Olive's Ocean

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"Olive Barstow was dead. She'd been hit by a car on Monroe Street while riding her bicycle weeks ago. That was about all Martha knew."

Martha Boyle and Olive Barstow could have been friends. But they weren't -- and now all that is left are eerie connections between two girls who were in the same grade at school and who both kept the same secret without knowing it.

Now Martha can't stop thinking about Olive. A family summer on Cape Cod should help banish those thoughts; instead, they seep in everywhere.

And this year Martha's routine at her beloved grandmother's beachside house is complicated by the Manning boys. Jimmy, Tate, Todd, Luke, and Leo. But especially Jimmy. What if, what if, what if, what if? The world can change in a minute.

Curriculet Details
51 Questions
60 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 5th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining author's use of language, such as imagery, tone, mood, similes and metaphors. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about developing characters and emerging themes. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of family, friendship, and discovering yourself. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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1. A Beginning

Watch the video below. The reader is thrown into the story without really knowing who the characters are or what has already happened. What do you think we will learn more about? (This annotation contains a video)

2. An End

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
The author most likely includes this chapter  

3. Hopes

Martha describes Olive's neat handwriting and compares it to pearls. There are people called graphologists who study handwriting and how it's linked to our personalities. For more information, read this cool article and find out what your handwriting says about you! (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
How does Martha react to Olive's note? 

4. Martha’s Father

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What does Martha's father mean by this statement? Give specific details from the text in your answer. (Hint: you may want to finish this chapter before answering the question.) 
Martha and her father share this common interest. So far in the novel, who else wanted to be a writer? 

5. Lucy

Watch the video below. Can you picture Lucy's room as you read? (This annotation contains a video)

6. The Corner of Knickerbocker and Monroe

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
Where is Martha? 
Martha is trying to sort out the meaning of Olive's note. In the meantime, she pays tribute to Olive's memory by signing her name and leaving a friendship bracelet where Olive's accident took place. It is a common practice for people to leave flowers and other items as a memorial when there's been a tragic accident (see image below). (This annotation contains an image)

7. A Phone Conversation in Mid-July

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Compare and contrast Martha and Holly's character as revealed in this phone conversation. Do they react in a similar or different way to Olive's accident? What does this say about their personalities? Be sure to include specific details from the chapter. 

8. Ms. Hubbard

The italicized text on this page is filling in the reader about past events and other important information. 
You can tell that Martha is twelve now from the way she's changed her opinion about her mom's radio talk show. She used to think it was so cool and now she is somewhat embarrassed by it. Does Martha's changed opinion seem fair towards her mom? Have you ever had an experience like this? 

9. Vince

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What kind of relationship do Martha and Vince have? 
Martha wants to talk to someone about Olive, but something keeps her from mentioning it to Holly, her mom, and Vince. What could it be? 

11. The Glittery Feeling

See the picture below of the glittering ocean. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Describe Martha's glittery feeling. Give two details from the text in your response. 

12. Godbee

See the picture below of Adirondack chairs on a beach in Cape Cod. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why is Martha's grandmother nicknamed Godbee? 
How should Martha react to this comment? 

13. Just Fine

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
All of the following sentences reflect Dennis' short temper EXCEPT: 

14. Parcheesi

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What can the reader infer from the description of the Parcheesi game board and markers? 
Parcheesi is a popular board game (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)
Similar to Martha's changing feelings about her mother's talk radio show, Vince has become "too cool" for family game night. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Godbee has changed her mind about ______________ and now hates them. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
How is Dennis different when he returns from his drive? 

15. Her Father’s Decision

Notice how the author includes visual details to show Dennis' change in mood (not just details to describe his feelings). 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What is Martha's dad's decision? 

