Merrol Hyde Magnet School


Rising 8th Graders:

Click to view the 8th Grade Summer Reading Assignment

Incoming Freshmen

Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is generally considered to be one of the finest mysteries ever published. 

“The whole thing is utterly impossible and utterly fascinating. It is the most baffling mystery Agatha Christie has ever written.” — New York Times
“One of the most ingenious thrillers in many a day.” — Time magazine

Since there are at least 10 characters, you may find it helpful to keep track of the many different characters and their personalities.  You may want to complete the chart as you read.  THIS IS OPTIONAL AND WILL NOT BE GRADED.

You do have a project to complete. Please bring this on the first day of class (August for first semester students, January for second semester students).  Be aware that we will spend the first week of class on this book, and you will take a test on it as well.  Be sure to read all the way to the end of the book, including the Manuscript and Epilogue! Choose ONE of the following projects to complete, and be sure to complete all requirements.


1. Cast a movie

You are in charge of casting the newest movie version of And Then There Were None.  You will research present day celebrities and decide who to cast in each role of the movie.  Create a power point or Prezi presentation which includes a title slide and a slide for each of the following characters:

  •  Anthony Marston
  •  Vera Claythorne
  •  Emily Brent
  •  Justice Wargrave
  •  Philip Lombard
  •  General MacArthur
  •  Ethel Rogers
  •  Thomas Rogers
  •  William Henry Blore
  •  Dr.  Armstrong
  •  A single slide for all of the minor characters of Fred Narracott, Thomas Legg, Inspector Maine, and Isaac Morris

Each slide should include a picture of the actor or actress you have chosen, multiple reasons why this actor or actress is a good match, as well as a detailed description of each character in the book.

 2.  Create a board game

This project includes the board, necessary playing pieces, and rules.  The game should include elements from the novel, such as overall theme, characters, location, or methods of death.  Include the following:

  •  Board on posterboard or cardboard
  •  Easy-to-understand rules in writing
  •  Pieces
  •  A written explanation:  purpose of game, link between the novel and the game, symbolism (if any) of the pieces


3.      Create a movie trailer

Film a 2 to 3 minute movie trailer advertising the book.  Be creative- you may edit previous film footage or get a few friends together over the summer to act in your movie trailer. Include a voice-over announcer with the plot summary and timeline of when the movie will hit theaters.

4.      Draw a map

This project requires you to draw a map of the island

  •         Includes a detailed cutaway of the house and/or floorplan
  •         Shows the location of each death (include the character and the method of death)
  •         Should be in color
  •         Includes topographical details and/or a key
  •         On ½ of posterboard or larger

 5.      Write a diary for one of the characters

Make or buy a journal that is representative of the character of your choice.  You will need to write a minimum of 5 page-length entries from that character’s point of view. (If your journal is small, write the equivalent of 5 notebook paper size page-length entries.)

  •         Must be in correct diction (words that the character would use)
  •         Have correct grammar (unless that character is uneducated)
  •         Elaborate or give additional background information about that character’s history or secret
  •         You may add what Christie may have omitted, but you must stay true to storyline (if you deviate greatly, you need to include a written explanation which justifies your alteration)
  •         Includes references to the text in each entry

·         Shows insight into the character

Rising 10th Graders  

In Defense of Sanity – G.K. Chesterton 

Teacher’s Note:  This is a book of essays, and I will wager you have never read anything like this before.  That is EXACTLY why I assign these essays as summer reading.  Well, it’s one reason.  The other is that you only have to read 10 of the essays. 


“In his essays, Chesterton can move from what seems to be the ridiculous to what is unmistakably the sublime in just a few paragraphs.” 

“He is a teacher who paints with words.  Each of his essays is both a lesson and a work of art.” 

In this compilation of essays, Chesterton covers a wide range of topics from cheese, to drawing on the ceiling with chalk, to Shakespeare’s personhood.  For each essay, record ONE quote that speaks to you, or makes you think about something in a deeper way. Everyone does this for ALL 10 essays. You should have 10 neatly typed quotes, numbered, and titled with the essay from which they came.  Please include the page number after the quote if using a print version of the book or an e-version with page numbers. Finally, you will analyze ONE essay in a four-paragraph response (See the alphabetical listing below for your assigned essay) Your response should include the following: 


  • An introductory paragraph that offers a short (5-6 sentence) summary of the essay.
  • A clear analysis of what Chesterton is saying in the essay – show your understanding of his overall points and how he constructs his argument. (Your thesis should introduce your analysis paragraphs.)
  • In your analysis paragraphs (two), convey some particularly compelling language he uses to express his points - this is quoted text evidence! 

