I am very excited to see my students' excitement as we read The Hunger Games. Even my students who are not usually interested in reading are asking to read the second book of the Hunger Games Trilogy, Catching Fire. Other students purchased Catching Fire on their own and read it outside of class. And of course, we are very anxious for the release of The Hunger Games movie in March.
As I planned a Hunger Games unit, I created prereading, during reading, and postreading activities. Continue reading to see the activities I created for this unit, as well as other online resources for The Hunger Games.
Before reading The Hunger Games, I wanted my students to understand the power of government and the concept of total governmental control. Most of my students had read Lois Lowry’s The Giver, so I used that novel to discuss utopian and dystopian societies. I also read excerpts of George Orwell’s Animal Farm and showed the movie. We also read and watched parts of Orwell’s 1984. These novels and movies provide an understanding of totalitarianism, a constant theme throughout The Hunger Games.
As students read, they had to complete a Hunger Games guided reading packet, which included five to six questions about each chapter along with space for a one-paragraph summary. I found that my students did not enjoy writing the summaries because they wanted to continue reading the book. Some waited until the last minute to complete the packet, by which time they had forgotten what happened in the earlier chapters. When I teach this unit again, I will give periodic due dates and conduct packet checks to be sure students are completing their reading packet.
Some students are really excited to use their art talent in English class. I had students select a symbol or object from part I or part II of The Hunger Games and create a pencil sketch or painting of it. In addition to creating the artwork, students were required to name their artwork and write a brief description of it. Enjoy a couple examples of my students’ art below.
I had students play the role of Haymitch and create tribute propaganda posters to gain sponsors. Students selected the tribute photos from The Official Hunger Games Facebook Page. In addition to collecting the tribute photos, students needed to create a slogan for their tribute and discuss their tribute's strengths.
Students also created posters for each of the districts. Students needed to note each district's geographic location, tell what resource they provide the nation of Panem, and include photos that symbolize each of the districts.
After students completed the novel, they had to complete a final project. Some students chose to work on a class bulletin board. The class bulletin board included tribute and district posters.
As the Hunger Games publisher, Scholastic has created many interactive resources to help your students further engage with the reading. Take a look at the sites below before planning your unit.
Scholastic's Teacher Share provides a variety of resources and lesson plans for The Hunger Games.