UNC Middle School Lit discussion

Island of the Blue Dolphins

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message 1: by Andi (new)

Andi Gardner | 7 comments Alright - it's survival week! I know you're all excited! I thought it would be beneficial to get everyone thinking about the book before we actually discuss it on Thursday! So...here are some things to think about/post on here about:

1. All of the people on the Island have "secret names" and another name that they give out to others. If your name (given to you by your parents) is actually your "secret name," then what is your other name that you would give out? (You get to choose your own name here - so be creative!!!)

2. What was your initial impression of Karana? Did this change throughout the course of the novel?

--There will be lots more to discuss on Thursday - just wanted to get your brains going!!!

Can't wait to see your responses here!


message 2: by Madison (new)

Madison Pinkowski | 12 comments 1. The name that you give out is the name that has some sort of meaning about you, right? I guess my name would be Girl-with-the-gold locket (because I wear it every day)...or girl-that-eats-ice-cream (because I could eat ice cream every day) :)
2. My initial impression of Karana was that she was a very physically and emotionally strong woman, who was wise well beyond her years. If anything, this impression was strengthened throughout the course of the novel- I can't imagine losing my entire family and finding the will (and having the strength) to live on the dangerous island all alone for so many years!

message 3: by Kristin (new)

Kristin (kmhardin) | 14 comments 1. My name would be girl-with-dancing-fingers because I love playing the piano :) Haha this is great Andi
2. Initially I thought that Karana was already very mature just because she always talked about her sister's silly vanity and about taking care of her brother. She seemed to understand a lot about how the village worked and about her place in it. I never doubted her maturity - she always seemed so brave when faced with the wild dogs and hunting on the island. My fondness of her grew when she spared Rontu's life even after she had planned and worked so hard to kill him and his pack for killing her brother. The only time that my opinion wavered was when she decided to keep the birds and clipped their wings. I knew that she was very lonely and wanted company, but I thought that was uncharacteristic of her for not letting the birds live naturally...even though she had already tamed Rontu...I'm not sure why that stood out to me, maybe it wasn't uncharacteristic but just unexpected.

message 4: by Janey (new)

Janey Elmore | 15 comments 1. DEF Pocahontas. I would love to be like her. 1) She gets John Smith 2)She has a cool pet raccoon 3)She is skilled enough to canoe off of a waterfall- and live 4)Her brown, long hair is beautiful 5) She can sing wonderfully and does so with Weeping Willows. The list can go on

2) At the beginning I thought she was very selfless and focused on mature things in life such as taking care of her brother. I grew to love her even more throughout the novel, especially how much she respected the animals and nature around her. Her friendship with her pet dog made me connect with her even more and respect her will to survive as well.

message 5: by Andi (new)

Andi Gardner | 7 comments I guess I should have posted my name when I posted the topic (whoops!)

If I had to choose a name for myself...it would be...

The Girl with the Musical Dreams (because not only do I play piano like Kristin...but I've been in several bands, love to sing, play guitar and drums (a little), and secretly would love to grow up and be a rock star...haha).

I'm loving these responses - keep em comin!!!

message 6: by Beth (last edited Feb 24, 2010 01:13PM) (new)

Beth Wright | 12 comments 1.hmm... my name would be... "TV/Movie Guru Girl" since I'm addicted to so many tv shows and love movies. haha.

2. Throughout the novel I thought that Karana was very strong and mature. First she risked her life to save her brother and then she went on to learn to survive on her own. It is amazing how she was able to find the will to survive after losing her brother as well as all her friends and family. She really grew as a person, taking on roles that women in her tribe would typically not do, in order to survive and create a life for herself on the island. I also love her connection with nature and how she takes care of so many different animals on the island and how they become her friends.

message 7: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 15 comments 1. This is such a hard question! I love the name my parents gave me! At one point in my life, I would have been called Girl Who Plays the Flute. Several people have actually called me Girl with the Long Brown Hair (it used to be super long). I think, for this, I will go with Girl Who Loves to Read.

2. At the very beginning of the book, I thought Karana was very patient and focused. She sees the Aleut's ship and is really excited about it, but she continues to gather roots. I still think she is patient; she waited for years for the white men to come back. I also thought Karana was smart. She knew what to do to take care of herself. This impression did not change either. She continues to take care of herself and manages to get through some sticky situations. Finally, I thought Karana was selfless. She does not want her brother to have to be on the island all by himself and she jumps off the ship, knowing that her brother is the only person left on the island, without thinking of herself.

message 8: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 13 comments 1. Going off of my excitment for today (snow and sunshine) in one afternoon! I would have to be girl-who- LOVES- season changes. I love it when the season is just about to change it always gets me in happy spirits!
2. I LOVED Karana this time I read the book. The book for me was all about her this time instead of all about nature- what I thought it was when I read it as a middle schooler. I love watching her grow from her innocence into a woman of power all the while keeping her compassionate nature in check!

message 9: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 15 comments 1.Hmm, I'm not really sure what my secret name would be. Probably "Sings with her hands." I am proficient in sign language. I CAN carry on a conversation with a deaf person, but unlike most people who know sign language and are most comfortable with conversational signing, I am most comfortable signing music. I do it at my church a lot, and have done it in several competitions and won :D. (Now I judge for those competitions, lol).

2. My initial impression of Karana was that she was very level-headed and had great self-control. She stayed and dug up roots when there was a ship coming even though she was more excited than her brother about the ship. It didn't change too much, I still think she was level-headed and had a lot of self-control by the end of the book. She was able to survive on the island for years by herself; she didn't kill all the wild dogs out of anger, and she stayed in the cave when the aleuts came back. My view of her did develop more characteristics though. I viewed her as by the end of the book as loyal, compassionate, independent, strong-willed, and much more.

~Sings with her hands~ ;)

message 10: by Diana (new)

Diana | 7 comments 1. My name would be "the tall one" because I'm not creative haha

2. I thought Karana was very strong and intelligent. I wish I could fend for myself like she can. She is so caring to swim back for her brother and then to help Rontu instead of seeking revenge. She was very crafty and intelligent for learning how to make the tools and I thought it was great that she still made herself jewelry and the nice skirt-this showed that she still tried to follow routine. Otherwise, she couldn't have stayed sane. Overall, she was pretty awesome.

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