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Literature Connections

4-8 Core Literature Themes and Connections

The Cay by Theodore Taylor

Phillip, a boy living on the island of Curacao off the island of Venezuela during World War II, survives a boat accident that causes him to be blind. He lives through a hurricane and learns how to survive on a barren island.

Key Concepts and Vocabulary Words
ISurvival, disasters, mapping, hurricanes, blindness, geography


English/Language Arts

Theme Questions


Extensions/ Activities

What is it like to live through a hurricane?

National Hurricane Center

Students write a short story about what they think it would be like to live through a hurricane.


English-Language Arts 6th Grade Standard
2.0 Writing Applications
Using the writing strategies of grade six outlined in Writing Standard 1.0, students:
2.1 Write narratives:
a. Establish and develop a plot and setting and present a point of view that is appropriate to the stories.
b. Include sensory details and concrete language to develop plot and character.
c. Use a range of narrative devices (e.g., dialogue, suspense).

History/Social Science

Theme Questions


Extensions/ Activities

What is the best way to map the Caribbean and Curacao?

CyberGuide on the Cay

Have students create maps of Curacao using different tools

History-Social Science Grades 6-8
Chronological and Spatial Thinking
3. Students use a variety of maps and documents to identify physical and cultural features of neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries and to explain the historical migration of people, expansion and disintegration of empires, and the growth of economic systems.


Theme Questions


Extensions/ Activities

How are hurricanes tracked?

What do you need to do to survive disasters and accidents?

Hurricanes Site from USA Today

Lesson on the Cay

The Cay: Activities and Online Boat Quiz

Students create brochures on hurricanes: predicting hurricanes, hurricane history and information, hurricane hunters, tracking hurricanes

Have students put together a plan to survive a hurricane using the website. Then have them develop a plan for a local disaster.

Science Grade 6
Energy in the Earth System
4. Many phenomena on Earth's surface are affected by the transfer of energy through radiation and convection currents. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know the sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on Earth's surface; it powers winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle.
d. Students know convection currents distribute heat in the atmosphere and oceans.
e. Students know differences in pressure, heat, air movement, and humidity result in changes of weather.





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