Tuesday, January 18, 2011


A fight between your heart and your brain

Roy Eberhardt is a new kid in Florida and immediately has to deal with the typical bullies that he has encountered everywhere else he lived. However, his dealings with Dana Matherson, a bully on his school bus, become very unusual. Dana is out to get Roy, but Roy is more concerned with the running boy he saw one day while sitting on the bus. The boy looked about his age but had no back pack, no books and no shoes. Roy sets out to find him and ends up encountering more than he bargained for. A few random encounters with a police officer and acts of vandalism on the lot of a future pancake house lead Roy to the involvement of saving the burrowing owls living on the lot. His heart tells him to help, but his brain is afraid he might get into trouble. What will Roy Eberhardt choose? Carl Hiaasen takes us through a journey of right and wrong and teaches us to ask questions about what people are allowed to do to the environment in Hoot.

Teachers: here are some resources and ideas to help you teach this novel...

Web Resources:
  • Burrowing Owls: A Burrowing Owl Biology.
  • Fun Facts: Facts about Burrowing Owls. 
  • Hoot Resources: Here you will find online quizzes, printable quizzes, activities and vocabulary (within the activities link) by chapter for Hoot.
  • Scholastic: Here are lesson ideas from Scholastic.com

Vocabulary: Here are some words that may need to be pretaught: vandalism, nark, reproachfully, leniency, sinewy, errant, wayward, tetanus, delinquents, cowls, truancy, reconnaissance, derelict, crusade, jurisdiction, standoff, protest, demonstration, impromptu

Before Reading:  This story focuses on burrowing owls which are protected in Florida. Find a plant or animal that is protected in your state and learn a little bit about them. Share your findings with your classmates. Be sure to explain why this animal is protected.

During Reading
  • Before Roy meets the running boy, write a character sketch of him predicting what you think he is like.
  • After Roy has met the running boy and Beatrice has told Roy about Mullet Boy's situation, write an actual character sketch and then compare the two. Were any of your predictions correct?
After Reading: Think of an environmental concern either in your town or that you have heard about. Write a letter to a local government official explaining your concerns and what you think should be done to fix the issue. If it is an environmental concern that is still prominent in your area, you may want to consider sending the students' letters to government officials to help students feel involved in saving the environment.

Across the Curriculum:
Science: You can connect this book to learning about ecosystems, burrowing owls, cottonmouths, etc. You can also use Hoot to teach about endangered animals.
Social Studies: Use this book to teach students that their voice is important too! Like Roy, if they have an environmental concern, they can voice it to a local governmental official (see after reading activity).

Hiaasen, C. (2002). Hoot . New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 
Newbery Honor Book

Happy Reading (&Running) =)

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