|Creative activities will enhance student learning.|
Giving a final exam and/or chapter quizzes over a novel is usually an essential tool to assess whether students grasped the main concept and can identify important character decisions and actions relating to the theme. It's also one way to tell whether the students actually read the book or paid attention to the read-aloud.
But supplementing the test/quizzes with an end-of-the-novel creative project is an excellent way to allow your more "hands-on" learners to succeed. It also inspires creativity--an essential component in critical thinking and problem solving that today's kids seem to be lacking.
I offer a Hunger Games project lesson that includes over 40 different ideas here. It's a mix of both creative and research-based projects to appeal to all types of learners. You can designate a few ideas for students to choose from, or give them free reign. I also include grading rubrics to help you assess their final product. These projects can be used while reading Catching Fire and Mockingjay, as well. However, I do have a more specific list of projects for Mockingjay here and Catching Fire project ideas are included in the discussion questions lesson here.
In my classes the most popular choice by the boys was creating their own Capitol muttations. For a quick assignment, have students visit an animal mash-up site such as: http://www.hemmy.net/2006/08/29/photoshop-animal-hybrids-galore/ and choose a few of the hybrids as muttations. Then allow them to write how the Capitol would use these creatures as weapons against the tributes and district citizens. Here is a free activity with printable handouts: Create Capitol Mutts Activity
Many of the girls preferred creating word puzzles, quizzes, and trivia games for their projects. Many online sites offer free puzzle making programs for student use, such as Discovery Education's Puzzlemaker Page.
The great thing about these projects is that they can be used for many novels or lessons in not only English class, but in history, science, and even math class. Of course, teachers would have to make a few adjustments to personalize it, but the concept would be the same.
Examples of projects from my students and other teachers who had great success using my unit activities
for The Hunger Games:
Capitol-Created Muttations (Using iWork's Pages):
Created by one of my freshman this fall.
Character traits artwork from student "QKC"
Map of the Arena from Jackson Abbau:
Map of the arena from a student in Mrs. Amy Cobb's class:
The next two are from Mrs. Lenzi Hart's language arts class:
Below - This is a work in progress by three boys I had in class last year.
They started their own 3-dimensional depiction of the arena in their industrial arts class as a woods project. Believe me, this is huge! It was the last week of school last year and they had just begun painting the inside and securing rocks inside with caulk for the cave. They did all this during studyhall, then decided perhaps they needed to study for finals. I'm hoping they'll finish it before they graduate or allow another group to finish it. :)
Work in Progress!
Three-dimensional depiction of the arena.
The Hunger Games Book Talk Visual Aide (Using Comic Life):
The Hunger Games Board Game
eBay Listing for Katniss's bow and arrow used during her private training session:
(This is a lesson that can be used to teach symbolism in the novel)
Word cloud using the lyrics to the Meadow song Katniss sung to Rue
(in addition, students can create their own song or record themselves singing this song):
South Park-style character depictions (also displayed in picture of Katniss, top of page):
using the website http://www.sp-studio.de/index.htm
Teachers: In the comment section, add a link to your students' projects or email them to me and I will add them to this page.