Island of the Blue Dolphins - Study Guide
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Karana, twelve-year-old daughter of a chief, lives with her people on a small island off the coast of California. One spring a ship, carrying Aleut otter hunters, arrives at the island. The Russian captain asks permission from Karana's father to hunt sea otters in the waters around the island and to camp on the island while they hunt. When the time comes for them to leave, they refuse to pay in full. There is a brief fight, and when the Aleuts escape with the otter pelts, 27 men from Karana's tribe, including her father, lie dead. The remaining people decide that they no longer wish to live on the island surrounded by the memories of their slain fathers, sons, and brothers. Kimki, the new chief, paddles a canoe to the mainland and sends back a ship to take the whole tribe to a new home. Accidentally left behind, Karana must learn to survive many years alone on the island, while keeping alive the hope of an eventual rescue. A classic tale of strength and solitude.
About the Author: Learn about Scott O'Dell.
Background Information: Island of San Nicolas.
Vocabulary: Understand words used throughout the novel, utilizing a variety of activities to stimulate retention and growth.
Literary Techniques: Similes, metaphors, foreshadow, point of view, mood, characterization, story structure.
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Trust, death, grief, compassion, mercy, our behavior, love one another, vengeance, grace, companionship, animals.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Mapping, sea animals, missions, math, science, timeline, creative writing, journal.
Suggestions for Further Reading: We include a wonderful reading list of more books by the same author(s) and other books that tie in with, or are similar to, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell.
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