak to the character.

This type of writing allows for 1st person pronouns (I, me, my, mine).  You should be honest in your thoughts and in your writing.  I will be looking to “hear your voice” through your words.

Bring your book and journal responses on the first day of school.  We will be working with the content of your responses, which ultimately will be graded.

Should you have any questions over the summer, please email me at [email protected].  I always appreciate all questions!  If you would like me to take a quick look at your first journal response to make sure you are on track, I would be happy to do so.

Have a great summer, and I look forward to our time together next year!

Thank you,

Mrs. Mongon


Tips for 8th Grade Parents:

How should I help my child with homework?
At this age level, many students have taken the lead and proven themselves to be successful while working independently. However, this may not be the case for some students, who may still be in the process of reaching this goal.  Although your son/daughter is in eighth grade, help may still be required in certain instances. You know your child best. If independence has been a challenge in the past, please don't assume that because he/she is entering 8th grade, they are instantly able to handle the workload. Assist your child in a manner that encourages independence, but does not tolerate a lack of quality or promptness with regards to assignments. Emphasize the importance of taking pride in all work and following the details of instructions provided. 

What about editing/proofreading of writing at home?
Students need to pay close attention to the editing component of their writing.  If the assignment is lengthy, I suggest reminding and/or guiding your child regarding the writing rubric expectations. They are well aware of what is expected in this area and will be provided with a copy of the rubric. However, this is usually an area where students tend to "gloss" over the details. Editing/proofreading is time consuming. These skills are a necessary component for any writing assignment, no matter the length, and comprise a significant portion of what factors into the final grade.

Should my child be reading independently at home?
YES!  Unfortunately, it seems that at this age level, and particularly in this day and age, independent/pleasure reading is on the decline. This does not have to be the case. There are countless numbers of young adult books and engaging authors to suit ANY reader's taste. Click on the green tab on my homepage titled "THE LATEST IN YA READING" and you will find some helpful website suggestions for young adult books that may interest your son/daughter.

Thoughts on encouraging discussion and critical thinking at home:
As a parent,  you may find yourself on the receiving end of some grunts and curt YES or NO responses to what you thought were some pretty logical questions. Don't give up! 


As you are well aware by now, teenagers tend to be preoccupied, and sometimes answer us without ever hearing what we've asked. As often as possible, even if it's simply in the car between school and practices, engage your child in discussions without a cell phone or iPad within reaching distance of your teen. Easier said than done sometimes! However, he or she will tend to elaborate more without the anticipation of that next text that will inevitably intrude.


In addition, try to avoid asking questions that only require a YES or NO answer. Prompt your child to expand/support ideas, give opinions, and express himself/herself more thoughtfully. These are real world skills that will transfer easily when regularly practiced. GOOD LUCK and remain persistent! 


Young Adult Reading:


"Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, 
to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him."

~Maya Angelou

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