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 Web-Based Thematic Unit:
Island of the Blue Dolphins - Teacher Resources 

This web-based thematic unit has a wide range of activities for grades 4-6. On this page you'll find an overview of the unit as well as lesson outlines and links to student activities.

Establishing the Learning Environment

Create an island feeling for your classroom. Include seashells, sand, and other coastal pictures and artifacts in your display.

Create a display of Scott O'Dell books. Include a photograph of the author.

Resources

Classroom Management and Activity Guidelines

Classroom activities have been provided as part of this thematic unit. A lesson overview has been provided for each activity. For each lesson, you'll find a set of benchmarks, a suggested timing of the lesson, specific pages connecting the book to the activities, performance assessments, and other activity ideas. Each activity page contains an introduction, task, process and resources, project guidelines, and a conclusion.

Activity 1

  • Overview: Create a map of the southern California coastline. Create your own adventure for Karana set on another nearby island.
  • Benchmarks
    • Understands the defining characteristics of literary forms
      • Discuss the use of fact and fiction in historical fiction
    • Understands the basic story elements including setting
    • Uses information from text to support opinions, predictions, and conclusions
    • Use information from the book to create a visual depicting the setting
    • Locate and read information from web-based sources
    • Create maps to scale
  • Performance Assessments: Rubric - link to the rubric page
Activity 2
  • Overview: Learn more about Karana's heritage. Take on the role of a member of Karana's tribe. How would you contribute to the tribe?
  • Benchmarks
    • Understands the defining characteristics of literary forms
      • Discuss the use of fact and fiction in historical fiction
    • Understands the basic story elements including character and plot
    • Uses information from text to support opinions, predictions, and conclusions
    • Locate and read information from web-based sources
  • Other Activity Ideas: In the end, Karana was taken to a mission. Learn more about the history of missions in California. Compare life in a mission to life in the Chumash tribe.

Activity 3

  • Overview: Create a marine life mural.
  • Benchmarks
    • Uses information from text to support opinions, predictions, and conclusions
    • Locate and read information from web-based sources
    • Identify basic information about sea creatures and plants.
    • Apply factual information to a story
  • Performance Assessments: Rubric - link to the rubric page

Activity 4

  • Overview: What does it take to be a survivor? Trace the life of each survivor on a timeline, then create a "Steps to Survival" list.
  • Benchmarks
    • Understands the defining characteristics of literary forms
      • Discuss the use of fact and fiction in historical fiction
    • Understands the basic story elements including plot sequence
    • Uses information from text to support opinions, predictions, and conclusions
    • Locate and read information from web-based sources
    • Create a timeline
    • Compare and contrast similar events from different books
  • Performance Assessments: Rubric - link to the rubric page
  • Other Activity Ideas: Scott O'Dell (1898-1989) write many interesting adventure books. Learn more about his life.


Developed by Annette Lamb, 7/00.