Think about it this way as you read:  Chesterton generally tells a concrete story with a straightforward message, while also making a grander point about life often with an artistic, cultural, or spiritual message. Work to identify both and consider in your final paragraph how these two messages “work together.” 

Essays Assigned by the FIRST letter of your LAST NAME. 

A-B: “On Running After One’s Hat”

H-J: “A Romantic in the Rain”

O-Q: A Defense of Skeletons”

C-D: “A Piece of Chalk”

K-L: “The 12 Men”

R-S: “The Slavery of Free Verse”

E-G: “On Lying in Bed”

M-N: “The Shop of Ghosts”

T-V: “Cheese

W-Z: “On Shakespeare” 

  10th Grade Summer Reading Assignment Rubric: 

10 points for the quotes.

90 points for the essay.

Essay Rubric:

Development: 40 points

  • An interesting introductory paragraph that summarizes the essay, but ends in a clear analysis thesis statement about Chesterton’s essay 
  • Main points from above are stated clearly in each body paragraph with evidence from the essay to support analysis. Include your own ideas about the text in a  conclusion that refers back to your thesis and makes a broader point about how Chesterton ties together his “literal” story with his “bigger picture message.” 

Organization: 30 points

  • Your essay has a title 
  • Your thesis is specific and analysis based. 
  • Each body paragraph begins with a main idea or topic sentence that introduces a particular aspect of Chesterton’s essay.  
  • Transition words are artfully used to connect ideas 
  • Your essay is organized in a meaningful way that follows the guidelines.

Style: 20 points  

  • Grammar and spelling are correct 
  • Word choice is formal, specific, and at grade level, not vague or “slang.”  
  • You’ve mirrored some of Chesterton’s word choices, but also included your own. 
  • Your writing is concise. 

TOTAL POINTS:  100 Due Date: Your first day of Eng. II Honors class

11th Grade Honors English Summer Reading Assignment 2021

Mrs. Huff and Mrs. Williamson

 Read ONE of the following memoirs this summer: 

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (contains strong language)  

Educated by Tara Westover

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah             


As you read, keep the following assignment in mind:

Directions:  Create a Google Slide presentation that analyzes how one of the following topics is developed in the autobiography. Make sure your analysis

  • Conveys the author’s central message about the topic: in other words, if the author had to write a specific one sentence thesis about the topic as it pertained to his or her life experience, what would he/she say? 
  • Conveys the evidence from the text that led to your analysis.
  • Uses a short video (found or created) that helps convey that central message about the topic
  • Includes images about the topic as it relates to the author. 
  • Includes a conclusive summary statement that answers the “So What?” -- in other words, “What is the big deal?”  Why did the author want you to know this about his or her life? In what way could YOU or anyone else apply the lesson the author may have been trying to teach? 



  1. Grit --  to be confident in who you are, knowing that within you is the strength to face life’s challenges.
  2. Family ties -- a bond or connection between two or more family  members; an obligation to one's family.
  3. Opportunity -- a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.


Project Goal: Follow the rubric and use your personal creativity to create a fantastic presentation which analyzes how your topic (grit, family ties, or opportunity) is developed. 

Summer Reading Presentation Criteria  


  • Between 5-10 slides
  • Contains pictures as well as text
  • Contains 1 video
  • Shows creativity
  • Is visually pleasing and engaging
  • Is free of grammatical errors

__________ of 20 points


  • Speaker is clearly heard
  • Speaker does not read slides, but adds additional analysis not on slide
  • Speaker does not rush or stumble over words
  • Speaker has obviously practiced

__________ of 10 points


  • Includes a statement of the author’s central message on the topic
  • Provides specific evidence from the book, including but not limited to quotes
  • Has insightful analysis
  • Effectively shows how the topic is developed
  • Concludes with a personal, real-life application
  • Is obvious that student has carefully read book
  • Does not simply summarize the book

__________ of 45 points

Total Score: 

________ of 75 points

Shared Vision

Merrol Hyde Magnet School is committed to excellence in K-12 education by utilizing the Paideia philosophy of educating the whole child - body, mind, and spirit - while encouraging and nurturing a life long love of learning.

Merrol Hyde Magnet is an academic magnet school with an emphasis in foreign language.  Rigor and challenge at an accelerated pace are expected and embedded in our curriculum.