Mallard Creek Stem Academy Summer Reading for Incoming 6th and 7th Grade English and Language Arts

(Reading Questions found below)

  • Required Reading for ALL middle school students: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey – Students must complete reflections questions, which will be due the first week of school.


Required Reading for Incoming 6th grade Honor Students 

  • The Schwa Was Here by Neal Schusterman
  • Book Summary – When Anthony Antsy Bonano and his friends meet Calvin Schwa, they are impressed and puzzled by his ability to appear and disappear before their very eyes. Antsy concocts a moneymaking scheme based on the Schwa's invisibility that seems promising until he and his friends overreach and are caught by the town's legendary mean millionaire, Mr. Crawley. Their resulting community service project--walking the 7 virtues and 7 vices (Crawley's 14 afghan hounds) and going out with Crawley's granddaughter Lexie--cements and ultimately challenges friendships. Schwa is an average kid who hangs on the periphery of the crowd and longs to be noticed and included, not simply ignored. 


 Required Reading for Incoming 7th grade Honor Students 

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by  Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda

Book Summary – When Caitlin picked Zimbabwe for her school pen pal program, she had no idea how it would impact her life. Twelve-year-old Caitlin lived in the Pennsylvania suburbs. Martin Ganda lived in the slums of Zimbabwe. A series of handwritten letters connected their unlikely friendship. 



7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens Summer Reading Questions

This summer all rising 6th and 7th graders will read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. It is based upon the famous Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, adapted for teenagers, and helps them to get the most of out their talents and abilities by providing a cohesive framework around which to live one’s life. I think that you will find it very interesting, relevant, and thought-provoking, and I encourage you to take your reading of The Seven Habits seriously.

As part of your reading, you will need to answer the following questions in writing. These questions and answers will be due the 2nd week of school:

Get in the Habit

1. What are habits?

2. What are the 7 Habits of Highly Defective Teens?

Paradigms and Principles

3. What’s a “paradigm?”

4. What are YOUR paradigms of yourself?

5. What are the positive ones, and what are the negative ones?

6. What’s a “paradigm shift?”

7. What is a “principle-centered” paradigm of life?

8. What are some of the principles of life which are important to YOU?

The Personal Bank Account

9. What do you think is meant by the term “private victory?”

10. What’s a “personal bank account?”

11. How do you make deposits into it? Withdrawals?

12. What’s a talent that you would like to develop? How will you get there?

Habit 1: Be Proactive

13. What’s the difference between a “proactive” person and a “reactive” one?

14. Who has the power in YOUR life?

15. What’s the one thing you can control? What is this called, and why is it so important?

16. What are the two basic components of being a proactive person? Over the next week, find some ways to be proactive. What did you do?

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

17. What does the title of this chapter mean to you?

18. Visualize yourself in one year – what do you want to have accomplished? Who do you want to be? What characteristics do you want to have?

19. How do you want to feel about yourself?

Habit 3: Put First Things First

20. What is meant by putting “first things first?”

 21. Look at the 4-Quadrant chart on p. 107. Create a chart for yourself – where do you spend most of YOUR time? Why is getting into the habit of using a planner so important?

22. What’s the difference between one’s “comfort zone” vs. one’s “courage zone?”

23. What are some of the things that winners do?

The Relationship Bank Account

24. What is a “relationship bank account?”

25. What are ways to make deposits into a RBA? Withdrawals?

Habit 4: Think “Win-Win”

26. What’s the difference between “win-lose,” “lose-win,” “lose-lose,” and “win-win?”

27. What causes the death of “win-win?” Why is “win-win” so effective?

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

28. What is the deepest need that humans have?

29. What are the Five Poor Listening styles? Which one(s) are YOU guilty of at times?

30. What is “genuine listening,” and how does one practice it?

Habit 6: Synergize What is “synergy?”

31. What are some examples you can think of?

32. What’s the difference between “the shunner,” “the tolerator,” and “the celebrator?”

33. How do differences and diversity make synergy easier to occur?

34. What is the “high way” and why is it so wonderful?

35. What are the 5 steps to the “Synergy Action Plan?”

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

36. What does “sharpen the saw” mean, and why is it so important?

37. What are the 4 parts of your saw that need regular sharpening?

38. What are some ways you care for YOUR body? What are YOUR barriers/challenges in this area?

39. What are some ways you care for YOUR brain? What are YOUR barriers/challenges in this area?

40. What are some ways you care for YOUR heart? What are YOUR barriers/challenges in this area?

 41. What are some ways you care for YOUR soul? What are YOUR barriers/challenges in this area?