Lesson Plans for The Island of the Blue Dolphins

Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins is an amazing story.  Read on for ideas, and print FREE lesson plans for The Island of the Blue Dolphins.

Wow!  I loved it when I read it with Mrs. McKenzie, my seventh grade ELA teacher, and I love using it in my seventh grade classroom each year with my students!  Boys and girls alike are quickly enthralled with Karana as she faces many exciting dangers on the island.  She battles fierce animal enemies, faces off with Russian hunters, and explores old, hidden cave.

Our lesson plans for The Island of the Blue Dolphins will help students appreciate the book and, at the same time, examine the literary devices and author’s craft.

The animals on the island provide many Common Core teaching moments!  For example, after reading chapter 16, students complete a mini-research project on devilfish.  Students brainstorm a list of all they have learned in the novel about devilfish, and then they make a list of questions they have about devilfish.  Finally it’s time to research. The final product – a poem!  🙂  Students don’t moan and groan as much when they see that they just have to present their findings in a poem.    Students are shown a sample poem written about komodo dragons and a rubric is used to score the projects.  It’s important to keep lessons fun yet also standards based, and that’s what we tried hard to do in our lesson plans for The Island of the Blue Dolphins.  Click below to download this activity.

A portion of the project handouts are given to you in an Island of the Blue Dolphins sample packet.

In chapter 18, specific facts about gulls, sea otters, and the cormorant are given.  Students are asked to skim back through the chapter looking for information on these animals and complete charts to emphasize what was learned.  You can use this activity for chapter 18  in your classroom today!