Scar Island

Scar Island Teaching IdeasAre you looking for a great novel for students? Check out Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart. It is the perfect book for reluctant middle school readers. This gripping adventure story is an easy read (Lexile rating of 610).

Twelve-year-old Jonathan has been sent to the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys. Jonathan thinks he deserves going to to this remote island just large enough to house the crumbling stone school that was once an asylum for the terrible thing he did. Just a few chapters into the book, a lightning strike kills all the adults. The boys struggle for leadership roles as a hurricane hits the island.

This page-turner contains chapter-after-chapter ending in cliffhangers. I found myself not being able to put the book down.

Activities for the Book

Activity #1 ~ Free Samples from Scar Island Book Unit

If you would like to try out the Scar Island Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
  • Constructed Response Question – Setting
  • Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like

Scar Island Novel Study

Activity #2 ~ Book Trailer

Activity #3 ~ Parallel Classics 

Jonathan goes to the library four times during the novel. Each time the librarian gives Jonathan a book to read that in some way parallels the events that are taking place on the island. Have students watch summaries of these classics and compare them to the events that are taking place in Jonathan’s life.

Robinson Crusoe

Treasure Island

Lord of the Flies


This student-created video is a little difficult to understand.

Activity #4 ~ Anti-Bullying Campaign

Sebastian and Benny become extremely abusive when they decide to become leaders. Have students make a list of how they abuse power.

Have students create a poster, skit, video, and so on that shows the effects of bullying. Students can research statistical information to add to their campaigns.

Activity #5 ~ Letter Writing

Each day the boys at Slabhenge write letters home. Have students write letters to friends or family. These letters could include book summaries.

Scar Island Book Unit

Scar Island Book Unit

Scar Island Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.

Gay Miller

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