Shipwrecked! Part 2

By Stefanie Cronin, February 27, 2017

Grade Level

  • Middle School


  • School Design

Subject Area

  • Language Arts

Lesson Time

75 minutes


This is a culmination lesson to a novel study of The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. Students were posed with the question: How might we survive on a deserted island? Students will compare how they met their own survival needs, in a previous lesson, with the main characters needs in the novel Island of the Blue Dolphins. They will discuss the similarities and differences between their own survival designs and the designs of Karena.

National Standards

CCSS Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. CCSS Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. CCSS Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text. CCSS Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions)


After this lesson students will be able to empathize with a fictional characters plight of being left on a desert island. Students will be able to compare and contrast their anticipated actions for survival on the island with the actual events that took place in the story. Students will predict dangers, necessities and responsibilities that would come with surviving the elements.


Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell


Completed Island Survival Handout Writing prompt


1. Complete lesson 1. 2. As a class outline Karana’s survival tactics. What did she do for food? shelter? fresh water? How did she store extra water? How did she protect her food from hungry wild animals? 3. Have students record the information on Karana’s Survival Organizer. 4. Put students back into original groups. Have students review descriptive paragraphs written in lesson 1. 5. Ask students: How did your survival plan compare with Karana’s actions in the book Island of the Blue Dolphins? Were there similarities? Were there differences? 6. Give students 15 minutes to compare and contrast their plan and Karana’s plan. Have students record the information on Karana’s Survival Organizer. 7. Go over the writing prompt with students. Using information from the book, Island of the Blue Dolphins, compare and contrast your survival plan with Karana’s survival actions. Be sure to compare all 4 survival items: A tool for hunting, waterproof storage for food and supplies, a method for collecting water, and a shelter from the sun and rain. 8. Give students 30 minutes to create their comparative essay. They can record it under the graphic organizer on Karana’s Survival Organizer.


Assessment for lesson two is based on the final comparison essay.

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