Hunger Games Pencils Make Perfect Prizes

The Hunger Games-inspired pencils are fun, inexpensive, and last longer than candy!

    Let's face it, as teachers we'll pretty much do anything to motivate our students to do their best. It's amazing what a little piece of chocolate or Jolly Rancher® candy can do to inspire greatness in a 15-year-old boy. One of my favorites is giving out "Smartie Pants" awards using Smarties® candy. But buying candy can add up (unless you stock up right after a holiday) and it's not really a healthy choice. 

    Using homework coupons or free homework late passes are good, but what if they use it on an assignment you really wanted them to practice? A better alternative might be a coupon to drop their lowest homework assignment score; they still have to practice the skill, but get a break if they don't do well on one of them.
Katniss Everdeen-inspired pencils

Forget Team Edward or Jacob...I'm Team Katniss!
    Another option is creating pencils themed to your unit. I've been ordering personalized pencils through Oriental Trading for years. It's fun to use some of your favorite quotes from an author or character in the novel, or just to generate excitement for your unit. 

Peeta Mellark-inspired pencils
    Now I know as well as anyone that a pencil just does not "do it" for a high schooler, as far as prizes go.  BUT...what if the pencil had a quote from their favorite character? Or declared they were "Team Peeta"? My students went crazy over these and wanted one of each... of course, they had to earn them!

    Some past pencils I've done that were big hits included Twilight themed "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob", "I Drive Like a Cullen," and "Mrs. Cullen"; To Kill a Mockingbird themed "Hey Boo," and "Bob Ewell Fell on His Knife," and The Tragedy of Julius Caesar inspired "Beware the Ides of March" and "Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar."

Rue & Thresh tribute pencils
The pencils I had printed for The Hunger Games trilogy include (some possible spoilers below):
The Hunger Games
Hunger Games Tribute
I Survived The Hunger Games
Hunger Games Victory Tour
Catching Fire
District 12 Survivor
District 13 Rebel
Catching Fire-themed pencils
I Am The Mockingjay
Real or Not Real? Real.
Katniss: The Girl On Fire
Peeta: The Boy With The Bread
Peeta's Final Defense (On a camouflage pencil)
Rue: District 11 Tribute
Thresh: District 11 Tribute
Team Katniss:  Hunger Games
Team Peeta:  Hunger Games
Team Gale: Hunger Games
Mockingjay-themed pencils
Team Haymitch: Hunger Games
Here's Some Advice: Stay Alive
As Charming as a Dead Slug

    There were some I wanted to make but couldn't because of the 30-character length restriction (such as "May the odds be ever in your favor"). And these are the ones I have on order: "Still Betting On You" and "Always." I also want to do one for Prim & Buttercup. Buttercup's will probably read, "Buttercup: World's Ugliest Cat." I'd like to try to fit Boggs's quote, "We just saw Finnick Odair in his underpants" so I've been playing around with something like "As Impressive as Finnick in His Undies" but that is still too long.  Any suggestions?? Post below if you do!

Miscellaneous literature-inspired pencils

But how would I store that many pencils?
     If you buy these pencils in bulk like I do, you'll need to store them somewhere. Those who know me know that I have a hard time throwing away things. Surely everything can be recycled in some form, right!? One of the best pencil holders I've found is from recycling my CD cake boxes/spindles. Since I go through a lot of blank CDs, these are great for storing pencils or bookmarks or using them as a "hat" (as in "drawing a number out of a hat").  And the actual spindle itself can serve as a handy-dandy ring toss game if paired with a roll of masking tape (which most teachers have access to!). You can use the "ring toss" as an added element in your test-review games. If a student answers a question correctly, they get a chance to toss the ring for a bonus point. Make it harder using a smaller roll of tape or make them stand further back. It is harder than you think and you may have to tape the spindle to the floor or weigh it down with a paperweight so it doesn't tip as easily.

Recycle your old CD/DVD cake boxes...
The CD/DVD cake box: It's the perfect size for storing large quantities of pencils!

And don't forget the spindle: Add a roll of tape & you've got an instant game of ring toss!

All of my shipped items come with a themed pencil.  If you have a special request, email me to let me know. Each order of The Hunger Games Trilogy Teaching Unit CDs receives a set of 3 pencils. (UPDATED NOTE: Because orientaltrading.com raised their prices on the pencils, I haven't been able to include these with recent CD orders. I also found they sometimes damage the CD case.)
The Hunger Games Trilogy-themed pencils
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