Island of the Blue Dolphins - E-Guide

Progeny Press

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Grade Range: 5-7

Setting: Pacific Island, 1835

Genre: Historical

Page Count: 48 + Answer Key

Approximate Completion Time: 8 weeks



Based on a true story.
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.

Progeny Press' Island of the Blue Dolphins Language Arts curriculum will provide your Middle School grade student with:

About the Author: Learn about Scott O'Dell and their literary works and contributions.
Background Information: Explore the Island of San Nicolas, uncovering its mysteries and unique setting for the story.
Vocabulary: Understand words used throughout the novel through thought-provoking activities designed to stimulate vocabulary growth and retention.
Literary Techniques: Examine the imagery painted through similes and metaphors, foreshadowing, nuanced points of view, mood setting, characterization, and a thoughtfully structured storyline.
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Analyze themes of trust, navigating the complexities of death and grief, fostering compassion and mercy, reflecting on our behavior, embracing the command to love one another, grappling with the concept of vengeance, recognizing the grace extended in companionship, and humanity's connection with animals.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Select activities ranging from mapping the Island of San Nicolas to delving into the world of sea animals, exploring missions, incorporating math and science, creating timelines, engaging in creative writing exercises, and journaling.
Suggestions for Further Reading:  We include a 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, offering a broader perspective on themes found in the novel.

All of Progeny Press' language arts PDF download unit lessons are written from a Christian worldview!

Features and Benefits of a Progeny Press ELA PDF study guide

Digital PDF Download

  • PDF files are available to download with no shipping costs
  • Contains the complete study guide in universally compatible PDF format (works on Mac AND Windows)
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  • PDf files open in the FREE Adobe Reader program.
    Note: Mobile devices may require an alternative app that supports and saves fillable form fields and interactive features.
  • Conveniently print what you need, when you need it:
    • Print the whole ELA study guide at once
    • Print single literature lessons or pages as the student completes them
    • Print multiple copies of the entire curriculum study guide for classroom sets
  • Upgraded, fillable form fields allow the student the opportunity to complete their work on the computer, saving you printing costs
  • PDF format makes it easy to use with multiple students
  • Complete answer key PDF file included for the teacher to make grading simple!

Formatted with your Middle School grade student in mind, Progeny Press language arts study guides divide the book into writing assignments and lessons that strengthen their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and refine their critical analysis and writing skills. Each Progeny Press novel study accomplishes all of this without busy work that can drain the fun out of reading and literature! Kids have loved using Progeny Press ELA curriculum in homeschool, co-ops, and private schools around the world for over 30 years!

Book Awards:
Newbery Medal Winner 1961 • Lewis Carroll Shelf Award • William Allen White Children’s Book Awards • Hans Christian Andersen Award • Regina Medal

Extra Information

Progeny Press

Warranty Information

Available to download for 1 year from date of purchase or until maximum download allowance is reached (whichever occurs first). Once downloaded, back the file up onto a Recordable CD or USB drive for safekeeping. Progeny Press retains the right to refuse replacement of lost or damaged products and/or files.