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Island of the Blue Dolphins Lesson Plan
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By using this lesson plan, teachers will be able to guide students through the Newbery Award-winning coming-of-age novel Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. In addition to providing comprehensive character analyses, this lesson plan will help you convey the novel's primary themes, courage and resourcefulness, to your class. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- How and when was the island in Island of the Blue Dolphins actually discovered by white men? In the year 1602, a Spanish explorer sighted the island as he sailed north from Mexico in search of a safe haven for treasure galleons from the Philippines. He named it La Isle de San Nicholas, after the patron saint of sailors, travelers, and merchants.
- Whose true story is Island of the Blue Dolphins based upon? It is based on The Lost Woman of San Nicholas who was found living alone in a crude house with a dog on this island eighteen years after the Indians of Ghalas-at had been rescued.
- Describe the men rowing the small boat to shore from the ship. Six men with broad faces and shining dark hair that fell over their eyes were rowing with long oars. They had bone ornaments thrust through their noses. Behind them stood a tall man with a yellow beard.
- For what reason had the Russian and his crew come to the island? He came with forty men to hunt sea otter. They wish to camp on the island while they hunt.
- In Island of the Blue Dolphins, what agreement of payment was reached between the Aleuts and Karana's father, Chief Chowig? At first the Russian offered one part for the islanders, to be paid in goods, and two parts for them. He later agreed to equal parts for each.
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