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Summer Reading Guide

English I Honors Summer Reading Assignment

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To participate in English I Honors at Cuero High School, students must read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury during the summer and pass the test that will be given during the second week of school. This test will be included in the first-six week’s grade as a summative grade.


Students will be expected to use Post-Its or a journal to take notes as they read. They should pay particular attention to character development, themes, plot development, and literary techniques such as symbolism and foreshadowing.  The Post-Its or journal may be used for review prior to the test and these notes will also be used to answer one or more essay questions and participate in a Socratic seminar.


These notes should be original.  DO NOT use Spark Notes, Cliffs Notes, etc., for these notes. Please DO NOT rely on movie versions of this novel, as these films lack key details, scenes, and sometimes even characters from the book.


Summer Reading Projects

In addition, students will be expected to choose one of the following projects to complete.

The finished project is due on the first Friday of the new school year. It will be counted as a major test grade.


Project Options

Cartoon Project – Create a framed cartoon or comic strip that includes all of the major scenes from Fahrenheit 451.

  • You may use any size paper, but each frame should be clearly boxed out.  Be sure to leave room for captions.
  • Include 2-3 important scenes.  You should have at least 16 frames. 
  • The pictures may be in either black and white or in color, but may not be done in pencil.  Again, your project must be final draft quality, and pencil suggests an unfinished draft.
  • The captions below the frames should give readers a brief explanation of what is happening, and the dialogue should sound similar to what is said in the novel.


Front Page Project – You will publish the first page of a newspaper that exists in Montag’s society.

  • You may use ledger, legal, or tabloid paper for this project.  It would be a good idea to use the Publisher program if you are familiar with it.
  • The newspaper may exist in the mainstream society of 451, or may be an underground publication.
  • All articles must be typed and placed in column design.
  • You must also include the following elements:

                                     ·  Masthead (paper’s name, date, address, volume, issue, and cost)

                                     ·  Column design for text and photos

·  Banner headline (large headline of main story across all or most of the columns)

·  Main story (taken from anything that has been mentioned or has happened in the book) that completely fills the space you’ve given it in the layout.  It must be the dominant piece on the layout. 

·  Photos or drawings that accompany the main story and have captions explaining what is in the picture.

  • You may also add the following for visual appeal and realism (and extra credit!):

                                                ·  Sidebar stories (see any local newspaper to find a one-column story design)

                                                ·  Teasers about what else might be in the paper

                                                ·  Opinion piece or praise boxes

                                                ·  Ad boxes


Poetry Project – You will compose a poem that encompasses the major action and themes of Fahrenheit 451.

  • This poem will be epic in scale and must include all major action from the novel.  Each section of reading should make up an entire 8-line stanza. 
  • While a rhyme scheme is not required, it is encouraged.  However, do not stretch for a rhyme.
  • The poem should be presented on an illustrated poster board.  The illustrations should represent major themes or images from the novel.


Alternate Ending: Re-write the ending to Fahrenheit 451 or write a new chapter.  Many readers are disappointed that Clarisse does not reappear at the end, or that we never know exactly what happens to Faber, or Montag, for that matter.  While writing, you must consider how the characters would actually act and what they would actually say and do based on our knowledge of them.  For some ideas (Bradbury himself has questioned the ending and has been tempted to change it) see the Afterword. Your piece should clearly reflect your understanding of the themes and characters in the novel (in other words, don’t go completely off track and imagine Montag ending up in an ice crystal on Mars).



For extra updates, along with information on how to take notes, please join Ms. Stolle’s Remind account for incoming students by texting @hellocuero to the number 81010. You may also use this number to ask any questions you might have. I look forward to seeing you next year!


For Incoming Honors students, please use the following link to sign up for updates on summer reading and annotation strategies: