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In this activity, students will compare and contrastThe Birchbark House with another text they have read. In this example, The Birchbark House is being compared with Island of the Blue Dolphins.
The first commonality is building a shelter. Omakayas' family were responsible for building their birchbark home and their winter cabin. Karana was responsible for building her shelter out of whale bones, wood, and stones.
The second commonality is the fear they experience. In The Birchbark House there is the threat of non-Indian settlers, the Chimookomanug, moving the Ojibwa tribe farther west. In Island of the Blue Dolphins there is the fear of the Russians coming back to harm Karana.
A point of contrast between the stories are the main character’s families. Omakayas had a family and friends in the community. Karana was all alone on the island for many years.
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 4-5
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual or Partner
Common Core Standards
[ELA-Literacy/RL/5/9] Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.