By Rosanne Parry

Copyright Date: 2016

Published by: Random House Children’s Books

Lexile Reading Level: 720

Grade Level Recommendation: 5th Grade

Common Core State Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Suggested Delivery: Independent read, read aloud

Key Vocabulary:

  • maritime: relating to the sea, having to do with boats and sailing.
  • catamaran: a type of boat.
  • admiration: the act of looking on, a feeling of wonder, pleasure, or approval.
  • mischief: the cause of harm or trouble.
  • exasperated: to irritate or provoke, to annoy.
  • compass: a tool used to determine direction.
  • generations: a group of individuals who are born all around the same time, grandparents to parents to children.
  • skeptical: to doubt something.
  • navigation: directing the course of a ship or aircraft.

Reading Strategies:

  • Before: The teacher will discuss nautical terms.  This can be done by making hand signals or actions that can go with each word.
  • During:  Have the students fill out a character analysis graphic organizer.  This will help them take note of the character development throughout the story. The teacher can start the activity by also talking about cultural differences and how they might effect why the characters are acting the way they are.
  • After: Students will write about the character development of the two main character from the beginning of the story to the end.  They will use quotes from the text as support to back up their response.

Writing Activity Suggestion: (Prompt for students) Pick one of the main characters.  If you were that person, how would you have reacted if you were in their situation.  Would it be the same or different to how the character acted in the story? Why?

Electronic Resources:

  • Nautical Dictionary for Kids – This will be useful for the teacher or the students to use if they are unfamiliar with nautical vocabulary.
  • Character Graphic Organizers– There are a variety of graphic organizers here, which will help students understand the feelings of the characters in the story.
  • Fun Facts About Japan– The teacher can use this website so they can learn and have a better understanding for Japanese culture when reading this book to students.





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