In Chapter 5, Conroy engages his students by incorporating movies and music in the curriculum, despite opposition from the principal, who believes teaching should focus on drilling basic skills. Students from California University come to Yamacraw to work with the people but have difficulty relating to the islanders. Conroy is...

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In Chapter 5, Conroy engages his students by incorporating movies and music in the curriculum, despite opposition from the principal, who believes teaching should focus on drilling basic skills. Students from California University come to Yamacraw to work with the people but have difficulty relating to the islanders. Conroy is appalled by his students' cruel treatment of animals.

In Chapter 6, Conroy organizes an overnight fieldtrip to the mainland so the children can experience Halloween, overcoming the principal's resistance and parents' fears. One child is injured and the weather delays their return, but the students are well-received and the trip is a resounding success. Conroy reflects on his work, and realizes that it will take much more than what he can do to enable his students to have a chance at the American dream.