Spirited island The isolation of islands makes them ripe for farfetched tales to develop about them. In storytelling and folklore there are tales of floating islands, disappearing islands, islands where frightening things happen and strange folk live. STRATEGY SUGGESTED IDEAS: ANALYSIS Pitcairn Island has an interesting early history. Depict this history in a cartoon strip showing the sequence of events. http://government.pn/Pitcairnistory.htm http://members.aol.com.idsebastia/pitcairn SYNTHESIS Read the ‘Book of Islands Anthology’ (1971). The Anthology covers: Marvellous Islands; Man Alone; Supernatural Sites; Adventures and more. Select your favourite extract and make a diorama to illustrate the story. Read about the islands of Krakatoa and Atlantis. Use various sources to find information and present the details in an eBook or PowerPoint presentation. http://www.kathimitchell.com/krak.htm PARADOX Read the Dinotopia series by James Gurney set on the fictional island of Utopia. The name ‘Dinotopia’ is a combination of Dinosaur and Utopia. Ironically, Dinotopia means (in Greek) ‘Terrible Place’, as dinosaur means ‘Terrible Lizard’, while utopia means ‘good place’ or ‘no place’. Why do you think the island was named Dinotopia? Upon the hidden island of Dinotopia humans and dinosaurs live and work together in harmony with one another and with the Earth itself (save for the few predators who roam the land). It is a place of beauty and wonder lost to the rest of the world. The island itself is surrounded by dangerous reefs that prevent safe travel to or from the island. Aside from a highly diverse geography (ranging from deserts to mountains to swamps), Dinotopia also has an extensive system of natural and man-made caves. The dinosaurs, according to their own legends have inhabited the island for millions of years, having sought shelter there during the climate changes that caused the extinction of dinosaurs elsewhere on the planet. The human population, on the other hand, consists of shipwrecked travellers (who are often rescued and brought to shore by dolphins) and the descendants of such arrivals. Both halves of the society share responsibility equally and live under a common set of laws known as the Code of Dinotopia. The society is highly communal, lacking a monetary system or even a concrete concept of ownership. Individuals are educated from youth to be compassionate, cooperative, and generally conscious of others' needs. For example: food on the island is provided at no cost, but citizens take only what they need and leave the rest for others. Prepare a list of aspects of life on Dinotopia that are: 1. like your life on your island 2. not like your life on your island 3. similar but not exactly alike 4. how you might like life to be on your island. ATTRIBUTE LISTING See the References for a link to fictional islands; a list of islands that have been created for films, literature, television or other media. Many islands have strong religious traditions and monuments. List the traditions and monuments that are most prominent on your island, now and in the past. Prepare a brochure outlining these. None of the major world religions developed on an island. Why might this be? What unique aspects do island cultures bring to their religions? Shinto Buddhism developed in Japan, however; what is the connection between Japan’s island nature and the nature of Shinto? List the main religions that are found on islands around the world. Were missionaries of Christianity and other faiths common on islands during the 19th century? Discuss the impact of missionaries on island, in particular the Pacific islands. One impact was that the missionaries were responsible for the discontinuation of cannibalism on many islands. Expand your understanding about this area. Read about specific missionaries, e.g. Father Damian of Molokai and describe the impact of their lives and work on island people and cultures. ANALOGY Throughout history and in fiction, islands are seen as places of refuge, places to hide, places to escape to or from, places of happiness, places that offer a future or new life. Can you add to this list of what islands are seen as? Match this list with examples from history or fiction. Ask students from other islands to assist you to complete this list. DISCREPANCY The movie ‘King Kong’ is set on the mythical Skull Island, somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Is the movie pure fantasy or could a creature as large as King Kong develop and live on an island? Read scientists’ thoughts on the issue of island laboratories at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/12/1214_051214_king_kong.html Although seen as ideal places to live, conflicts have impacted on islands throughout the years. Research some conflicts and think about why some islands were involved. Include in your reading: o American Civil War o WW11: Pearl Island, Kokoda, Midway, Guam, Guadalcanal, atomic bomb, Japan, Channel Islands, Crete, Malta etc. o The Falklands War o Cold War (some Scandinavian islands, Sakhalin Island) o Taiwan (Cultural Revolution). What impact have war related events / conflicts had on your island and continue to have? Are there still remnants of a war on your island? Discuss this with students from other islands. What impact have war related events had on your island, e.g. nuclear bomb testing? Research the warriors and traditional tools of war on your island. Share your research in an interesting format with students from other islands. Are there similarities? PROVOCATIVE Read ‘Island of Ogres’ by Linsey Namioka. Do all islands around the world QUESTION have a story/ies about mythical creatures? Can you create an album of them? Set up a forum to talk to other students around the world about their island’s mythical creature/s. Look at the timeline