16. Kissing

Can you make a text-to-text or text-to-self connection to a similar experience you've had or a character has had waking up in a new, yet familiar place? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
On this page, Martha connects to Godbee's house with which of her five senses? 
Martha compares her sister's swimsuit to a pink peony (see image below). (This annotation contains an image)

17. A Writer

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
In this paragraph, Godbee's house is described as 
Watch the video below. What are you beginning to notice about Martha, Godbee, and their relationship? (This annotation contains a video)
To Kill a Mockingbird is an American classic written by Harper Lee (see a picture of the book cover below). (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why do you think Martha is comfortable telling her inner secrets to Godbee? Give at least two details from the text in your answer. 

18. Faraway

Look back at Olive's note in Chapter 3. How can you tell that Martha is trying to incorporate Olive's ideas into her book? 

19. Jimmy Manning

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why is Martha so surprised when Jimmy asks if she wants to be in his movie? 

20. The World Is Not What You Think It Is

This is a reference to a short Christian rhyme students may learn in Sunday School (watch the video below performed with words and actions). (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
These actions show that Martha is 
Watch the video below. Martha picks up on the changing tone in Jimmy's film. What does she mean by this? (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
Why does Jimmy title his film "The World Is Not What you Think it Is?" 

21. Private Moments

This is an awkward conversation between Martha and Tate. Remember it's mentioned that in previous summers she's enjoyed Tate's company (perhaps the reader can infer that she had a little crush). How have her feelings changed this summer? 

22. Taste and Smell

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why does Godbee tell Martha this? 
Quiz Chapters 1-22 

23. Writing and Waiting

Watch the video below on simile and metaphor. (This annotation contains a video)
This is an example of a simile, but what does it mean (hint: look at the picture below of a ginger root)? (This annotation contains an image)
Watch the video below. What is the point of view of this novel? (This annotation contains a video)

24. Fog

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
How can the fog be used as a metaphor compared to Martha's upcoming day? Give two examples from the text in your response. 

25. Bottle

This shows that although Vince wants to hang out with his friends, he still cares about his family, and particularly his younger sisters. 
Watch the video below. What theme or themes is/are emerging? (Hint: think about Martha and Godbee's deepening relationship.) (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Who most likely is the girl in Godbee's short story? 

27. Kyle Gilbert

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
The last time that Martha told someone about her crush, she was  

28. Initials

The author includes more vivid descriptions of Cape Cod (see a sample picture below). (This annotation contains an image)

29. Lobster

Cape Cod and its surrounding areas are known for their fresh seafood, particularly lobster (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does Jimmy film for the "death" part of his movie? 

30. Blue

There appears to be some sibling rivalry between Jimmy and Tate (perhaps over Martha). Watch the video below for an example of a famous sibling rivalry from The Lion King. Can you think of any other famous rivalries in stories or movies?  (This annotation contains a video)

31. The Benton Place

A marsh is a type of wetland (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
This comment shows that Jimmy can be 

32. Recording

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Do you think Martha should be telling Jimmy about Olive? How is telling this secret to Jimmy different than telling her secrets to Godbee? 

33. Holding Hands

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
Jimmy's initial reaction to Martha's story shows that 
Look at the map below. Provincetown is all the way at the tip of Cape Cod, meaning that Martha could walk a long time holding hands with Jimmy. (This annotation contains an image)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction film made in 1968 (see movie poster below). (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does Martha do as soon as she sees her dad? 

35. Sparkler

Notice how Martha's experiences continue to play a role in her writing. 
Sparklers (see picture below) are commonly used on Fourth of July. Warning: sparklers must always be used with adult supervision. 

36. Asking and Telling

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What is the most likely reason for Martha's mom inviting Jimmy for lunch? 

37. Free

You can tell from this conversation that Martha's mom is comfortable asking questions (after all, she does it for a living). 

38. The Best Day

Building sandcastles is a favorite activity for many people at the beach. All over the world, there are sandcastle and sand sculpture competitions. Check out the picture below of the winning U.S. Sand Sculpture from 2013. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Compare and contrast Martha and Jimmy as characters. Give specific details from the text in your analysis. 

