Summer Reading & Math

Upper School

2024 Summer Assignments
Below you will find summer assignments for a student's entering grade in the 2024-2025 school year at Colorado Academy. 

Please note: Summer reading books will not be available in the CA Bookstore.

Beginning in July, you will be able to view the Upper School fall textbook list, and you may order your fall textbooks on the MBS Direct website. If you order between July 8-14, you will receive free shipping.

NOTE: Texts for some English courses will not be listed on MBS, but instead will be available in the CA Bookstore at the start of the school year.

English

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

Math

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

World Languages

List of 19 frequently asked questions.

  • Chinese I

    Chinese I
    1. Join Ms. Wei‘s Duolingo classroom. Plan on spending at least 10 minutes a week doing the activities.   Link: www.duolingo.com/classroom/ycxfpp If you have difficulty, try this code instead: ycxfpp. If neither method works, email Julie Wei.

    2. Go to “Ni hao, China” and choose five short videos about Chinese culture. Summarize each video in three or more sentences in English.
       
  • Chinese II

    Chinese II
    1. Join Ms. Wei‘s Duolingo classroom. Plan on spending at least 10 minutes a week doing the activities.   Link:www.duolingo.com/classroom/xyxytx. If you have difficulty, try this code instead: xyxytx. If neither method works, email Julie Wei.

    2. Write about your summer (two to three paragraphs in Chinese). This writing assignment should include:
      • Weather 
      • Activities you have done
      • People you have spent time with
      • What are your thoughts about the summer break
     
  • Chinese III

    Chinese III
    1. Join Ms. Wei‘s Duolingo classroom. Plan on spending at least 10 minutes a week doing the activities.   Link: www.duolingo.com/classroom/vytgyv. If you have difficulty, try this code instead: vytgyv. If neither method works, email me at Julie Wei.

    2. Two journal entries (two paragraphs in Chinese). Pick topics from below:
      • A person you met during the summer break 
      • A new experience you had during the summer
      • A book you read
      • A show/movie you watched 
      • An exciting day from your summer
      • What hopes and plans do you have for next school year
  • Chinese IV

    Chinese IV

    Join Ms. Wei‘s Duolingo classroom. Plan on spending at least 10 minutes a week doing the activities.  Link: www.duolingo.com/classroom/qhxdfu. If you have difficulty, try this code instead: qhxdfu. If neither method works, email me at Julie Wei.
  • Chinese Cultural Studies (ASR)

    Chinese Cultural Studies ASR
    1. Watch “To Live"    
    2. Write a 2-page paper on a topic related to Chinese history or culture that you are unfamiliar with yet. You will present your research to the class at the beginning of the school year. The topic could be from a story you heard/read or something you learned from a movie, TV show, or podcast.
    Contact: Julie Wei
  • French I

    French I
    Join my Duolingo French 1 classroom:
    www.duolingo.com/classroom/qfjver

    There will be prizes for most points!
  • French II

    French II 
     
    Watch the documentary. During the first two days of class 2024/25, we will do written and oral assessments on this video. I advise you to watch this video a few days before the start of the school year.
    Le français louisianais est unique avec son héritage acadien, français et créole. Mais les jeunes francophones de l’État américain maîtrisent rarement le cadien. Survivra-t-il encore longtemps?

    Contact: Vincent Trinquesse
  • French III

    French III
    1. Join my Duolingo French 3 classroom: www.duolingo.com/classroom/wsnqqr Practice regularly, at least once a week. There will be prizes for most points!

    2. Watch the first episode of “Lupin” on Netflix. Listen in French and read the subtitles in English. Contact me if you cannot access it (Stephanie Turner). Be prepared for a quiz and discussion.

     
  • French IV

    French IV 
     
    Watch the documentary. During the first two days of class 2024/25, we will do written and oral assessments on this video. I advise you to watch this video a few days before the start of the school year.
    Au Manitoba (Canada), comme dans d'autres provinces en milieu minoritaire, on encourage les jeunes à parler français. « Parle-la bien, parle-la un peu croche, mais parle-la, ta langue. »
    Or, à Winnipeg, certains jeunes francophones peinent parfois à parler et à écrire en français une fois à l’université, et cela, même après avoir fait leur parcours scolaire en français. Pour comprendre à quels défis le système scolaire doit faire face en milieu minoritaire, on a suivi Cloé Langevin, une étudiante en première année à l’Université de Saint-Boniface à Winnipeg.

