A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Checkpoints for Progress In Reading & Writing for Families and Communities - February 1998

  Twelfth Grade Students

In their last year in high school, most students read to better understand many topics and for fun. They study literature closely and write clearly and well, using many styles. Undisplayed graphic
Your child...
* Reads widely to add to knowledge and skills, understand new ideas, and solve problems.
* Explains connections between readings and real-life situations.
* Studies and judges the worth of what he or she reads.
* Can see the strengths and weaknesses, author's position, style, believability, and artistic quality of readings.
Your child...
* Writes using well-developed ideas, details, observations, and quotations.
* Uses descriptive language, complicated sentence structure, and many ways of writing, such as dialogue and symbolism.
* Writes about the authors, characters, plots, and themes of books read.
* Edits and works with others to improve writing.

How you can help...
  • Talk about school and current events, books, articles, and TV programs during meal times, in the car, and so on.

  • Read some of the books your child is reading and talk about them together.

  • Help think of ideas to write about and offer to proofread your child's work.

  • Ask your child to read about topics of personal interest at the public library.
  • Look into college opportunities together. Help your child find out about services for special needs at college, if needed.

  • Ask and help your child to read about interesting careers and visit the workplaces of possible employers.

  • Subscribe to newspapers and high-quality magazines. Give subscriptions and books as gifts.

  • Ask your child to get involved in community and school activities and volunteer for community service.

A child who has successfully mastered these skills should be able to read and understand the following excerpts:

Tenth Grade: The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
There was nothing to alarm him at first entry. Twigs crackled under his feet, logs tripped him, funguses on stumps resembled caricatures, and startled him for the moment by their likeness to something familiar and far away; but that was all fun, and exciting. It led him on, and he penetrated to where the light was less, and trees crouched nearer and nearer, and holes made ugly mouths at him on either side.
Books to read at this level:*

Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
Animal Farm, by George Orwell
Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas

Eleventh Grade: David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
Ham was quite as earnest as he. I dare say they would have said much more about her, if they had not been abashed by the unexpected coming in of Steerforth, who, seeing me in a corner speaking with two strangers, stopped in a song he was singing, and said: "I didn't know you were here, young Copperfield!" (for it was not the usual visiting room), and crossed by us on his way out. I am not sure whether it was in the pride of having such a friend as Steerforth, or in the desire to explain to him how I came to have such a friend as Mr. Peggotty, that I called to him as he was going away. But I said, modestly -- Good Heaven, how it all comes back to me this long time afterwards! -- "Don't go, Steerforth, if you please . . ."
Books to read at this level:*

Undying Glory, by Clinton Cox
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne
The Wolfling, by Sterling North

Twelfth Grade: Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell
There were people sitting all over the stone-flagged floor, and other people, packed tightly together, were sitting on metal bunks, one above the other. Winston and his mother and father found themselves a place on the floor, and near them an old man and an old woman were sitting side by side on a bunk. The old man had on a decent dark suit and a black cloth cap pushed back from very white hair; his face was scarlet and his eyes were blue and full of tears.
Books to read at this level:*

The Trumpter of Krakow, by Eric P. Kelly
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift

*Books recommended by the American Library Association.

Ninth Grade Students  Table of Contents  Literacy Resources