|Panem District Seals from TheCapitol.PN|
TheCapitol.pn revealed new posters for each of the 12 districts of Panem on their Facebook pages. Lionsgate®'s The Hunger Games movie marketing ploy? Perhaps. However, I was excited to see each district display their main industry and the occupations that would be assigned to individual "citizens."
Why is this information so fascinating?
As someone who has been trying to map each district in Panem since 2009, any little shred of information about each place helps pinpoint its location. I am a visual learner. And I love maps. Therefore, if one isn't provided, I will create it myself. Of course, I'm also a stickler for accuracy. The problem is, we aren't provided with all the information about the districts in the series because we are limited to what Katniss knows (and sometimes she just doesn't pay attention to the details, or just doesn't care). As frustrating as this is, it's also one of the "draws" for me into the novels. I was craving more information about each place during Catching Fire and Mockingjay, hoping for more tiny shreds so I could tear apart my old maps and piece together a new one. I analyzed each tribute, looking for clues as to where they may be from, hoping there would be distinct signs pointing me to a location.
So how can I use this in my classroom with my students?
I have an activity for students to create their own maps of Panem and fill out a chart of each district and its industry. I want them to use context clues to gather as much information as possible in order to make their map, rather than randomly place districts wherever. In doing so, they practice geography and close reading skills by gathering information and inferring where it would be located, then plotting it on a map. While reading The Hunger Games, students really only have specific information to plot the Capitol city and district 12. However, they can use context clues and research to speculatively plot districts 1, 3, 4, 11, and 13.
With the additional information and clues the posters and website provide, students can easily attempt to plot all 13 districts using logical reasoning and research. My example is here.
To further help them along, provide them with this list of occupations Panem district citizens have been assigned by TheCapitol.PN:
1 - Goldsmith, Vinter, Furrier, Perfumer, Jeweler
2 - Stonemason, Plasterer, Brick Mason, Brick Layer, Concrete Finisher
3 - Technician, Engineer, Tester, Technical Support, Assembly Operation, Assembly Operator
4 - Canner, Trawler, Ship Captain, Deckhand, Longliner
5 - Systems Analyst, Engineer, Equipment Manager, Maintenance, Plant Security Officer
6 - Mechanic, Conductor, Porter, Baggage Handler, Router
7 - Load Puller, Furniture Builder, Lead Climber, Carpenter, Lumberjack
8 - Warehouse Manager, Weaver, Factory Worker, Designer, Dressmaker
9 - Plower, Cropper, Sower, Farmer, Harvester
10 - Barn Manager, Milker, Rancher, Breeder, Butcher
11 - Sorter, Farmhand, Gardener, Harvester, Irrigator
12 - Coal Miner, Metallurgist, Geologist, Surveyor, Blaster
(These are all from the Facebook pages for each district. If I am missing any, please let me know in the comment section below.)
If students study various careers in another class, this could be an excellent cross-curricular project. They can research any of these occupations and find where (in North America) the most jobs are located for each particular position, the average wage/income, amount of training needed, etc..
You can see my updated map of Panem HERE using my own rationale and context clues. Though, chances are I will probably revise it once again. I believe with the grain indicating wheat for district 9, I will most likely move it into Kansas.
Market Clipping of US Crops: http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sis5219
Map of Nuclear Power Facilities in US: http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactor/
Downloadable Statistics through Census of Agriculture: http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Fact_Sheets/index.asp
My Hunger Games Themes, Setting, Symbols, and Map Activity is currently being updated with the new information. I hope to finish it within a couple of days.