Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart 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 ~ Book Trailer
Activity #2~ 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.
Lord of the Flies
This student created video is a little difficult to understand.
Activity #3 ~ Anti-Bullying Campaign
Sebastian and Benny become extremely abusive when they decide to become the 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 #4 ~ 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.
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 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.