Magazine article Technology and Children

Jungle Survivor

Magazine article Technology and Children

Jungle Survivor

Article excerpt

jungle survivor Book O'Dell, S. (2005, I960). Island of the blue dolphins. Chicago: Thomdlke Press. [223 Pages; ISBN: 0-7862-7254-6]

by Keith Banks

summary of book

Karana and her people live peacefully on an island off the California coast. One day, her father, the chief of the tribe, allows strangers to hunt on their island. However, the hunters turn on the chief, killing him and attacking his tribe. Karana and the new chief decide to lead the remainder of their people to a new island where they hope to establish a safer home. While boarding the ship that will take the tribe to a new island, Karana's brother, Ramo, runs off to fetch his spear and is left behind. Karana knows that if she leaves the ship it may not come back for them for many moons. After very little thought, she decides to abandon the ship to be with her brother. Now Karana and Ramo are on the island alone with few resources. This Newberry Award-winning book inspires the reader with many examples of challenges that had to be overcome, and the reward of a strong sibling bond.

student introduction

Many of the resources the tribe used to survive have been either taken or destroyed. Therefore, Karana and Ramo have very little to help them survive on this island alone. Both are great huntergatherers, so they will be able to adapt and survive. But it will be difficult. Since scavengers have ravaged the island, there are limited resources that can be used. Can you help Karana and Ramo survive the next few moons using only the resources that are available?

design brief

Suggested Grade Level: 4-5

Karana and Ramo have a spear with which to hunt and fish. But, they will need more than that to survive the next few moons. Using the materials provided and working in small teams, your class will design solutions to many of the problems Karana and Ramo will face while they remain on the island.

teacher hints

1. As a class, create a list of all the problems Karana and Ramo might face based on their situation. The problems should be consistent with the story. For example, Karana and Ramo will need utensils to cook their food. How can Karana and Ramo retrieve the pots she dropped in the ocean? When it is time to meet the ship at the shore, how can Karana and Ramo safely transport all of their goods through the jungle?

2. Create small groups of 2-3 students each. Define and discuss key concepts of technological problem solving. …

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