Call It Courage tells the story Mafatu, the son of the chief of Hikueru Island. As a young boy, Mafatu witnesses his mother dying in a storm. Due to this, he is terrified of the sea. This causes his father shame.
Mafatu leaves Hikueru to prove he is not a coward. First, he lives through a hurricane as he travels across the Pacific Ocean in his small canoe. Next, he makes his home on a small island. Mafatu confronts many dangers on the island. He discovers his island contains a sacred ritual temple for the eaters-of-man. Eaters-of-man are not the only danger. Mafatu is confronted by several animals. At one point, he is forced to kill a wild boar. He battles a shark who is about to kill his beloved dog Uri. Mafatu comes up against an octopus while retrieving his knife from the bottom of the ocean.
Mafatu is determined not to return home until he can prove to his father that he is brave. Has he done enough? Read Call It Courage to see if Mafatu proves his bravery.
Call It Courage Activities
Book Unit Samples
This sample includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, and a constructed response question plus answer keys for Call It Courage.
Teaching Idea #1 ~ Anchor Chart with Paired Student Page
This anchor chart compares two gods Maui and Moana. Notice in the photo, students wrote on sticky notes. Reused the anchor chart with class after class by removing the notes.
You will find the handout to complete this activity in the unit sample. If you missed the link above, here it is again.
Teaching Idea #2 ~ Comparing Book Covers
Teaching Idea #3 ~ Movie
Disney created a movie version of the book in 1973. The video below is the trailer. Show the movie to pique interest in the book. If you would prefer to show the entire movie, you can find it here.