Island of the Blue Dolphins - Study 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

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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 English/Language Arts curriculum provides your Middle School grade student with:

About the Author: Learn about Scott O'Dell's literary works and extraordinary life.
Background Information: Learn about the island of San Nicolas and gain appreciation for the backdrop of the novel.
Vocabulary: Understand more words and expand your vocabulary, completing a variety of engaging activities.
Literary Techniques: Appreciate the artistry of writing through similes and metaphors, foreshadowing, differing points of view, mood, setting, characterization, and how writers use a structured storyline to engage readers.
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Go beyond basic comprehension and review lessons of trust, tackling difficult concepts like death and grief, compassion and mercy, and reflecting on our behavior. Discuss embracing the command to love one another, grappling with the idea of vengeance, recognizing grace granted through companionship, and reflecting on humanity's connection with animals.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Furher your ELA studies with additional activities ranging from mapping the Island of San Nicolas to exploring the world of sea animals, missions, incorporating math and science into our lives, creating timelines, engaging in creative writing exercises, and journaling.
Suggestions for Further Reading:  Continue reading with a wonderful reading list of additional books by Scott O'Dell, and other books that are similar to, Island of the Blue Dolphins.

All of Progeny Press' Language Arts unit lessons are written from a Christian worldview!

Features and Benefits of a Progeny Press ELA study guide

Printed Workbook Format

  • Large 8.5x11 format is convenient to read and easy on Middle School student's eyes
  • Every question in our novel unit study has plenty of whitespace for middle school level student answers
  • Encourages neat and clean handwriting practice
  • Easily transports without the need for a laptop or other expensive equipment
  • Provides a permanent record of the middle school student’s work
  • Complete, removable answer key included for the teacher to make grading simple!

CD Format

  • Contains the complete study guide in universally compatible PDF format (works on Mac AND Windows)
  • No costly software purchases necessary
  • 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.
  • Upgraded, fillable form fields allow the student the opportunity to complete their work on the computer, saving you printing costs
  • 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
  • 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