    Contact: Vincent Trinquesse
  • French Topics

    French Topics
    Join my Duolingo French Topics Classroom : www.duolingo.com/classroom/awkxwu Practice regularly, at least once a week. There will be prizes for most points!
    1. Watch the first episode of “Vortex” on Netflix. Listen in French and read the subtitles in English; then try listening in French AND reading subtitles in French! Contact me if you cannot access it (Stephanie Turner). Be prepared for a quiz and discussion.
  • AP French

    AP French
    Watch the documentary. During the first two days of class 2024/25, we will do written and oral assessments on this video. I advise you to watch this video a few days before the start of the school year.
    -Thé ou café ? Viande ou poisson ? Chaque jour, notre alimentation nous fait prendre 200 décisions. Les humains aiment varier les plaisirs et aucune espèce ne se préoccupe autant de ses repas quotidiens. Et le comble est que nous choisissons souvent des aliments qui ne sont pas du tout bons pour la santé. Y a-t-il moyen de faire les choses plus simplement ou mieux ?

    Contact: Vincent Trinquesse
  • Spanish I

    Spanish I

    Memorize the words and phrases included in this Quizlet set, including listening to the pronunciation. You will need to know them for the first day of class.
    Contact Lisa Todd with questions.
  • Spanish II

    Spanish II required reading:
     
    Purchase the book by Mira Canion, Agentes secretos y el mural de Picasso
     
    Instructions:
    • Read through chapter 7; Use the glossary in the back to look up anything you don’t understand.
    • Write down the names of all of the main characters, and add descriptions in Spanish.
    • For each chapter, write a 1-2 sentence summary in Spanish using the present tense.
    For questions regarding summer assignments, please contact David Colodny or Madison Slater.
  • Spanish III

    Spanish III

    Use this document to read the article and answer the questions (follow the instructions carefully). You can print the paper out and write your answers down, or you can write them on a separate piece of paper. 

    Contact Jane Kelly, Valerie Maté-Hunt or Lisa Todd with questions.
  • Spanish IV

    Spanish IV

    Use this document to read the (3) articles and answer the questions (follow the instructions carefully). You can print the paper out and write your answers down, or you can write them on a separate piece of paper.

    Contact Madison Slater with questions.
  • Spanish Topics

    Spanish Topics
    Spanish Topics students, please follow the instructions you will receive via email in mid-July.
     
    Please contact David Colodny with any questions.
  • Spanish Heritage Speaker Class

    1.  Visit the webpage for BBC Mundo in the link below: http://www.bbc.com/mundo
    2. Look at the headlines on the main page for each Monday of the last 3 weeks before the start of classes. Take note on just the main headlines. The click on the link for “América Latina” and take note of the main headlines. Do you notice any overlap?
    3. Select one of the news stories from the "América Latina” link that most interested you regarding politics, economy or culture. Research the story further, and create a PowerPoint presentation in which you will cover the following points:
      A. The event (what happened)
      B. Background (what led to this particular event? How does it fit into the country’s current situation?)
      C. Consequences or repercussions of the event (Does this event cause a change or shift in the life of that nation? Who is affected by this event?).
    Please include a map of the country in which the event took place and images related to the story in your presentation. The first day of class you will be sharing your work with your classmates and you will hand in the notes you took during the 3 Mondays you followed the news on the BBC website.
    Contact: Valerie Maté-Hunt
  • AP Spanish - Language and Culture

    AP Spanish Language

    Summer Reading assignment (2 parts):
     
    1)   Read the following message from your teacher and provide a detailed, formal response. Be sure to respond to all of the questions.
     
    De: Profesora Jane Kelly 
     
    Asunto: Tu curso de AP lengua
     
    Estimado/a estudiante de español:
     
    Recibes este mensaje porque pronto estarás empezando el curso de AP Español Lengua y Cultura y es esencial que comprendas los objetivos del curso. Pero primero, nos gustaría que nos dieras un poco de información sobre ti. Sabemos que tienes interés en continuar tu estudio del idioma. ¿Podrías explicar por qué piensas que es importante aprender otro idioma? ¿Por qué has elegido español? ¿Cómo ha sido tu preparación académica en español? Nos interesa escuchar las opiniones de nuestros estudiantes acerca de estos temas.  
     
    En este curso haremos muchas actividades para mejorar tu fluidez en español, desarrollar tu capacidad de comunicar tus ideas y ampliar tu conocimiento de las culturas de habla española. ¿Hay alguna habilidad comunicativa en particular en la que querrás enfocarte más? ¿Cuáles son algunos temas culturales que te interesaría explorar?  
     
    Para hacerte llegar más fácilmente el contenido del curso, uno de los recursos que utilizaremos será en línea, un sitio de internet donde puedes encontrar ejercicios y oportunidades para trabajar y compartir con tus compañeros de clase. ¿Cuál es tu opinión sobre el uso de tecnología en las escuelas?
     
    Estamos a la espera de tu respuesta el primer día de clases. Gracias por tu interés en este curso.
     
