AP Environmental Science

Summer Reading & Assignment



Text: The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

Assignment: Students should take Cornell-style notes on the text as they read.  Notes should be hand-written in black or blue ink.  Each chapter of the text should be a self-contained packet of notes (i.e.- Students should have seven packets of notes aligning to the seven chapters of the book).  Instructions for taking Cornell-style notes and several resource links that further explain the note taking process are posted at the bottom of this document

Rationale: This summer assignment is designed to address two major pre-requisites for student success in AP Environmental Science; background knowledge and note-taking skills. 

  1. The Sixth Extinction is a phenomenal book that details some of the pressing environmental issues we are facing today.  The stories of extinction and conservation in this book will be referenced frequently throughout the course to contextualize environmental issues.  In addition to being a rich source of information students generally enjoy this book because it also invokes the ethos and pathos of the conservation movement in a relatable manner.
  2. Note-taking is a skill that most instructors expect students to either have knowledge of or leave it to their own personal preference.  I am not that instructor.  Cornell notes are a research-supported method of taking notes that increases student’s focus and comprehension of material. Cornell notes are required or strongly encouraged in several colleges and universities around the country including the Ivy League and most law schools.

Due Date: Notes will be due at the conclusion of the first week of school in August. The due date will be adjusted for students who add the class at the beginning of school; however, they will be due no later than the date of the first class exam.

Resources for Cornell Note Taking

  1. Notes with Examples from University of Texas Medical School

  2. Dartmouth Academic Skills Center (includes a section on Cornell Notes)

  3. Harvard Institute for Learning and Teaching Research Review

  4. Mometrix Video Guide for Taking Cornell Notes

Liles Media Center Summer Hours

 If you would like an opportunity to come in to get books, recommendations, ask questions, and take A.R. tests

  1. June 14th 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  2. June 29th 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  3. July 12th 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  4. July 27th 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
  5. August 3rd 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm 

If these dates and times do not work for you, it will be fine to take any A.R. tests on the first day of school. Books checked out during summer are due back August 11th.