Text Options for the Visually Impaired Font Size: a- A+ Color: A A A Revert 
Close vision bar
Open vision bar

8th Grade Honors Language Arts Summer Assignment

Eighth Grade Honors Language Arts Summer Assignment 2013

Read the novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne and complete the journal reflections as you read. Each reflection is designed to help you reflect about a specific section of the novel. Please stop and write your reflections as you read. Attempting to first read the entire novel and then go back and write the journal reflections will be difficult. Journal reflections may be typed or NEATLY handwritten in ink or pencil. There is no set length for each reflection but each reflection will need to fully answer each question and be supported by evidence from the text.

Journal reflections will be assessed for content, analysis and grammar and writing conventions.  Targets for each reflection are listed above that reflection.  Writing and language targets will include:

  • I can produce clear, coherent writing in which development, organization and style are appropriate to the task. (W 8.4)
  • I can draw evidence from a text to support my analysis and reflection (W 8.9)
  • I can demonstrate command of standard English grammar. (L 8.1)
  • I can demonstrate command of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. (L 8.2)

 You will also take a test over the novel after we have completed our class discussion. Targets for the test will be addressed during class discussion. Both the journal reflections and the test will be major assignments in the first nine weeks.

Journal Reflection One: Citing Evidence of the Setting (pages 1-38)

I can cite evidence that strongly supports an analysis of what the text says. (RL 8.1)

  • Compare the setting (time and place) of chapter 1 to that of chapters 2 and 3.  How are they alike?  Different?  Consider using a graphic organizer or labeled illustrations as an alternative to written paragraphs (although paragraphs are acceptable as well).
  • Why do you think the author chose to begin the book with one setting and then move to another?  What is the effect of this technique?

Journal Reflection Two: Character Analysis (pages 39-66)

I can analyze the effect of the differences in the point of view or a character and the reader. (RL 8.6)

  • Choose one of the characters in the novel to this point.  In one word, describe this character. Support this assertion with four pieces of evidence from the text (what he/she says, does, thinks or what others say about him/her).



Journal Reflection Three:  Dialectical Journal (pages 67-125)

I can analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story develop the plot and/or give information about a character. (RL 8.3)

For this section, create a dialectical (double-entry) journal.  This means you should keep a list of quotes along with page numbers that speak to you in some way (unexpected, confusing, important, etc.) along the left-hand side of your journal page. Quotes are anything you read, not just dialogue (what the characters say).  Along the right-hand side, write your reactions/thoughts about these lines.  You should have 3-5 well-thought out entries in this section.

Journal Reflection Four:  Inferences (pages 126-175)

I can cite evidence that strongly supports my inferences in a text. (RL 8.1)

In this section of the novel, Bruno is for the first time introduced to the violence surrounding him, first concerning Pavel and then Shmuel. In both cases, the author does not directly state what happens.

  • Describe what you believe happened to both characters.  Support your answer with evidence from the text.

Journal Reflection Five:  Theme (pages 176-end)

I can determine the theme of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text using details from characters, setting and plot. (RL 8.2)

Boyle ends the novel with these words:

“And that’s the end of the story about Bruno and his family.  Of course all this happened a long time ago and nothing like that could ever happen again.

Not in this day and age.”

  • Do you agree with Boyle’s statement at the end of this novel?  Why or why not?
  • Why do you think Boyle chose to end the novel this way?
  • How do you think this quote relates to the theme of this novel?  Why?

If you have questions, please email me at melissa.smith@scott.kyschools.us.  I check my email regularly over the summer and will answer questions as soon as I can.

Back to School News      Print News Article