for Islomania and read some of the entries, literature, and references to islands in history. http://www.islomania.com/oldsite/timeline/index.html Do the references reflect a European and romanticised view of islands? Discuss this question. Early references to islands in Celtic myth and lore, and legends of islands at the ‘edge of the world’ and the continuum of island literature and narratives from early times, show that the concept of the island is embedded into human consciousness. What does this mean? What is your concept of your island? Do a mindmap of all the things that come to mind when you think about your island. Share your mindmap with others. EXAMPLES OF ‘Virtual Island’ recently sold in 2004 for $US26, 500 Project Entropia's unique selling point CHANGE was the ability to convert real money into in game cash and vice versa. Read more at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4953620.stm Discuss why islands might be popular in the virtual world and how many virtual environments include islands. How are people earning money through this new phenomenon of virtual environments? Discuss the pros and cons of these environments. Read about the island that appeared in the Pacific in 2000 at: http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/2000/130607.htm . Write the coverage of this event from the point of view and dialogue of two circling petrels. EXAMPLES OF If you were asked to curate a museum exhibition of 10 items that really reflected the soul of HABIT your island, what would you choose? Prepare a catalogue for the exhibition. Read ‘The Cay’ by Theodore Taylor; a classic of prejudice, love, and survival. The story is set in 1942, on the Dutch island of Curaçao, and involves an 11 year old boy, a deserted island and a change in attitudes. Undertake the activities at: http://www.ctcinc.org/Study%20Guides/The_Cay_Study_Guide.htm Read ‘A Pattern of Islands’ by Arthur Grimble and compare some of the customs and beliefs with those found in other islands. Select 6 artefacts from your island. Photograph them and see if students from other islands can guess what island it is. SKILLS OF Research some of the key events that have occurred on islands over the years both SEARCH fictional and non-fictional and consider whether the events only occurred because it was on an island. For example, the ‘Spider Island’ series. Research the work of Charles Darwin on the Galapagos Islands. Write a brief report of what he found on the island and what conclusions he reached. Atlantis is the name of an island first mentioned and described by the classical Greek philosopher Plato in his two dialogues, ‘Timaeus and Critias’. According to Plato, this island was situated ‘beyond the pillars of Hercules’. He said that ‘Atlantis sank in the waves in a single day and night of misfortune’ due to a natural catastrophe which happened 9,000 years before Plato's time. o Research some of the stories that have arisen from the Atlantis mystery. Is Atlantis a myth or a reality? o Can you reach a decision from your research as to where the island of Atlantis was located? Undertake the Atlantis webquests at: http://www.lifestreamcenter.net/DrB/Lessons/Atlantis/cover.htm and http://fayette.k12.in.us/~cbeard/mysteries/topics.html. http://library.thinkquest.org/25245/atlantology/index.html o Paint a picture of your image of Atlantis. o If Atlantis existed, how do you think Atlantis disappeared? o Create a time capsule of your island. What would you put in it that would represent your island? Bury the capsule in the school grounds to be opened in 20 years time. o Present a digital image of the contents of the time capsule and share it with students on other islands. Has Atlantis been found? Read more at: http://www.atlan.org/ and decide whether the island has been found or not. Why have islands been chosen for monasteries and religious retreats over the centuries? Reflect on your own island and that of other islands around the world. Consider the following in your research: the monasteries on Skiathos, Samos and Dianagat islands, Le Mont-Saint-Michel and Lake Tana monasteries. ADJUSTMENT TO Research stories and films where the central character/s has been a castaway on an DEVELOPMENT island. How have the characters survived? List how they have adapted to their environment and used the environment for their survival. Collate their problems and survival strategies. Make a booklet on how to survive on an island if you were stranded there. Include in your reading Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe), Swiss Family Robinson (Johan Wyss), Castaway and Secret of the Island (Jules Vern). Describe how the main characters survived in these stories. INTUITIVE Imagine you could live on one of the islands described in a fictional EXPRESSION novel. Which one would it be? Why? Has every island a mystery? What if you were on Black Tom Island? Explore the mysterious explosion on Black Tom Island at: http://www.rfsd.k12.wi.us/high/socialstudies/pages/webquest.html If you could travel in a time machine to witness an event on any island in the world, what would it be? Describe the journey. STUDY CREATIVE ‘No Man Is An Island’. This is an old saying that originates from PROCESS a work by the 16th century poet John Donne. The saying Sculpture ‘No Man Is an Island’ suggests that every person is interconnected and by Clark B. Fitzgerald interdependent with other people. It suggests that none of us can really live a fulfilling existence without other people. Indeed, it would be impossible for most of us to survive in our modern world without the help of other people. Discuss this saying. View the sculpture titled ‘No Man is an Island’ by Clark Fitzgerald. How well do you think Fitzgerald has captured the saying? Design and make a sculpture that depicts your interpretation of