Summer Assignments for Incoming 6th Graders-2019

May 24, 2019

Dear Parents and 2019-2020 6th Graders,

Welcome to Marie Murphy! The sixth-grade team is looking forward to a wonderful school year. To start off sixth grade on the right foot, we are assigning two readings for the summer.

The first book is an assignment for Social Studies. Students will receive a copy of Dar and the Spear-Thrower by Marjorie Cowley, on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at the Avoca West “Meet the Team Day”. Cowley’s book describes life during the prehistoric “Hunting and Gathering” period, our first unit of study in Social Studies. The book follows the life of 13-year-old Dar as he helps his group survive while also trying to determine his role in society. We ask that sixth graders spend some quality time reading Dar and the Spear-Thrower and completing a one-page summary on the main character’s (Dar’s) struggles and accomplishments. The summary should be typed (12-point font, one inch margin). We ask parents to please review the summary for completeness, word choice, correct grammar and spelling. The printed summary is due to Mr. Cook on the first full day of school, Wednesday, August 28th.   

The second requirement is for English. All sixth graders should read one book from the 2020 Rebecca Caudill list. (The Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award is awarded to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades 4-8 in Illinois.) Students should read one of the twenty books recommended on the Caudill 2020 list before the first full day of school.  Sixth graders will take a Reading Counts quiz during the first week of school on the Caudill book they read. Since they will take a quiz on the book, it is best for them to read the book towards the end of the summer so that it is fresh in their mind. A copy of the 2020 Rebecca Caudill list can be found on the back of this page, on the Marie Murphy website or at  A list with detailed descriptions of the book can be found on our website (on the 6th-grade team page) or at

If you have any questions, please let us know.  We look forward to a very successful 2019-2020 school year.  


Peter Ogden                            Gail Brown   Bruce Cook

6th Grade Team Leader            6th Grade English           6th Grade Social Studies

Carrie Stotz Jennifer Rachmiel   Jessica Bodzewski Library Media Specialist 6th Grade Math            6th Grade Resource