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World War 2 Mini-Research Project for The Cay by Theodore Taylor

written by: skline • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 9/11/2012

Teaching The Cay by Theodore Taylor has been one of my favorite units for the past five years. My students will tell you it is one of their favorites, too. I have comprised several research projects which appear in this series and enhance the teaching of this beloved novel. Your students will enjoy!

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    Introduction

    As a middle school English and Reading teacher, I have found that adding technology into the curriculum has many benefits. I teach using technology as often as possible. My love for Theodore Taylor’s novel, The Cay, stems from when I was in elementary school and read the book no less than ten times because it was easily amongst my favorites. When I teach this novel now, I share my love for the book and incorporate technology into my teachings. My students will tell you it is amongst their favorite novels, as well. I attribute that partly to the projects I conduct whilst reading the book. Here, you will find one of the research projects. It is meant to be conducted after starting the novel, around the second or third chapter, when World War II is mentioned.

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    Activity

    As a middle school English and Reading teacher, I have found that adding technology into the curriculum has many benefits. I teach using technology as often as possible. My love for Theodore Taylor’s novel, The Cay, stems from when I was in elementary school and read the book no less than ten times because it was easily amongst my favorites. When I teach this novel now, I share my love for the book and incorporate technology into my teachings. My students will tell you it is amongst their favorite novels, as well. I attribute that partly to the projects I conduct whilst reading the book. Here, you will find one of the research projects. It is meant to be conducted after starting the novel, around the second or third chapter, when World War II is mentioned. To complete the activity, your students will need access to computers and the activity page that follows.

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    Extension

    Possible extension activities are in the form of additional reading. You might also want to have your students Google World War II or The Holocaust and state additional interesting facts about him and/or his novels.

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    Concluding Thoughts

    I truly believe that it is of high importance to research the author prior to starting new novel units. By completing this activity, students will develop a higher understanding of World War II, and use that information to ultimately better understand the novel.

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    Activity Page for World War 2 Mini-Research Project for The Cay by Theodore Taylor

    Directions: Double click on Internet Explorer on your desktop. Type http://www.worldwar-2.net/ in the address bar at the top of the screen. Then, answer the following questions using the site and the links on the right side of the page under TIMELINES.

    Find the answers to the following questions on the main page.

    1. What happened on September 1, 1939?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

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    2. On September 3, 1939, what two world powers declared war on Germany?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

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    3. By the end of the war, about how many people had lost their lives?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    For the next four questions, click on PRELUDE TO THE WAR.

    4. What did the Treaty of Versailles do to Germany that ultimately led to World War 2?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    5. Where was the first concentration camp opened in 1933?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    6. What do the new laws announced in Germany in 1938 prevent the Jews from doing?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    7. In 1939, who signs a trade treaty with Germany that results in 14 German U-Boats being sent to patrol the North Atlantic Ocean?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

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    For the next 3 questions, click on THE HOLOCAUST, then click on 1942.

    8. What happened in April 1942?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    9. What were the Dutch Jews forced to wear in May 1942?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    10. Who reported that over 1,000,000 Jews had already been killed in July 1942?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    For the next 3 questions, click on THE HOLOCAUST, then click on 1944.

    11. In May 1942, it is estimated that what has happened to 100,000 Jews at Aushwitz?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    12. Who was arrested by Gestapo in Amsterdam and sent to Aushwitz in August 1944?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    13. What were 25,000 forced to do in November 1944?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    For the next 3 questions, click on THE HOLOCAUST, then click 1945.

    14. About how many people were executed at Auschwitz?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    15. What begins in November 1945, and who is on trial?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

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    16. What happened to the SS personnel convicted of atrocities at Belsen and other concentration camps in December 1945?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    For the next 2 questions, click on THE AMERICAS, then click on 1941.

    17. What date in December 1941 does President Roosevelt sign the declaration of war on Japan?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

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    18. What happened on December 11, 1941?

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    For the next 2 questions, click on WAR AT SEA, click on BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC, then click 1942.

    19. What happened on February 16, 1942?

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    20. What happened just south of Norfolk, VA, on April 14, 1942?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Extension

    Type www.google.com in your address bar and press enter. Type World War 2 or The Holocaust (your choice) in the search bar and press enter. Use this opportunity to find out additional information about World War 2. For instance, can you tell me who the Allied and Axis powers were? Can you tell me how many casualties there were? Can you name the main leaders of the NAZI party? What countries were neutral? When and how did the war end? What happened to Adolf Hitler? How did Hitler gain such political power? Find out the answers to these questions and more. Write your answers on the back of this page or on a separate sheet of paper.

Research and Technology Applications Using The Cay by Theodore Taylor

Implementing technology into curriculum has become an essential part of education. The beloved book, The Cay by Theodore Taylor, deals with World War 2, blindness, deserted island survival, and acceptance. Using these concepts, I have comprised several research activities that use technology.
  1. An Author Study Lesson on Theodore Taylor of The Cay
  2. World War 2 Mini-Research Project for The Cay by Theodore Taylor
  3. Research Poster Project for The Cay by Theodore Taylor, Part One
  4. Evaluating the Research Poster Project for The Cay (Part Two)

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