village island teachers finish

Notes to the Teacher

How the site is set-up and how you might use it with your students.



The purpose of this site is to provide opportunities:

  • to use historical fiction to engage students in California history
  • to build student's background knowledge or schema, so they can better comprehend the literature
  • for Spanish second language learners to access both the literature as well as the history
  • for students to use valuable resources found on the Internet to do research in a focused and directed way
  • to integrate technology into the Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science, curriculums


Links to other sites

Throughout this site there are opportunities to
When students click here, it will take them out of our site to a link that will provide them deeper understanding of the topic. To compliment some of the links, "Study Guide" worksheets (PDF format) have been provided to direct student research. These worksheets have been written so they are pertinent to each particular link. Some of the worksheets are longer than others depending on the information provided at the link.

You will find all of the worksheets (PDF documents) on this page below. They are listed under the section of the web site to which they belong. You can save or print all of them from here before reproducing them for students.

Main Sections of the web site


The Start

This page outlines the task for students and begins their journey through the site.


Village / Anthropology

The web pages in this area focus on the Channel Island Native Americans. Although the Natives from San Nicolas were considered to be Gabrielino (Tongva), the other islands were inhabited by the Chumash. The Chumash traded with the people on Karana's island. Most of the links from these pages go to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History page about the Chumash people. It is a beautiful site written at a level that is readable for students.


Baskets (En.) | Baskets (Sp.) | Canoe (En.) | Canoe (Sp.) | Shelter (En.) | Shelter (Sp.) | Cave (En.) | Cave (Sp.)


San Nicolas Island / Geography

The web pages in this area of the site focus on the island itself. Here you will find maps and photographs of San Nicolas island. There is a blank map of San Nicolas (PDF format) that you can use with students. You could also project it onto butcher paper and trace the island big enough to use whole class to "map" the story.

Historical Note: There was an acual tsunami recorded in the Channel Islands in 1851, two years before Karana was found. Also, Father Gonzales Rubio actually did offer $200 for her reward. Alaskan Natives were brought, by Capt. Whittemore, to the Island in 1811 to hunt sea otter. They killed all of the men on the island. They were not Aleutian though, they were from Kodiak Island.




Sea Life / Zoology

These pages are designed for students to do research about the wildlife in the book.

Note: On the Sealife page, the starfish is a Blood Star, the Purple Sea Urchin, and the orange fish is the Garibaldi. Taken from Channel Island marine life site at: and


Dolphin (En.) | Dolphin (Sp.) | Squid (En.) | Squid (Sp.) | Seaotter (En.) | Seaotter (Sp.)



This section contains information on the site authors, Scott O'Dell, our words of thanks to those who contributed to the site, and a bibliography. We have also included the real story of Karana and her photograph.


The Finish

Here, students can take a short, online quiz about the information they have learned and receive a certificate of completion.


Please email us with feedback about ways you have used our site with students!


Start | Village | San Nicolas Island | Sea Life | Teacher's Page | Finish