The difference between what's "legal" and what's "right"
Carl Hiaasen delivers another Florida, nature based story in Flush. When the story starts, Noah's dad is in jail and refusing bail. Why? He wants to prove a point. He feels no remorse for sinking the boat. He knows that the casino boat Coral Queen has been dumping its... dump... into the ocean making it dangerous for kids swimming in the water and for sea life, especially turtles that lay their eggs in the sand in the local swimming area. The swimming area keeps getting shut down because otherwise everyone would be swimming in a bathroom. Noah's dad is enraged when his sinking proves nothing and instead, the boat is open for business only a few days later. But now Noah and his sister Abbey are determined to prove that their dad is not crazy! With help from an initially scary bartender, Shelley, the three devise a plan to shut the casino boat down for good. Noah also gets some help along the way from a mysterious pirate who not only tries to help him in his plan to ruin the casino boat but also with problems Noah is having with some neighborhood kids. Read to find out if Noah and his small group of allies can stop the Coral Queen once and for all!
Reading Level: Fountas and Pinnell: W
Teachers: Here are some resources to help you teach this book in your classroom...
- Book Talk: This resource is fantastic! It makes your job as a teacher a lot easier with over views of conflict, characters, etc. It also provides across the curriculum ideas (Science). In addition you will find discussion questions, vocabulary and more!
- Novel Unit: This link will open up a file in Word (It's safe, I promise!). This unit offers journal prompts, quizzes, rubrics, persuasive writing, anticipation guides, project ideas and so much more! Check it out, pick and choose, I'm sure you will find something useful.
- Project Ideas: This site offers a "gifted program" layout of a unit plan. For the every day classroom... this link offers tons of project ideas with rubrics to go with each idea, making your job easier!
Vocabulary: Here are some words I picked out... understatement, cheapskate, martyr, capsize, slander, skeptical, prosecute, cesspool, superstition, omen, incriminate, mirage, indignantly, culprit
Before Reading: This story takes place in the Florida Keys. Do a little research about some of the wildlife and natural resources in the Keys. Write a 1 page paper defending the wildlife and natural resources OR create a brochure telling the reader why he/she should want to protect the Keys and what he/she can do to protect the Keys.
During Reading: Journal/Discussion: Do you think it is okay to break the law if it for a "good cause?" Why or why not? What are some examples of "good causes" someone might break the law for? Make a list of pros and cons.
After Reading: Journal/Discussion: How would you have felt if you were Noah during operation flush?
Create a poster to raise awareness about how pollution can affect the environment.
Across the Curriculum: Science
There are numerous connections that you can make between Flush and Science. Take some time to study the plant and animal life in the Florida Keys. Discuss how pollution can affect the environment. As a class, do something to protect the environment where you live.
Hiaasen, C. (2005). Flush. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.