It is well into the future. Global drought has reduced food production to dangerously low levels, and an overreaching government equipped with deadly weapons cruelly manipulates the surviving population. Smugglers control available resources and their prices, but everyone knows that it is the greedy government officials who patronize the smuggling operations. Although the fisherpeople on the coastlines live off of the sea, they are now being ordered to move inland to aid in crop production for the country.
In the midst of these problems, Nere is concerned with her worsening shortness of breath and weak eyes. She is only comfortable when she is swimming with the dolphins. Hearing that she will have to move inland is devastating to her. How can she survive there? She lost her father two years earlier in a storm at sea, and her older brother who was having trouble in school, disappeared after that. Now it just her mother, a research scientist, and her, but her mother is beginning to act strange.
Finally, the time has come. Her mother explains to Nere that before her birth, she and other children were genetically engineered to be able to breathe underwater in order that they might survive in the ocean. Frantic, Nere rebels and peppers her mother with questions. What does that mean? How can she possibly breathe under water? How will she be able to communicate underwater? What will keep her warm? What will she eat? Will her mother come, too? Before she can even ask her questions, receive answers, or understand what is happening, government agents begin to comb their town to forcefully move the population. Nere's mother gives her, another girl, and a young boy quick injections that begin their final, painful transformations. Then, they join other kids of The Neptune Project, kids whose parents have chosen hope of life in the ocean rather than certain death inland.
In The Neptune Project, you will find yourself submerged in a breathtaking underwater world with beauty and horror in equal portions. You will experience the Neptune kids' problem solving, their growing cooperation, and their recognition of their emerging abilities that are necessary for their survival. Related themes of genetic engineering, oceanic animal and plant life, environmental themes, ecology, ocean health, social problems, and career-related studies present unique opportunities for research growing out of this overpowering dystopian science fiction adventure.
The Kids Wings literature guide for The Neptune Project comes in both projectable PowerPoint and PDF for fast printing. Activities by Suzy Red include:
Pre-Reading Discussion Cards
Preparing Your Intellectual Tools, Dialectical Journal
Become a Character
12 Active, Personalized Character Studies
3-Page Readers Theater Script
3 Research Guides with Big 6 Sequence
Graphic Organizer: Chart the Story's Progress
Chapter Vocabulary Lists and Predict-Read-Confirm Chapter Questions
Multiple Choice and Short-Answer Chapter Questions
Visualization: Story Comprehension Through Art
Neptune Kids and Dolphins: A Logic Puzzle
Illustrate an Event from Chapters 16-20
Visualizing the Story
Character Cards Connecting Story with Famous Quotes for 10-Chapter Groups
Create a NEPTUNE Acronym
Create a DESIGN Acronym
Discussion and Writing Prompts
Plus, a BONUS Culminating, Interactive Jeopardy-type Game in PowerPoint format.
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