Island of the Blue Dolphins Cliffhanger • In order to create a sense of excitement and motivate the reader to move on to the next chapter, a writer often leaves an important question unanswered at the end of a chapter. • What was the cliffhanger at the end of chapter three? Question for discussion • Do you think the author wants us to believe that the battle flared due to accident or just cause? Explain your answer. Context Clues • When you come across a word you don’t know, context clues can often help you figure out what a word means. Context clues may be other words or phrases in the sentence, or they may be the way the unfamiliar word is used in the sentence. Characterization • What character traits did Karana display when she chose to return to her brother on the island? • How do you think these qualities will affect her chances for survival on the island? Explain. Predictions • Using observations or experiences to make a reasonable guess about what will happen. Question for discussion • How did Karana satisfy two of the basic elements of survival- food and shelter? • Why do you think the element of clothing did not seem important? Questions for discussion • How might you treat common health problems such as a sprain, a cut, a common cold, or a stomach ache if you had no access to a doctor or pharmacy? • Why do you think Karana nursed the leader of the pack of wild dogs back to health? • Do you think Karana was justified in not aiding Rontu in his fight? Explain. Inferences • Authors don’t always tell their readers exactly how the story characters are feeling or what they are doing. Sometimes the authors give clues about what is happening. Then it is up to the reader to make inferences based on the clues and their own experiences to figure out what is happening Question for discussion • What evidence do you have that the author, Scott O’Dell, is a naturalist who carefully studied animal behavior before writing this book? Personification-giving human qualities to inanimate objects • Example: The earth seemed to be holding its breath, as though it were waiting for something to happen. – What is being personified? – How did this statement reflect Karana’s mood before the storm began? – Find another example of personification in the novel. Provide the page number. Drawing conclusions • Reaching a decision or making a judgment based on a body of evidence or a group of facts.
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