Are 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 to go 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.
Scar Island Activities
Book Unit Samples
You will find the following in this novel study sample:
- Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
- Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
- Constructed Response Question – Setting
Teaching Idea #1 – 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.
Teaching Idea #2 – Book Trailer
This professionally created book trailer from Scholastic is a great hook for your novel study. Scholastic creates trailers to build interest in novels during their book fairs. It is sure to make your students excited to read the book.
Teaching Idea #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.
Lord of the Flies
Teaching Idea #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.
Teaching Idea #5 – On the Web
Check out Dan Gemeinhart’s website.
Book Illustrations – This site has 5 illustrations. Have students view the illustrations and identify the scenes from the story. Have students explain if they are or aren’t good representations of the story.
Teaching Idea #6 – The Audiobook
See the product that inspired this post.
Scar Island Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.