Dear Sophomore Honors Student,

Honors English courses are designed to challenge students to think critically and to sharpen writing skills and style in order to prepare students for advanced level course work as juniors and seniors in high school and college as well.

Reading practice is an essential component of intellectual development. According to Stephen Krashen, University of Southern California Professor of Linguistics and Education, the more you read, the better and quicker you get at it; the more you read, the better writer you become; people who read have a greater cultural competency, empathy, and also a greater understanding of science and social studies. All in all, reading is good for you!

In addition to all the other books you plan to read this summer, please read and annotate The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and complete the following assignments:

1) As you read, annotate the novel by making note of: 


Annotations can be done directly on the page if the book is your own or on sticky notes placed on the pages if you are using a library copy.

2) Write an essay in response the following prompt.  The essay should be typed, between 2-3 pages in length, follow MLA format (heading, header, margins, font, etc), with an original and purposeful title.  If you choose to include any outside research in your essay, include a Works Cited page (in MLA) with the necessary information.

Prompt:  The novel is full of morally ambiguous characters who make questionable choices.  Analyzing two characters, explore the relationship between morals and conflict(s) in the text.

Due: The assignment will be due on your first day of school this fall. Due to technological changeover during the summer break, we do NOT ADVISE that you use your school Google Drive or rely on its accessibility. Late work will not be excused due to technological issues.

Haddon’s novel is available at your local library and from major bookstores. You will find the rubrics for the assignment on the back of this handout. Your work on this project will determine the first grade of the semester in your Sophomore English class.  Be prepared to continue your scholarly work with with the novel during the first couple weeks of school.

If you need assistance with any of the literary texts or analysis activities, contact our department chair, Melissa Lewis (

Have a lovely summer!  We’ll see you in August.

-10 Honors English Teachers

Annotation Rubric:

Annotation Rubric: Strategies to Guide and Monitor Comprehension


Annotates text using multiple strategies to understand the meaning of the text as a whole, including:

  • Forming and adjusting inferences and predictions while reading
  • Summarizing
  • Coding for main idea, arguments, examples, etc.
  • Making schema connections (connecting the text to other texts and/or contexts)


Annotates text using multiple strategies to understand words, sentences, and passages:

  • Forming inferences and predictions
  • Summarizing
  • Coding for main idea, arguments, examples, patterns, etc.
  • Making schema connections (connecting the text to other texts and/or contexts)


Annotates text by:

  • Summarizing
  • Identifying areas of confusion
  • Asking questions
  • Making predictions


Annotates text by underlining/highlighting important information.

Essay Rubric:

Reading Literature

Language Standards


In addition to the Level 3, the essay may:

  • Formulates multiple plausible interpretations of a complex character
  • Pair characters in an unexpected way to highlight subtle or insightful elements of their characterization

Demonstrates all the level 3 skills and:

  • Uses and shows mastery of standard writing conventions in own writing
  • Crafts syntactically intricate and complex passages


In addition to Level 2 skills:

  • Analyzes how characters develop through their interactions with others
  • Explains how a character’s description, dialogue, thoughts, actions, circumstances, and reactions of others advances the plot or theme of the novel through conflict

In addition to the Level 2 skills:

  • Uses the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing
  • All quotes and paraphrasing cited accurately using MLA format


The essay:

  • Provides examples of how characters develop through their interactions with others
  • Identifies examples of how character description, dialogue, thoughts, actions, and/or circumstances connect to theme or conflict


  • Uses basic writing conventions (spelling of common words, basic capitalization rules, end punctuation, subject-verb agreement)
  • Consistently cites sources (in text citation, Works Cited page for outside resources, etc)

*Please note, you are receiving this document because you have expressed interest in the course during registration.  Please ensure you have been placed in the course before beginning.