The Cay Novel Study - Characterization, Inference, and Context Clues Activities

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Classroom in the Middle
Grade Levels
4th - 7th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
78 pages
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Classroom in the Middle
Easel Activity Included
This resource includes a ready-to-use interactive activity students can complete on any device.  Easel by TPT is free to use! Learn more.


This novel study for The Cay includes questions for each chapter, a before reading activity, two characterization activities, two context clues activities, two inferencing activities, and a review card game. Questions are text dependent and written specifically for this novel.

There is one page of text dependent questions for each chapter of this novel, Theodore Taylor's The Cay. Each one has eight questions including characterization questions, context clues questions, and inferencing questions with lines for students' answers. These can be used for interactive notebook pages or for chapter assessments of these three important skills.

The prereading activity sets up the story with questions about the setting of The Cay and a prereading word sort.

One characterization activity is a character map about the main character, Phillip. The other is a characterization chart about several important characters.

The context clues activities involve locating the clues, defining words from context clues, and choosing from multiple meanings.

The inferencing activities ask students to make inferences using evidence and quotations from the story.

The I Have . . .Who Has . . ? game is a fun whole class activity for reviewing details from the novel after reading.

The Easel Activity is ready to use with answer boxes for student responses. It includes all of the chapter questions and activity sheets. The printable card game is located in the PDF file.

This novel study supports a number of the Reading: Literature standards, especially those involving using text-based evidence, determining main ideas and details, using context clues, and making inferences.

For more novel studies, see my Novel Study Assignments.

Also see my Task Cards for practice on specific reading skills.

From Classroom in the Middle

Total Pages
78 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.


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