Abel's Island
Age 8-10: Concept 4 - Exploration and Survival: Unit 1

How will a genteel rat learn to survive on his own in the wild? Follow Abel as he learns to rely on his instincts and the natural resources in his environment for survival and the chance to return to the family he loves. Learn the difference between predictions and inferences, practice writing thoughtful questions, and try your hand at the art of reflective writing.

This unit can be used independently but is designed to be unit Animal Adaptations.


  • Able to read and comprehend chapter books at a 4th or 5th grade reading level
  • Able to write an organized paragraph
  • Usually used by children in fourth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Survival
  • Lesson 2: The Storm
  • Lesson 3: Where Am I?
  • Lesson 4: Who Is Abel?
  • Lesson 5: Perseverance
  • Lesson 6: Surprises
  • Lesson 7: Threats
  • Lesson 8: The Dead of Winter
  • Lesson 9: The Newcomer
  • Lesson 10: Escape
  • Lesson 11: Home at Last
  • Final Project: Your Own Deserted Island (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze characters, including their traits, feelings, relationships, and changes. (Language Arts)
  • Answer open-ended questions. (Language Arts)
  • Ask questions about text. (Language Arts)
  • Compose a draft that conveys major ideas and maintains focus on the topic by using preliminary plans. (Language Arts)
  • Compose a variety of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama selections using a various topics and forms. (Language Arts)
  • Compose original poems. (Language Arts)
  • Conduct research for projects from a variety of sources (with assistance). (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of parts of speech. (Language Arts)
  • Develop vocabulary by listening to and discussing both familiar and conceptually challenging reading selections. (Language Arts)
  • Draw and discuss visual images based on text descriptions. (Language Arts)
  • Draw conclusions, make generalizations, and gather support by referencing the text. (Language Arts)
  • Identify (with assistance) the purpose, audience, and appropriate form for the oral or written task. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and discuss similarities and differences in events, characters, concepts, and ideas within and across selections and support them by referencing the text. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and interpret elements of fiction such as the plot. (Language Arts)
  • Identify multisyllabic words by using common syllable patterns. (Language Arts)
  • Increase sight vocabulary, reading vocabulary, and writing vocabulary through book discussion. (Language Arts)
  • Interact with the text before, during, and after reading, listening, or viewing by making connections. (Language Arts)
  • Interact with the text by locating information for specific purposes. (Language Arts)
  • Make inferences and draw conclusions about characters and events. (Language Arts)
  • Make predictions and inferences while reading. (Language Arts)
  • Read independently daily from materials consistent with reading level. (Language Arts)
  • Represent text information in different ways, including story maps, graphs, and charts. (Language Arts)
  • Respond to fiction by participating in creative interpretations. (Language Arts)
  • Respond to literature using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes by relating plot, characters, and setting to own experience. (Language Arts)
  • Share a written and an oral project in a variety of ways. (Language Arts)
  • Show understanding and interpretation of text in discussion and writing. (Language Arts)
  • Support interpretations or conclusions with examples drawn from text. (Language Arts)
  • Use oral and written language to present information in a sequenced, logical manner. (Language Arts)
  • Use oral and written language to recount or narrate. (Language Arts)
  • Use oral and written language to report on a topic. (Language Arts)
  • Use planning strategies (with assistance) to generate topics and organize ideas (e.g., drawing, mapping, discussing, and listing). (Language Arts)
  • Use root words and other structural cues such as prefixes, suffixes, and derivational endings to recognize words. (Language Arts)
  • Use text and personal experience to verify facts, concepts, and ideas. (Language Arts)
  • Explain and discuss how humans and other animals can adapt their behaviors to live in changing habitats. (Science)
  • Observe and describe how all living and nonliving things affect the life of a particular animal including weather, other animals, and plants. (Science)
  • Observe and discuss how behaviors and body structures help animals survive in a particular habitat. (Science)
  • Compare how people in different communities adapt to or modify the physical environment. (Social Studies)
  • Draw maps of places and regions that contain map elements including a title, compass rose, legend, scale, and grid system. (Social Studies)
  • Use a scale to determine the distance between places on maps and globes. (Social Studies)
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