the saying. Create your own sculpture to depict the saying. TOLERANCE FOR Read Lord of the Flies by William Golding and /or view the 1990 DVD, which is set on a AMBIGUITY fictional unnamed island. http://www.rit.edu/%7esjg2490/lotf/island.html . http://www.aresearchguide.com/lord.html William Golding presented numerous themes and basic ideas that give the reader something to think about. One of the most basic and obvious themes is that society holds everyone together, and without these conditions, our ideals, values, and the basics of right and wrong are lost. Without society's rigid rules, anarchy and savagery can emerge. Do you think this story could actually happen in the 21st century? Discuss your views with others. EVALUATIVE Can you assess the findings of scientists who tried to unravel the SITUATIONS mysteries on Easter Island? One mystery is how the islanders moved a megalith without modern technologies. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/easter/ Include in your research: o the history of the island - http://www.mysteriousplaces.com/Easter_Island/index.html o the chronicles of a team trying to solve the mystery of the Moai http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/easter/ and o the UCLA project aimed at solving the scientific and historical mysteries of the statues - http://www.easterislandstatueproject.org/ Undertake the ‘Mystery Island’ activity at: http://www.uen.org/Lessonplan/preview.cgi?LPid=502 where you will work with other students in a committee of four in which you are stranded on an unknown island and have to answer basic survival questions in order to find a settlement. There are four maps of the same island with information on scale, water bodies, vegetation, landforms and climate patterns, to study to help you through Mystery Island. Some key questions are: o Where will your site of settlement be located? On the sea coast? Farther inland? Near a good sea port? o Where is the best place for a signal fire? o What will be the source of your materials for shelter? o Where will your source of fresh water be? o What will be your source of fuel? o Where is the best place to grow crops? o Why is the region you selected a good place? o Who should be the leader of the settlement? Captain of the ship? Leader of the settlers? Someone elected? o How might conflicts be settled? Will there be laws? If yes, give two examples of laws you would want. Complete a paper on the effects of the environment on the island settlement site. CREATIVE There are many legends that describe how the Hawaiian READING SKILLS Islands were formed. Research some of these. Write your own fables or fairy tales about how the chain of islands was formed or how your island was formed. Explore the mystery of the money pit on Oak Island: http://www.activemind.com/Mysterious/Topics/OakIsland/ and http://www.csicop.org/si/2000-03/i-files.html. Consider the theories and share your thoughts on an online forum at: http://www.oakislandtreasure.co.uk/theo.htm Are there similar mysteries on your island? Read the article ‘The Dance of Islands and Continents, A St. Patrick's Day Parable’ by Connie Barlow at: http://www.thegreatstory.org/IslandsContinents.html where it is suggested that ‘sometimes the rare and the beautiful, can only emerge or survive in isolation’. List examples on your island where this statement is true. Read stories that have a focus on an island. Include: o Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson o Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell o Floating Island by Elizabeth Haydon o Dinototopia by James Gurney o Dolphin Island by Arthur C. Clarke o The Island of Dr Moreau by H G Wells o Lilliput from the novel Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift o Anne of the Island by L M Montgomery o The Island by Peter Sheehan o The Little island by Golden MacDonald o Rock of Ages: Life's a blast on Heimaey Island by Helen Gibson o Coral Island by R M Ballantyne List all the things that the islands have in common. CREATIVE Read Traditional songs and proverbs of the Virgin Islands which LISTENING SKILLS show us a different island culture. Record some of the traditional proverbs, rhymes and songs of your island. Include your favourite local fairytales, rhymes and proverbs. In your own words, retell the story of your island or memorable events occurring on your island. ‘Desert Island Discs’ is a long-running BBC Radio program. Guests are invited to imagine themselves as castaways on a desert island and asked to choose the eight pieces of music they would take with them, as well as one book and one luxury item. Share what selection with others and discuss any similarities. Organise your own program at your school and interview people about their choices and play some of their musical choices. Tape the program and share as a podcast. CREATIVE Identify locations on your island that have colourful real or imaginary events or characters WRITING SKILLS associated with it and compile stories about them. Read about the ‘Ugly Islands’, which were discovered in 1765 by Captain James Ugly. Undertake the activities and construct a similar webpage about an island. http://firstname.lastname@example.org/ugl y/index.htm). Create your own myth or mystery stories using your own mysterious island locations. Write some island poetry about a spot that is special to you. Create your own blog, to communicate your island life. Consider plots and narratives that could only occur on an island. Provide examples and explain why an island is needed. Visit a memorable local island place. Complete a series of reflective writing tasks, by focussing upon atmosphere, mood, sensory experiences, change through time and sense of place. View DVDs such as ‘Lost’, ‘Castaway’, Jurassic Park and ‘Gilligan’s Island’. Write your own story that requires