39. A Question

The reader learns a lot through Jimmy's stories (his interests, dreams, behavior, etc.). 

40. Dream

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why does Martha feel like she's in a "dream?" 

41. A Bet

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Jimmy kisses Martha for all of the following reasons EXCEPT: 

42. Solidarity

The author uses another metaphor this time comparing Martha's life to a puzzle (currently an unfinished puzzle--see photo below). (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
After her kiss with Jimmy, why do Martha's thoughts turn to Olive? 

44. Hate

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why does Vince make fun of Martha about the kiss? 

45. Every Particle of a Thought

Vince calls Jimmy an inappropriate name, but it's his way of standing up for Martha. This serves as a "truce" between the siblings. 
Quiz Chapters 23-45 

46. Tate

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
After Tate's visit, Martha realizes 

47. Whirlwind in a Kitchen

Martha's mom instinctively knows that something is wrong with Martha. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
How is this game of Parcheesi different than the last one (described in Chapter 14)? Give specific text-based details in your answer. 

49. Later Still

Watch the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Authors often use dreams to include foreshadowing (hints or clues about future events). Do you think Godbee's dream could be foreshadowing? Why or why not? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Once again, Godbee tries to get Martha to tell her her daily secret, but Martha declines. Godbee is a very _______________ person. 

50. Confirmed

Martha is trying to follow Godbee's advice to help her sadness by doing something nice for someone else. 

51. Lellow

Godbee's rainbow jars are shining in the sunlight (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)

53. Buried

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why does Martha believe Olive's mom will want the jar? 

54. Sea Creature

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why does Martha step into the ocean? 

55. Change

Some people claim that when they have a near death experience their lives flash before their eyes. This can be a moment of clarity when people realize what they should do with the rest of their lives. What does this moment help Martha realize? 
Watch the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
How is Martha a dynamic character? Give two examples from the text. 

56. A Note

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
As it's used in this sentence, insidious most likely means 
Make a prediction: what do you think Tate is going to do? 

58. First Lines

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Which of Martha's 15 opening lines do you like the best? Include the line in your answer and explain why you like it. 

59. Formless Days

Instead of feeling shame and trying to hide her secrets, Martha now feels a sort of power from keeping her secrets to herself. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
The reader can tell it's the end of the summer because 
See the picture below of the Knob (it's a real place on Cape Cod). (This annotation contains an image)
Is this conversation actually happening? Continue reading on to find out. 

60. A Telephone Call

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Martha is upset about leaving Cape Cod. Who or what is she most upset about leaving? 

61. Bad Dream

Notice that as the summer progresses, Martha has accumulated many treasures. Have you ever had a souvenir from a trip that meant something special to you? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
In Martha's dream (or nightmare), all of her friends and family are 

62. Brave

This is one way Martha tries to keep things in perspective to help her be patient and not complain. 
Here is another example of a metaphor (Martha is an island on her bed). 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why does Godbee show Martha the card? 

63. Leaving

Martha doesn't want to leave until she finds out what Tate said he was going to do. 
Is this an accurate recap of Martha's vacation? Would you add anything? 

64. This Time

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why does Tate steal Jimmy's tape? 

65. A String of Preparations

Martha's feelings about her room show how much she's changed this summer. 
Martha has a lot of "loose ends" to tie up from this summer (things that need to be taken care of before school starts). 

66. Passing the Torch

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What does Martha's dad mean by saying "I'm officially passing the torch?" 

67. 4525 Nelson Street

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Does the jar still mean something if Martha can't give it to Olive's mom? Why or why not? 
Both Mr. Waverly and Martha feel bad for Olive because she was so lonely. People seem to feel bad now that she's dead, but why didn't they do something while she was alive? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Compare and contrast the beginning and the end of the novel. How are they similar? What are the differences? 

68. Home

Watch the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Quiz Chapters 46 - 68 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What is the most important lesson Godbee teaches Martha this summer? Be sure to reference the text in your answer.