Activity Overview

In this activity, students will compare and contrast The 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.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard comparing and contrasting The Birchbark House with another text of your choice.

  1. Use the template provided by your teacher.
  2. Select another text to compare/contrast.
  3. In one column, describe events or elements as they appear in The Birchbark House.
  4. In the other column, describe each element as it appears in your chosen text.
  5. Illustrate each scene with appropriate characters, items, dialogue, and scenes.
  6. Save often!

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.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Compare and Contrast Texts/Renditions
Create a storyboard that compares the text with one or more texts, versions, or history.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Comparison Analysis
Text and images include a clear explanation of similarities and/or differences between the categories or topics. These comparisons go beyond superficial elements and show strong understanding of the story elements.
Text and images include an explanation of similarities and/or differences between the categories or topics, but the explanation may lack clarity or show only superficial understanding in some squares.
Text and images may include no explanation of similarities and/or differences, or they may make only superficial or inaccurate comparisons.
Textual Explanation
The text clearly and accurately describes all the scenes and concepts depicted.
The text clearly and accurately describes most of the scenes and concepts depicted.
The text fails to describe most of the scenes clearly and accurately.
Storyboard Image and Effort
Student clearly shows effort to convey the setting, characters and specific scene of the book. The scene is clearly identifiable based on the graphic depiction.
Student attempts to convey the setting, characters, and specific scene through use of graphics, but the depiction may be confusing, disordered, or lack some detail.
Student does not clearly convey the setting, characters, and scene.
Spelling and Grammar
Student uses exemplary spelling and grammar. There are no errors.
Student makes one or two minor errors in spelling and grammar.
Student makes multiple errors in spelling and grammar.

More Storyboard That Activities

The Birchbark House

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