Island Of The Blue Dolphins Unit Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'Island of the Blue Dolphins' is a young adult novel by Scott O'Dell that is loosely based on a true story about a girl who lives alone on a Pacific island after hunters destroy her community. This unit plan supplies a framework for instruction about this novel.

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Imagine living alone on a deserted island. What skills would you need to survive? In Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, the author crafts a Newberry Medal winning novel based on the experience of Karana, a Native American girl who lived alone on an island in the Pacific for 18 years after Russian sea otter hunters drive her community from their land. This unit plan provides a framework for instruction for middle school students about Island of the Blue Dolphins.

During Reading

As students are reading this novel, the Island of the Blue Dolphins Discussion Questions will guide students towards in-dept analysis of the plot, characters, and author's decisions. These questions will also push students to make personal connections to the novel.

The Island of the Blue Dolphins Lesson Plan explores the story elements of this novel through interaction with a text summary followed by an activity that incorporates art to help students visualize the characters and events in the novel.

Students may review the major plot points of the novel through a Bingo game included in the Island of the Blue Dolphins Activities. This resource also provides opportunities to expand their knowledge in related interdisciplinary studies of dolphins and survival skills.


The Island of the Blue Dolphins Comprehension Questions provide great options for assessing student comprehension. Questions related to the characters, setting, and plot may be pulled from this resource for individual or group assessment. Teachers may ask these questions orally, require students to provide written responses, or use these questions to prompt the development of presentations.

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