...Who have purchased my digital download Hunger Games Teaching Unit!
Yesterday I sold my 2,000th unit on the TeachersPayTeachers website! I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have purchased my materials and also to Paul Edelman, founder and CEO of the TeachersPayTeachers website. Without Paul's persistence, determination, and of course his support of all the teachers, this would never have been possible.
This is a website that Edelman, a former NYC teacher, founded because he believed teachers not only deserved affordable lessons written by other teachers (who have first-hand knowledge of what works in the classroom), but that we should be rewarded for our hard work, as well.
It's a win-win situation. Most of us design a majority of our own handouts and even write supplements to the text and materials in our classes. We aren't reimbursed for creating these materials, which usually are created at home rather than school, and often in the summertime or over holiday breaks. We do this additional unpaid work because many of the publishers' materials just don't fit our classes and/or students. And if we are teaching a newer novel like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, the resources are limited, so we have no choice but to create our own materials if we want to teach it.
Teaching a novel unit takes time. A lot of time. It's not as simple as just coming up with a list of questions for students. You have to introduce the novel and get the students to buy into the reading. You have to discuss the setting: time and place, the narrator and point of view, the main characters. You need to go over words they may not know. You have to engage them in some sort of activity to motivate them to want to read on and you must assess their learning: do they understand the plot? the theme? the symbolism? the figurative language used? the motivations of different characters? the author's purpose? the connections to their own lives?
It is a daunting task. Which is why in the past I hesitated to teach new novels. I have a family; I'm married to a coach. On top of that, I teach high school English. I can barely find time grade papers, let alone write a novel unit! But The Hunger Games changed everything for me. I knew it was a book my students would love, so it was worth the sacrifice. I started writing lessons and making handouts in August of 2009. I continued on to write two more units to complete the trilogy, finishing Catching Fire in April 2010 and Mockingjay in December. (I must admit it took me the longest because there is so much to talk about in Mockingjay!) My students have loved reading all three books in class and my mind still runs on overtime thinking of different things I can do with the next group I teach.
Needless to say, I never dreamed it would be possible that over 2,000 teachers would be using my unit in their classrooms and that it would be the #1 best-seller of all-time on the TeachersPayTeachers website within a year of posting it. I think it speaks volumes what a wonderful novel this is to teach. Suzanne Collins has been able to appeal to so many of us with her brilliant writing. If I ever get the opportunity to meet her I don't think I'd be able to thank her enough for writing this series. Not many writers can appeal to so many levels of readers and on so many levels!
And again, I want to thank all of you teachers who are teaching The Hunger Games in your classrooms. Even if you've never purchased any of my products or used any of my free activities, I still thank you for introducing this novel to your students. You are encouraging a love for reading in all your students.
By the way, to stay up-to-date with my latest products and free downloads, Follow Me on my TpT page, Facebook Page, and you can find me on Twitter: @MrsOrman.