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Independent Reading Project

Independent Reading Project   - Mrs. Cannada’s Health Class


This semester, you will be responsible for reading a book completely on your own. You will select and read the book, then complete a three part project with minimal in-class help from me or your peers.  These are the details about what sort of book you should read and what the project will be like.


  1. Select a book that you have never read before that deals with some sort of mental health issue.  Your book must be 200 pages or more in length.  If you are uncertain about which book to read, ask your parents, the school librarian, your friends, or me for recommendations.  Also, think about your favorite movies and select a book that seems similar to a movie you like.  If you choose to use a book for which there is also a movie, the final project MUST be based on a scene that IS NOT in the movie.
    • Title and Author DUE: _____________________


  1. Type a half page (or more) summary of the story. Include the title, author, who the main characters are, an important conflict/mental health issue they must overcome, and whether or not they overcome it.  Also, tell how you will use the information you’ve read in your project.  If you have not yet finished the book, simply state that at the end. 
    • Half Page Summary DUE: ____________________

  1. DO NOT copy/plagiarize anything from the internet, books, a friend, etc… All of the writing you include on your project must be your writing.


  1. The final piece is a project (see back for examples and details).  Include the book title and author somewhere prominent on your project. Also include your own information (name, class period, project number). 
    • Project DUE: ______________________


      The Project Rubric



(The part you physically turn in)


(The part where you analyze, explain, make connections, etc…)


(The part where you follow the rules of our language and the assignment).


Book title and author are included. It looks AMAZING!!! Final project is colorful, typed, neat, and organized. Everything that should be included is included.

Events, characters, and theme are clearly and completely represented with multiple, specific examples.  Project exemplifies complex and well-supported thinking.

Project exemplifies perfect attention to quality (sentence structure, word choice, spelling, grammar, punctuation) and quantity (length/amount of writing).


Book title and author are included. It looks good. Project is colorful, typed, neat, and organized. Everything that should be included is included.

Events, characters, and theme are represented with some specific examples. Project is proficient, showing complex thinking.

Project is proficient in quality (sentence structure, word choice, spelling, grammar, punctuation) and quantity (length/amount of writing).


ONE requirement of the project may be missing. It looks okay. Final project may not be colorful OR typed. It should still be neat and organized.

Events, characters, and theme are unspecific. More examples are needed. Project shows low-level thinking (usually summary).

Project is insufficient in quality (sentence structure, word choice, spelling, grammar, punctuation) OR quantity (length/amount of writing).


Project is incomplete. Time and effort are needed. Final project is not colorful, typed, neat, or organized.

Events, characters, and theme from the book are missing, unclear, or incomplete. Project shows limited or minimal thinking.

Project lacks quality (sentence structure, word choice, spelling, grammar, punctuation) and quantity (length/amount of writing).


Project can not be scored because requirements are not met.

The final project shows little or no overall thinking.  

Project is incoherent.





  1. CLASS PRESENTATIONOption 1:  Describe the mental issue you are focusing on, then re-enact two or three important scenes from your book that depict that mental issue.   Option 2:  Describe a character from your book and explain what mental issue they’re going through.  Use at least four concrete examples of the mental issue.  You may use a power point or poster board to present.
  1. GRAPHIC NOVEL – Make a graphic novel or comic book version of an important scene in the book. There must be at least ten pictures/frames and they must be in color.  Write a paragraph explaining the scene’s importance to the book and to the mental disorder.
  1. COMMUNITIY RESOURCES – Young Adult literature often involves sensitive issues such as suicide, drug use, violence and numerous others. Create a file of research on local community resources that would help a character in your book. Create a display board or binder for displaying your research. Then, write a paragraph explaining the character’s mental problem and how the resources you found may help him or her.
  1. DIORAMA – Create a three-dimensional scene from the book. Most students create this inside a shoe-box, although you might also consider a virtual or multi-sided diorama that shows different scenes or points of view. Also, write a paragraph describing how the events in your scene contribute to the meaning of the book you read and the mental disorder.
  1. WRITE A FOUND POEM — Using quotes from the book you read as the lines in your poem, create a brand-new piece that complements the book. Write a paragraph explaining how your poem complements the story and how the poem brings awareness to the mental disorder in the book.  (Make sure you understand the word ‘complement’… you should probably look it up).  You must have at least twenty lines.
  1. MAP OF SETTING —Create a colorful, artistic map of a setting from the book you read. Write a paragraph explaining the various locations on the map, why you chose that setting, and how the setting relates to the mental disorder or the person who has it. The map you create must differ significantly from any maps provided in the book. 
  1. COLLEGE APPLICATIONPrint and fill out an online application from a college that a character from your book would attend. Choose one of the following questions to answer in a one to two paragraph essay from the character’s point of view (if the application you printed doesn’t have an essay question included):
          1) What experience, event, or person has had a significant impact on your life?
          2) Discuss a situation where you have made a difference.
          3) Describe your areas of interest, your personality, and how they relate to why you would like to attend this college.
  1. GIFTS Select a character from the book and choose five gifts you believe that character most needs or wants. Draw or cut out pictures to represent these “gifts” and write a note (one paragraph each) to that character/person explaining of why you picked these things for him or her. In your writing be specific, and use examples from the story to support your thinking.  Be sure to choose gifts that would help a person with the mental disorder represented in the book.
  1. CURRENT EVENTSSelect five current event articles you think your character would be interested in. Then write a paragraph explaining what the character would find interesting/ useful about each of those articles and how the articles relate to the mental disorder from the book.  Make sure you include copies of the articles in your project. You can clip them from the newspaper or print them from the internet and attach them to your paragraph.