    Te saludo atentamente,
     
    Sra. Kelly
    Profesora de AP Español Lengua y Cultura
     
    2)      Choose a global theme (e.g., the environment, education, the economy, immigration, healthcare, technology, contemporary life, national identity, the arts, etc.). Look for and read two current articles (in Spanish) about this theme in the Spanish-speaking world. Write a paragraph about what you find, answering the question: ¿Qué papel tiene este tema global en el mundo hispanohablante? Be sure to include links to your sources.

    If you have questions, contact Jane Kelly.
  • 20th Century Hispanic Literature (ASR)

    20th Century Hispanic Literature ASR 
    Students will receive an email from their instructor in mid-July with their summer assignment. 
    Contact for questions: Valerie Maté-Hunt.

Computer Science

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • AP Computer Science A

    Summer Assignment:
    Students who are moving straight from Intro to Computer Science to AP Computer Science A, without taking CS Principles in between, are required to complete a summer assignment to bridge the gap.

    We also believe that students who have completed Computer Science Principles would find the assignment to be a useful review of coding concepts. The assignment will review and/or introduce strings, while loops, nested loops, arrays, functions vs. methods, and return statements in Java.

    Students will receive the work by email on August 1, and the assignment will be due before class meets.

Science

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • AP Physics 1

    We expect students to complete a summer assignment designed to reinforce mathematics skills necessary for success in AP Physics 1.  Topics include algebraic manipulation and right triangle trigonometry. The AP Physics 1 teachers will provide opportunities for students to meet over Zoom throughout the summer to support this effort. Students will receive the work by email on August 1. The assignment will be due before class meets.
  • AP Physics C

    We expect students who are co-enrolled in a first-year calculus course to complete a summer assignment to learn basic calculus skills necessary for calculus-based physics topics.  We also believe that students who have completed one year of calculus would find the assignment  a useful review and preview of calculus-based physics. The assignment will include introductory-level differential and integral calculus, with a focus on how these apply in a physics context. We will provide opportunities for students to meet with their teachers over the summer to support this effort.  Students will receive the work by email on August 1. The assignment will be due before class meets.
  • Advanced Biology: Genetics

    Students taking Genetics this upcoming fall will be required to do a small amount of work in preparation for the pace of the course.  In early August, Genetics students should expect an email from Dr. Procise describing the work they should complete before the first day of class.  This work will include some short reading and about 30 minutes of watching educational videos.
  • AP Chemistry

    AP Chemistry students will have an assignment due on the first day of school, which they can access in Webassign, an online program. Expect an email from Lisa Boes at the beginning of August with the assignment and instructions.

Social Studies

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • Global Perspectives (Grade 9)

    Global Perspectives in the 21st Century - 2024
    Summer Reading: A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

    Guiding Questions:
    1. Who is the author of this book? Does he have the expertise to accurately approach such an ambitious project?
    2. What sources does the author reference in this work? Is his source base reliable?
    3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the book's methodology (the way the author decided to approach writing a history of the world)? What does his approach potentially leave out?
    4. Socially, how did the referenced drinks bring communities together? How did they divide them? As you are reading, consider what processes connected the world and what processes have led to local and regional division.
    5. In what ways has climate and geography shaped the broader development of the world?
    6. Based on your reading, what are three turning points in human history? What served as the catalysts for these changes?
    7. As an American, you are likely most familiar with the history and society of the United States. Was the author's portrayal of the United States fair, and do you agree with his suggestion that Coca-Cola represents the "embodiment of America and its values?"
    8. What is the likely next phase of human development, and what drink might come to embody that shift (do you agree with the author's suggestion in the epilogue)?
  • United States History (Grade 10)

    United States History - 2024
    Summer Reading: A collection of primary documents from a variety of 17th and 18th century sources. Download the documents, read, and follow the directions.
  • Economics in Theory and Practice (ASR I)

    Summer Reading: A collection of excerpts from different books. Follow link to Google folder to access the excerpts.
     
    Welcome to the 2024-25 ASR Class, "Economics in Theory and Practice." To get you thinking during the summer, and to get us some foundational understanding in common so we can hit the ground running in August, please read the documents in this folder carefully. Don’t just do it while watching TV or engaged in something else that requires your attention. I suggest printing them out and reading each over the course of a few days or a week. Annotate as you read. And since you will be starting the year writing summaries, analyses, and responses to these, it would benefit you to write out some response to each reading … if for no other reason than to keep them straight in your mind.

