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TEMS and VFMS Summer Reading 2019-2020: 5th Grade

About Summer Reading



To promote unity within our middle school reading community, students entering 5th grade are required to complete the following summer reading and assignment.

Image result for wishtree

Read the book Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. 

Trees can't tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this "wishtree" watches over the neighborhood.

You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever. 

(summary from


Check back soon for directions for an assignment you will complete after reading the book. 

Assignment to Complete While Reading

Assignment to complete while reading

While reading the book Wishtree make connections with the text to share your understanding.  All good readers make connections with other books, to themselves, and to the world around them to support their comprehension.


  • Print out the text connections bookmark. 
  • Fold the bookmark along the vertical lines that separate each connection column. 
  • Keep the bookmark inside the novel Wishtree, so when connections are made you can jot page numbers and ideas.
  • Complete this bookmark to demonstrate connections made and share.
  • Share with your reading teacher in the first week of school.

Types of Connections

Three Types of Text Connections

Text-to-Self:  This is a personal connection that readers make between a piece of reading material and their own experiences.

  • How is this book similar to my life?

        An example might be: This story reminds me of a time when we went on vacation to the amusement park.


Text-to-TextExplains a connection between this book and another book you have read.

  • How is this book like other books I have read?

        An example might be: The novel Wishtree reminds me of the book The Giving Tree because…


Text-to-World:  These observations help develop a better understanding of life. Explain a connection between the important points in this book and the world around you. 

  • What does the book remind me of the real world?
  • How is this text similar/ different to things that happen in the real world?

         An example might be: In the novel Wishtree, when they are cutting down trees it reminds me of a time I saw trees being cut down to widen the highway.

Assignment to Complete After Reading

Assignment to complete after reading

Directions:  Choose one of the following activities (1-7) to complete when you’re finished reading the summer reading book Wishtree.

Choices 1 – 4 could be done either through a Power Point with 5-8 slides OR a one-page written description in paragraph form.  Be prepared to share the Power Point using a flash drive.

  1. Research the history of wishing trees in various cultures.  How many ways can you discover that people have used wishing trees throughout history?  What is the importance of these trees for the people who bring wishes to them? 
  1. Investigate a folktale or legend in which trees are an important symbol in the plot.  Summarize the folktale/legend and connect the importance of the tree to the folktale/legend.
  1. Explore information about the red oak tree.  What qualities of this type of tree make it a good choice for this story?  How many facts about the red oak tree can you discover?  Write a paragraph about the unique characteristics of a red oak tree and where it is most likely to grow.
  1. Why does Francesca want to initially cut the tree down?  Create one list for keeping the tree and one list for cutting it down.  After creating your two lists, reviews these pros and cons and formulate your opinion explaining which side you’re on. 

Choices 5-7incorporate a variety of different activities- photography, designing a poster, and creating a new book jacket.

  1. Visit the following link -  Create your own Imagine Peace “Tree”.  Add your wishes.  Family and friends can add their wishes as well.  Take a photo of your tree to share in school.
  1. Make a “before” and “after” poster that shows what Red looks like on the first day of May and then what he looks like on the last day of May. 
  1. This book lends itself to having a sequel.  Create a book jacket for the sequel.  Be sure to add the title, a cover illustration, and a summary of this sequel on the back.