Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hunger Games Projects

Oops! We did it again...My fellow 8th grade Reading teacher and I dressed up as Katniss for "Twin Day" during our Red Ribbon Week festivities. Other than a few students asking if we were Pocahontas, it was a huge success!

It's been a LONG time since I've posted, but teaching seems to hinder my ability to blog on a regular basis. (Curse you, real world!) Teaching is what actually leads me to this post - my students' amazing work on our recent Hunger Games projects. I usually wait to teach the novel at the end of the year, but decided that it would be best to have my students excited about reading at the BEGINNING of the year. A no brainer, right? Shifting my curriculum around just might be the best thing I've done in terms of doing what is best for my students. We finished the novel this week and MANY have already consumed Catching Fire and are halfway through Mockingjay. Thank you, Suzanne Collins for enabling my students to find pleasure in reading. Who woulda thunk it? I love seeing my 8th graders grappling for books and begging to borrow copies of my novels. It's like they've just discovered how pleasurable reading can be and are making up for lost time. Moments like these are what make teaching such a blessing!
I couldn't ruin their excitement for the novel and tarnishing this pleasurable experience with a stale, pointless, multiple choice test. Last year we created HUNGER GAMES FAN T-Shirts as part of our final exam (which we will do again before our Hunger Games Arena Competition, but that is another post). This year students could work in a group (no larger than four members) and choose from the following options:

1. Gadgets of the Capitol - Many gizmos and gadgets are referred to in the pages of The Hunger Games. Select one or many of the gadgets you found interesting or worthy of further exploration. Create a commercial or advertisement for the gadget in which you give a description and function of the item.
***I had three funny, creative, and down-right exceptional commercials submitted by students for this area of study. A group used the box that Katniss places her hand on to dry and part her hair. Using a wig, they cut from a boy with wet hair placing his hand on the box, to the same boy with a ridiculous wig on his head. "The Helping Hand Hair Genie" was a fabulous commercial! I will post it when (and if) I can obtain parent's too amazing not to share!

2. Cinna's Creations - Cinna was Katniss's stylist who helped to make her a memorable contender before the start of the Games. Recreate Cinna's fashions through drawings, fabric, or any other medium you desire. Be sure to include a description from the text when you present each outfit. Here are a few grainy pictures of a PHENOMENAL project sumitted by my 8th graders:

Using doll clothing patterns and their combined sewing/painting skills, this group went ABOVE AND BEYOND the call of duty.
This dress was HAND PAINTED by a student to mimic the flames described on Katniss's interview gown.

Katniss's opening ceremonies costume. Using the doll and putting her in the costumes of the opening ceremonies seemed somewhat symbolic to me. These characters in the books are just children; children being paraded around the Capitol for mere entertainment value.

3. Muttations - The Capitol used the genetically altered DNA of animals and humans to create MUTTATIONS. Select one or all of the muttations mentioned in The Hunger Games and create an informative poster, or you can even create a model of the mutt. You must have a description of the muttation from the text and describe what role the mutt had in the novel. (For example, the mockingjay was a symbolic to Katniss because the bird reminded her of her father.)

This is the wolf mutt, GLIMMER! Notice the green eyes and the jewel inlaid District 1 on her collar? Not what I would call a cuddly creature!

4. The Arena - Recreate the Arena by drawing a map, creating a scale model, or through computer animation and graphics. Select a certain area of the arena (like the Cornucopia), or create the ENTIRE domain of Katniss and Peeta's suffering! Include textual descriptions and do your best to stick to the novel's depictions of the Arena.

Model of the Cornucopia created by a FABULOUS group of students in my class this year. Check out the attention to detail!
The Cornucopia and it's mini-supplies.
See all of the tiny tributes poised on their metal plates? Such effort put in to this project!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hey, That's ME!

Do ya'll remember when I dressed as Katniss last April to introduce The Hunger Games to my class? My husband told me those pictures I posted would come back one day to haunt me...

He was RIGHT! HA! One of my students told me yesterday, "Hey, Mrs. Hart, I saw you on a Hunger Games blog this weekend!" It made me kind of nervous; not knowing for sure what the internet site the kid was talking about (Hey, now! Get your mind out of the gutter...that's not why I was nervous!). After finding the link, I thought it was pretty cool that my Katniss costume from last year made it onto a Hunger Games fan blog. is a pretty cool fan site for the series if you haven't checked it out already! Above, you will find my picture featured in a post covering Hunger Games Halloween costume ideas (Uh..I'm the one on the right. I refuse to dress like Effie! Ha!). Happy Hunger Games!