    I suggest that you go the following order:
    1. Tim Harford, Undercover Economist, Chapter 1. This excerpt aims to introduce you to some of the fundamentals of economic thought as they relate to modern life. It specifically looks at how certain products are valued based on the concept of scarcity.
    2. Todd G. Buchholz, New Ideas from Dead Economists, Chapter 2. This excerpt looks at how many of the principles first written about in depth by the so-called founder of economics, Adam Smith, are still fundamental to how we think about economics and economic policy today.
    3. Steven G. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics, Chapter 1. This section introduces you to the concept of behavioral economics – kind of a mashup of psychology and statistical analysis that doesn’t always have to do with “the economy,” as we typically think of it.
    4. Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens, Chapter 10. This book is an excellent study of how modern human systems evolved. I highly recommend the whole book. Here, you are reading about the earliest types of money and how groups of people collectively choose to believe that certain tokens have value.
    5. George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Schiller, Animal Spirits, Chapter 6. This chapter poses the question, “Why do economies fall into recession?” The authors examine why people’s choices lead to changes in what is known as the business cycle – the shifts between booms (growing economy and low unemployment) and busts (shrinking economy and high unemployment) and back to booms at the national level. To do so, the section covers the U.S. during the 1890s and 1920s-30s.
    6. Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus, Chapter 6. This book is written by the same author as Sapiens. Here, he examines the structures in which we live today and how people are trying to shape them in the future. This chapter, entitled “The Modern Covenant,” is focused on the modern economy, including its promises, its benefits, and its difficult problems.
  • The History of Ideas and Inventions (ASR I)

    All students are required to read The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore.
  • International Gender Movements (ASR II)

    International Gender Movements (ASR II) Summer Reading:
    Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, Ed. Wade and Ferree (W.W. Norton 2022) THIRD EDITION ISBN: 978-0393892864 

    Instructions:
    Please read and annotate / take notes on Ch 1 “Ideas”; Ch 2 “Bodies”; Ch. 3 “Performance”; and Ch. 4 “Intersections.” 

    Keep a running notes document of vocabulary and concepts. Make note of what surprises you, what resonates with you, and what you disagree with. Note also what questions or ideas you have based on this reading. 

    I advise that you start your reading near the end of the summer so that it is fresh in your mind, but pace yourself! This is too much to read in one or two sittings.

    We will read the remaining chapters of this book in the first few weeks of the course. Please bring the book and your notes with you on the first day of class.

    The book can be purchased from the W.W. Norton website in hard copy or as an e-book at this link: https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393892864

    It can also be purchased in hard copy or as an e-book on Amazon.com. Please make sure you are purchasing the THIRD EDITION, published in 2022.
  • Competitive Debate

    Summer Reading: A Collection of Essays & a Podcast. Please follow the directions and read/listen to the six items contained in the linked document.
  • Economics and Finance

    Summer Reading: Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing, Jacob Goldstein 
    Guiding Questions for Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing, by Jacob Goldstein. Consider these questions as you read. You do not need to turn in written answers on day one. Rather, focus your understanding of the text around these big questions.

    How did money come into existence? Why does Goldstein call it a fiction?

    What have been the benefits and drawbacks of certain types of money, in different times and places?

    How has money evolved and shaped the financial systems that make use of it? What role does technology play in these evolutions? How do these systems affect people both positively and negatively?
  • Immigrants in American History and Life

    Summer Reading: Major Problems in American Immigration History: Documents and Essays, 2nd Ed. edited by Mae Ngai and Jon Gjerde. Note: the photo on the Amazon link is of a Physics book, but the description is correct.

    Assignment: In your course reader, Major Problems in American Immigration History, edited by Mae Ngai and Jon Gjerde, read the following selections:
    • Chapter 2: “Settlers, Servants, and Slaves in Early America”: pgs. 36-54. This section includes primary source documents of immigrants who arrived in colonial America in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. 
    • Alison Games, “Adaptation and Survival in the New World” also from Chapter 2, pgs. 65-71. This is a secondary source essay by historian Alison Games that examines the various factors that inhibited or promoted successful migrations to the colonies. 
    While you read, annotate or take notes on the following questions. You should be able to specifically reference the sources when we discuss these questions on the first day of class. 
    • What economic, social, political, and religious factors motivated or forced migrants to come to colonial America? Identify quotes from the sources as evidence. 
    • How did race, class, and religion impact immigration patterns and experiences in the New World? Identify quotes from the sources as evidence.
    • To what extent could migrants reproduce European or African cultures overseas? How did migrants improvise and adapt characteristics of their old cultures to fit their new settings and new neighbors? **for this question, you are looking specifically at Games’ argument in “Adaptation and Survival in the New World.”
  • International Relations

    Summer Reading: Szablowski, Witold. Dancing bears: True stories of people nostalgic for life under tyranny. Penguin, 2018. 

    For instructions and a note from your teacher, download this file.
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