The Cay

4th grade reading unit
by: Larry Morgan
Washington Elementary School
St. George, Utah

Unit length: 3 weeks



-Comprehend and critically evaluate text.

-Develop independence in reading.

-Build a personal reading vocabulary.

-Retell the story and events in a logical order.

-Clarify ideas, express opinions, and ask relevant questions.




Required: Read the book. Keep a reading journal. (35 points)


Level 3: (choose 5 activities) Each activity is worth a total of 5 points.

You can earn no more than 25 points in this section.

1. Find 4 examples of foreshadowing in your book and share them with your teacher.


2. Take and pass the AR test for the book.


3. Re-read chapters 6, 7 & 13. Draw the Island.


4 Choose your favorite character and write a one page explanation of why he/she is your favorite character.


5. Create puppets of the characters in your story and use them to retell the story to your teacher.


6. Re-read chapters 1& 2. Pretend that you are Phillip's father; write a letter to Phillip explaining why he must go with his mother to Virginia


7. Create an original song for your book. Perform it for your teacher.

8. Vocabulary flash cards. Learn the definitions of 5 words from your reading that you don't already know.


9. Venn Diagram. Compare a character in this book to another character from a different book you have read.


10. Write an acrostic poem for one of the main characters in your book.


Level 2 (choose any 2 activities) Each activity is worth a maximum of 10 points.

You may earn no more than 20 points in this section.


1. Write a eulogy for Timothy.


2. Create and color a map identifying the important places in your book.


3. Phillip asks which is worse to be born blind or to go blind later. Give your opinion, and support it. 4. Write a one page description of the ways Phillip changes throughout the book. 5. Make a commercial to sell your book to your classmates.



Level 1 (Choose 1 activity)


1. Spend a couple of hours in class as a blind person. Write a 2 page paper about your experiences.


2. Create your own board game, based upon the plot and central themes of your book.


3. Read Timothy of the Cay and write a one page paper comparing the two books.


4. Research the formation of coral reefs. Write a one page paper detailing their formations and functions. On a world map identify 3 large coral reefs.




All writing assignments should follow the writing process. Your final draft should be the clean copy that is submitted. All writing assignments should be at least one page in length unless otherwise indicated.


Level 3 activities


Reading journal - Each reading journal should consist of at least 10

entries (about one for every other chapter) and complete sentences punctuated correctly. Make sure to include brief summaries, questions that arise from your reading, predictions, opinions, and any connections that you make while you are reading. Each entry each entry should be at least half a page in length.


Foreshadowing- Be prepared to explain to your teacher the meaning of foreshadowing, find at least 4 examples of it in your book. Explain how they are good examples of it.


AR Test - A score of 70% or better is passing. You should be able to answer questions about the book for your teacher.


Illustration- Pay particular attention to the descriptions of the island. Draw and color it. Include the vegetation, reefs, beaches, & where the hut was built. Stick figures are not acceptable.


Character- Using 5 strong examples from the book write a 1 page paper describing this character and why they are your favorite. Use complete sentences, correct punctuation and spelling. Use strong reasoning to support your thinking.


Puppets- While retelling the story to your teacher, be sure to include the important events in the correct order. The student should be prepared to answer questions about the book from their teacher.


Letter from Phillip's father- Pay attention to Phillip's father. Express the thoughts and feelings that he seems to be experiencing. Stick to your topic, don't include trivial or meaningless thoughts. Convince Phillip that this is a necessary trip. 1 Page in length.


Song- The student will write an original song or rap about their book. The work needs to express the theme, plot, characters, or the solution of your story. It must be performed for the teacher.


Vocabulary- The student will create flash cards for 5 new words from their book. Student will learn the definitions and be able to define them when asked at random by the teacher.


Venn Diagram- The student will complete a Venn diagram for two characters in the story. They will clearly tell how each character is alike and different. Verbally share your diagram with your teacher.



Acrostic poem - Use your poem to explore the personality of your character. Use complete sentences, correct spelling and punctuation.


Level 2 Activities


Timothy's obituary- Write a speech, at least 2 pages in length, that expresses your thoughts and feelings for Timothy. Include his talents and skills, events from his life and what will be most remembered about him by his friends. Share it with your teacher.


Story map- Create and color a map identifying the following places mentioned in your book. Curacao, Venezuela, Aruba, Miami, Panama, St. Thomas, The Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie, Jamaica, and The Caymen Islands. Use different colors to identify the locations. Discuss with your teacher some of the important events, from your story and where they occurred.


Blind opinion.- The student will write in 2 pages their opinion about Phillip's question on going blind. Support your opinions with strong thinking. Use specific examples, from the book and/or their own life for support.


Phillip's changes- In 1-2 pages the student will describe how the character of Phillip changes, how he grows up, during the book. Look for changes in behavior and attitudes. What causes these changes? Are the changes for the good or bad?


Commercial- The student will write an outline for and then perform for the teacher(with help from classmates if needed) a commercial that will effective interest their classmates in reading this book. The commercial should relate to the theme, setting, plot, or characters of the story without giving too much detail away to future readers.


Level 1 Activities


Life as a blind person- In class the student will spend a couple of hours as a blind person, doing activities and work. Write a 2 page paper about your experience. How would your life change if you actually went blind? Discuss what you feel the hardest adjustments would be for you.


Create your own board game- Each student will create a workable

(playable) board game based upon the plot, themes, characters, settings, and challenges of their book. Each game must include a set of directions, rules, game pieces, and all the materials needed to play the game. Play it with 3 friends to make sure that it can be played clearly.


Timothy of the Cay- Read the book Timothy of the Cay. Write a 2 page compare and contrast paper. Explain to your teacher which you liked the most and why. Give examples from the books to support your thinking.


Coral reefs- Share with your teacher the ways that coral reefs are formed and there functions. On a world map identify 3 large coral reefs.










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