“Tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever” (Indian Proverb)
This approach to learning geography concepts and understanding the richness of the setting while reading and discussing The Cay provides students with that special story that dramatically aids their memory!
Year after year my seventh grade students have rated The Cay as our number one unit in both terms of enjoyment and in terms of learning. Even their parents often mention how much their students have enjoyed the book.
This is a great story that students should not miss with the potential of real growth in both content and character as everyone grapples with the problems of prejudice.
This unit was originally developed around 2005 and in 2006 was winner of the CRAM/NCGE Award. Since then it has been revised.
The materials spend four pages giving the teacher the theoretical background and its alignment with National Geography Standards, Common Core, and even its possible use in a religious oriented school.
A group work plan that runs throughout the entire book is designed so that groups deal with eight items such as charting differences of rainfall in Curacao and their local school, plotting story action, and recording life lessons. Presentations from these groups allow opportunities to highlight research results and practice presentation skills.
A day by day plan is given along with teaching suggestions for each chapter. These teaching suggestions are designed to help the teacher explore the various possible geographic concepts along with story aspects. To avoid copyright issues, the actual lectures are NOT presented but rather the topics that could easily enrich the story at various points. A quick online search easily brings both information and visuals for each topic.
Differentiation ideas are suggested and a list of resources are presented.
An objective test with a provided answer key and two possible essay formats are provided.
Enjoy The Cay with students and use it as a platform for many types and areas of learning!