an island to be the setting. Use the internet and other sources to research and read about expeditions that were formed and carried out to observe the Transit of Venus during the 18th and 19th centuries. Present information on some of the events that took place during these expeditions; many of which were to islands. http://www.sil.si.edu/exhibitions/chasing- venus/teachers/lessonplan6.htm VISUALISATION Make a film recreating a local myth or your own imaginary one. Design a tour of the ‘mysterious’ parts of your island. Draw a map. Design a stamp or postcard for your island, post it and email it to a partner school, discuss the benefits and problem of the two communication forms. View the video / DVD The Island. Consider the plot and the likelihood of this really occurring. View other DVDs that focus on mysteries on islands, such as King Kong or Jurassic Park. Develop a movie script about a mysterious happening or event occurring on your island. Make a short video clip of the story. The 10 tonne stone statues on Easter Island are an expression of human creativity and a telling of the past. With these works, island craftsmen preserved details of their ancestry and culture. Using hebel blocks carve an Easter Island – type statue that relates to events on your island. Could you construct a virtual statue with students from other islands all contributing? Play the series of Play Station games titled Escape from Monkey Island. How well have the game makers captured the essence of being on an island? Develop a digital map of your ideal island. Name the locations and hyperlink each location to more detailed information or activities. View extracts from the TV Series Lost. Use this site http://www.lostpedia.com/wiki/Island and listen to the clues and information given by the main characters to try and locate the position of the fictional island on a world map. Consider the above digital artwork by Khalid of a floating island. Create a story around this island. Design your own image of a floating island. Design greeting cards and postcards that feature a mysterious event or place on your island. Collect and swap postcards with students on other islands. STUDY OF PEOPLE Interview someone who practices an island religion. Prepare interview questions that will help you to gain an understanding of the core beliefs of the religion. Read of some real-life castaways at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castaway. Choose one castaway for an in-depth study and share your findings with others. What difficulties did they encounter on the islands? Pirates and islands are closely linked, both historically and currently. Map the islands where real and fictional pirates have been linked. Prepare an online map that hyperlink to the island, information about the pirate/s and the island. Be involved in ‘Talk like a pirate day’ at: http://www.talklikeapirate.com/teachers.html Piracy is still a worldwide maritime problem along all heavily frequented ship routes. Major regions of recurrent armed robberies or even piracy are around the Bay of Bengal, the Gulf of Guinea and parts of South America and the southeastern Asian seas. In 2001, 150 of the worldwide roughly 300 pirate attacks were committed in southeastern Asian waters with the Malacca Strait (36 attacks) and the Flores Sea (91 attacks) being the most dangerous sea routes. Research this modern day piracy and its links with islands. The United Nations have identified five ‘Island Masterpieces of th Intangible Heritage’: 1. Cuba: The music of the Oriente Brotherhood 2. Dominican Republic: The Cultural Space of the Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit of the Congos of Villa Mella, - performed principally at religious festivals and funeral ceremonies, with the Brotherhood musicians playing hand-drums called ‘congos’. http://www.unesco.org/culture/intangible-heritage/masterpiece.php?id=6&lg=en 3. Dominican Republic: The Maroon Heritage of Moore Town, home to one of the island’s few surviving communities of former runaway slaves known as Maroons, whose ancestors escaped in the early 1600s’. http://www.unesco.org/culture/intangible-heritage/masterpiece.php?lg=en&id=58 4. Tonga: Lakalaka Dances and Sung Speeches, widely considered as the national dance of Tonga, performed by entire communities to celebrate the coronation of the monarch, inauguration ceremonies and other significant events. http://www.unesco.org/culture/intangible- heritage/masterpiece.php?id=76&lg=en 5. Vanuatu: Sand Drawings, not just a time- honoured artistic expression, but a veritable means of communication among the members of some 80 different language groups inhabiting the central and northern islands of this archipelagic country. http://www.unesco.org/culture/intangible-heritage/masterpiece.php?lg=en&id=77 http://members.lycos.co.uk/sanddrawings/ What does a ‘masterpiece of the intangible heritage’ mean? Try to explain it to a group of students. Research these masterpieces and form a debate as to whether these examples are masterpieces or not. Do you think your island has a masterpiece/s of intangible heritage that could be nominated for consideration by the United Nations? If so, prepare a letter and report for the UN, stating your case. Who are the religious leaders on your island? Interview leaders to gain understanding of a religion that you know little about. Read the history of the island of Molokai at: http://visitmolokai.com/hist.html, where it is stated that Molokai was renowned for the wisdom and power of its religious leaders, greatly respected and often feared by others in the archipelago, as well as its prophets, sorcery and legends. Reflect on your island’s history; is it similar to that of Molokai’s or were there different leaders and traditions. Do a comparative historical study of your island and Molokai.