Desert Island Packing List

17 May

While some teachers may complain about the salary, the job certainly has its perks, especially for children’s writers. Depending on the genre you write for and the grade you teach, you may have prime access to your target audience.

While reading your manuscript may not be in the syllabus, you can definitely create lesson plans allowing you to stick your nosy fingers inside their thoughts, fears, opinions, and dreams.

Luckily for me, I’m responsible for grading all of the senior exam English essays. While I’m primarily a picture book writer, the prompt “What 3 things would you bring to a desert island” generously provided me with a buffet of creativity. In addition, I was able to spy what items Japanese adolescents hold dear and would now like to share the spoils with you!

Of the 280 essays I perused, ‘water’ reigned supreme with ‘food’ and ‘knife’ appearing often. Though, after those, all bets were off. Please consider that some students were possibly confused by the ‘desert’ in “desert island” and thus wanted to bring items to help them survive the extremities of an arid climate.

Without further ado, in no particular order here is a general list of items chosen.

  1. water
  2. food
  3. knife
  4. blanket
  5. fire starter
  6. cap/hat
  7. clothes
  8. light/lamp
  9. TV
  10. radio
  11. pen
  12. camel
  13. shoes
  14. computer
  15. bike
  16. cheese
  17. books
  18. telescope
  19. chocolate
  20. futon
  21. umbrella
  22. horse
  23. drugs
  24. games
  25. cookies
  26. cake
  27. fishing supplies
  28. coat
  29. kettle
  30. rope
  31. cell phone
  32. tent
  33. iPod / music player
  34. a knight
  35. Prime Minister of Japan
  36. a book on how to survive on a desert island
  37. toilet paper
  38. newspaper
  39. bow
  40. car made in Japan
  41. rabbit doll
  42. solar car
  43. bible
  44. trees
  45. empty box (to fill w/ sand and decorate)
  46. dictionary
  47. mirror
  48. money
  49. electric ship
  50. towel
  51. fan
  52. magnet
  53. shovel
  54. glasses
  55. oil
  56. pot (to cook in)
  57. long stick
  58. machine to make natural water
  59. friends
  60. lighter
  61. various species
  62. balls
  63. bats
  64. gloves
  65. roof
  66. seeds
  67. gun
  68. map
  69. fire
  70. chair
  71. branches
  72. strings
  73. peanut butter

If possible, give your students this prompt and see what they decide to bring!

All this ‘island survival’ talk has me generating an idea for a book.

Happy imaginating everyone!

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