The Cay Activities

The Cay Teaching Ideas

Students love reading The Cay by Theodore Taylor! Make your unit memorial with these four activities. They are both fun and a great learning experience.

Set during World War II, The Cay tells the story of Phillip, an American from Virginia. While returning home from Curacao, the Germans torpedo Phillip’s ship. Phillip and Timothy find their way to a raft. After floating on the ocean for several days, they land on an island. Timothy says they are in the Devil’s Mouth. Coral reefs surround the island. [This doesn’t sound very promising for a rescue.] Phillip must overcome both mental and physical obstacles to survive.

Activity #1 ~ Story Elements PowerPoint

Story Elements PowerPoint

This 97 slide PowerPoint goes over definitions and examples students need to understand to complete the Story Map. The PowerPoint uses examples from books students in our school have read. The PowerPoint also has familiar characters such as Batman and Ebeneezer Scrooge.


You can adapt the PowerPoint to fit any novel.

Story Elements PowerPoint to use with The Cay


Activity #2 ~ Prepositions PowerPoint

Prepositions PowerPoint to use when Teaching The Cay

I like to begin my grammar unit with students identifying prepositional phrases. When students can isolate the prepositional phrases, it is easier to break down the rest of the sentence. This 23 slide PowerPoint includes six sentences related to The Cay. Students created the artwork. This makes a quick fun activity for students.

Prepositions PowerPoint to use with The Cay

Activity #3 ~ Edible Octopus

Edible Octopus

This edible octopus is made from a hot dog with mustard eyes. It sits on a bed of shell pasta. The ‘shells’ are decorated with goldfish crackers. See additional photos.

Activity #4 ~ Weaving


Timothy showed Phillip how to weave mats. We tried our hand at weaving. A simple loom was created from a disposable plastic plate. Students used yarn to create potholders. This simple project showed students what Phillip must be experiencing. See additional photos.

The Cay Book Unit Samples
Samples from The Cay Book Unit

Check out The Cay Book Unit samples.

The Cay Book Unit

The Cay Book Unit

The Cay Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities. The unit covers vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.

Gay Miller

Permanent link to this article: