Social Studies Mentor Text: Island of the Blue Dolphins - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Social Studies Mentor Text: Island of the Blue Dolphins

I'm linking up with Collaboration Cuties on this rainy Sunday!

The book I want to share with you today was one of my very favorite books when I was in elementary school. I love being able to share books with my kiddos that I read when I was their age!

Island of the Blue Dolphins is historical fiction. It is based on the story of an Indian girl who lived on an island off the coast of California by herself for 18 years. Karana is the name of the girl in the book. She loses her tribe and her family, and has to learn to survive alone on the island. Our curriculum requires us to teach about six different tribes, one of which are a Northwest tribe, very much like Karana's, so it goes along perfectly with our Native American unit.

The story is beautifully written. The time and place of the book are described in such great detail- I use it as a mentor text to help students incorporate setting into their own writing. It also has some great similes, metaphors, and personification in it! You can download a freebie I created here or by clicking on the image below.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
I also found a great (free!) Scholastic unit that you can download here to go with the book that has some great lesson ideas!

I was so excited that my kiddos loved this book as much as I did! This is the first chapter book of the year that I read to them, and even just last week, one of my kiddos was still making connections with it!

What are your favorite books to read with Social Studies integration? Go link up with Collaboration Cuties to share, and get some other great ideas!

I also want to link this up to Fifth In The Middle's awesome SS linky! :)
Native Americans Linky


  1. I loved this book as a kid. I had a few girls read it this year during Reading Workshop and I really enjoyed talking about it with them during our conferences.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. Such a great timeless classic! Thanks for reminding me of this great book. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  3. Love this one, as I used to use it with my 5th graders. Used to use it in lit circles and as a read aloud (depending on the year). :0) Reading your post makes me want to read it again for my own enjoyment. Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  4. Thanks for linking up such a great book! I feel like it was read to me in school but I can't remember it. :O/

    Have a great week!
    Collaboration Cuties

  5. I brought this book home for my daughter to read - I hope she loves it too, she is a super picky about what books she reads : (
    See you on Wednesday.

  6. This is one of my absolute FAVORITES!! The students LOVE this book and the details and imagery are amazing! I use it with the whole group and every time the students have applauded when we finish the last page (because they loved it, not because it is "over" lol). Thank you so much for the freebie! I am adding it to my file:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  7. Thank you for reminding me of one of my favorite books ever! I am teaching middle school resource English next year and I am going to use Island of the Blue Dolphins for sure as a mentor text thanks to your reminder. I LOVE your Old Navy shirt (: I'm not linking up til I do some shopping.

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  9. Love this book! I'm going to use it with my students this year. The link from Scholastic doesn't work-item wasn't there. Is there anyway you could send it to me? I sure would appreciate it. Thanks!


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