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Study Guide Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

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1. What was the nationality of the captain of the Aleut ship?

2. What is your opinion of Chief Chowig’s negotiations with the ship’s captain? If you had to negotiate as Chief Chowig did, what would you say to the captain?

3. What has happened to Karana’s mother?

4. How old is Ramo?

5. Is Ulape older or younger than Karana?

6. After the death of his father, who cares for Ramo?

7. Why does Karana hate the wild dogs?

8. Why does Karana hesitate to make and use weapons?

9. Why does Karana return instead of complete her journey by canoe?

10. When does Karana decide to make a permanent home on the island?

11. What does Karana use to build a protective fence around her home?

12. What does she use to build the home?

13. What is Karana’s secret name?

14. Who was Mukat?

15. What was the name of the island to which some in the tribe wanted to travel shortly after the massacre?


1. Russian

2. (give your own opinion)

3. She died a few years before the story began. (p. 27)

4. Six

5. Two years older. (p.11)

6. Ulape, more because she was older, and Karana (p.27)

7. Because they killed her brother. Also, she considers them to be a danger to her.

8. “The laws of Ghalas-at forbade the making of weapons by women of the tribe” (p.51)

9. The canoe leaks too much.

10. When she returns from her attempted trip by canoe. (p. 68)

11. Rib bones from whales (p. 72)

12. Poles made from trees bound together with sinew and covered with female kelp (p. 74)

13. Won-a-pa-lei (p. 5)

14. One of the gods about whom Karana had heard stories. (p. 73)

15. Santa Catalina Island. (p. 25)


1. The Aleuts - From where did they come?

2. Russian explorers - What was their relationship with the Aleuts?

3. California missions - Who lived there? What did they do?

4. Indian tribes that lived on the Channel Islands - How did they live?

5. Canoes - How did the Indians make and use them?

6. Basket-making - Describe the process

7. Dolphins - Describe where and how they live

8. Sea Elephants - as above

9. Devilfish (octopus) - as above

10. Otters - as above

11. Abalone - How are they harvested and prepared?

12. Kelp - What is it and what are its uses?

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