6.23.2011

What's So Important About the The Green & Silver Moth?

A luna moth.

Yes, this post contains SPOILERS...

In chapter 21 of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Katniss returns to the cave after attending the "feast" and retrieving the life-saving medicine for Peeta. After she injects him but before she passes out, she notices a luna moth* on her wrist:

“The last thing I remember is an exquisitely beautiful green-and-silver moth landing on the curve of my wrist.” (from page 289)

Because the moth is never mentioned again, it seems quite odd to include it in the story, right? Well, not if you are a brilliant master of symbolism as Suzanne Collins is. Moths have made appearances in literature and poetry for centuries, including in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, 1596. In  Act 2, Scene 9, Portia compares men to moths, drawn to the bright lights, only to get burned by them:

"Thus hath the candle singed the moth. 
O these deliberate fools! When they do choose, 
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose."
The moth continues to be a topic for contemporary writers, as shown in Carl Phillips' poem "Luna Moth" on the Poetry Foundation site found here.

Typically, moths (and butterflies) have represented transformation of a character, just as these insects undergo a transformation  from caterpillar to cocoon to moth. 

In The Hunger Games, when the luna moth lands on Katniss's wrist it marks the point in which she has begun her own transformation. Not only has she changed from a girl in the Seam who hunts to feed her family into a “girl on fire” popular tribute, but she is transforming from a self-serving individual (or selfish for her family & their needs) into a selfless person who cares about others’ well-being, putting them first. Yes, I do know that she sacrificed herself for Prim, which is a selfless act. However, it was still for her own family's benefit.

At the beginning of the Games, she would have never sacrificed herself for Peeta or any other tribute, and yet, here she is risking her life to safe his. What happened to just saving herself in order to save her family?

I believe it began with the loss of Rue, realizing the bigger picture: suffering will continue in Panem and children will continue to die. Children like Rue. Children just like Prim. She’s no longer OK with that. (Not that she was before, but she couldn’t think about others because her family’s needs were too great.)

In addition, according to Animal Symbolism of the Moth the moth represents determination and faith. Each night it follows the moonlight; in the absence of moonlight, it will seek man-made light. "Even at the risk of losing its life, the moth is ever-vigilant in following its path of light." Could the "light" that Katniss seeks be the ultimate end to the Capitol's reign over Panem? Or is it simply to win the Games? 

To further enhance the symbolism, there are several references to the moon in the novel.  First, she mentions wanting to see the moon the night before she enters the arena on page 138. This leads her up to the roof, to Peeta. Next, on page 231, a "moonbeam ray" will help take your troubles away in the Meadow Song she sings to Rue. When Katniss learns of the new rule change on page 243, she holds her face up to the moonlight to make sure the cameras see her smile - which registers her realization that Peeta is not her enemy and they can both survive. She uses the moon as a timepiece, counting the hours until the feast on page 275. And on page 305, she views the full moon and realizes it must have completed its cycle. Her last mention of the moon is while she and Peeta await Cato's death on top of the Cornucopia on that long last night in the arena on page 333.

Has Katniss completed her cycle of transformation, just as the moon and just as the moth? Perhaps her first stage of transformation is complete, but, of course, we will see her undergo even further transformations in the next two novels. 

*I call it a luna moth (aka Actias luna) because they are found in North America and the other option, a green-with-silver-lines moth (aka Pseudoips prasinana) is only found in Europe. It made sense to me since Panem is in the former North America.

Applying In Your Classroom
Challenge your students to find other symbols in the novel. Reading into the text can bring new awareness and interest to the novel, especially for students who may have previously read it. As it becomes more popular, chances are you will have students in class who have read the novel will need an extra challenge. Finding hidden symbols can be a rewarding activity for them.
I put together a 12-page packet of handouts with an additional 13 pages of research. Some of the things I found include:
• The significance of May 8th as Katniss Everdeen's birthday
• The symbolism of strawberries and how they relate to Mayor Undersee
• Plant symbolism, including primrose, rue, daisies (from the Meadow Song), wildflowers, and dandelions
• What a willow tree represents
• The contradiction of "the girl on fire" and katniss root plant
• The significance of Prim's pets: Buttercup & Lady
• Symbolism of (and juxtaposition of) the silver parachutes 
There are so many more and I could have worked on this much longer than I already have, but after beginning this well over a year ago, I decided it was time to share my findings and the activity with you. You can find the packet here for digital download:  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Additional-Symbolism-in-The-Hunger-Games

It is aligned with the Common Core Standards for English/Language Arts, fulfilling the following anchor standards:
Reading Literature: 
Craft and Structure
4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and
connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Writing:
Text Types and Purposes
1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
1.a. Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the
inquiry when appropriate.
9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Speaking & Listening:
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of
reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and
audience.
Language:
5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
5.a. Interpret figures of speech (personification, symbolism) in context.


Sample pages from the packet (just five of the 12 handouts):





6.20.2011

Congrats to the Mega Contest Winners

From the Teachers 2 Teachers website, the winners are:

Congratulations to the WINNERS of the T2T MEGA CONTEST!

K-2 Winner: Crystal Radke

3-6 Winner: Connie Suntken

Middle School / High School Winners -
English: Mark Welch
Math: Monica Krzak
Social Studies: Kelly Eiseman
Fine Arts: Laurie Fronhofer

Unfortunately, we did not have any entries for the Science category. Maybe next time...
The winners received an email from Lisa, the organizer of this great contest. Thanks, Lisa!

6.16.2011

It's a Literacy Revolution & You're Needed!

Join the Literacy Revolution


Katniss fueled the spark that began the revolution in The Hunger Games trilogy. Whether she meant to or not, wanted to or not, she became the symbol of the rebellion; she became the mockingjay.

While Katniss's revolution is fictional, there's a real one going on right now. It's a literacy revolution. Shylah is the author and creator of the blog A Tribute to Tributes. She spear-headed the literacy revolution after reading the series and feeling as though the trilogy needed to end in a happier or more hopeful way. A way in which good trumps evil.  And she also knew that one of the best ways to build a strong nation and end poverty and oppression is through education. "Education powers revolutions." (I'm With the Mockingjay)

That led her to the DonorsChoose.org website, where she found a teacher who only needed $100 to fund her project of 35 copies of The Hunger Games for her high-poverty, under-funded school. The teacher knew that her students would be able to relate to the themes of injustice and oppression. With Shylah's help, the project was funded & the students got their books.

But she hasn't stopped there; she is continually seeking out teachers who need their projects funded. Ones that will share the love for The Hunger Games with hundreds, probably thousands, of children. It is a revolution that is seeking your involvement, your generosity.

She explains on her blog the purpose of the project:
"Our goal is simple. As Hunger Games fans who believe in equity and empowerment, we will work to fund as many as possible of the requests for Hunger Games books posted on donorschoose.org. We’ll take it one class at a time—just as Katniss and the Rebels worked District by District to overthrow the Capitol."

Imagine how many students will begin to love to read again after reading The Hunger Games in school.  Imagine what just one person's generosity can do for all these children. And, in turn, what it could do for generations of children. When you give to a project, you are not only helping that classroom of children, you are helping the future. Those children will remember your generosity and pass it on to their children. And a new cycle will form. One that spreads literacy and a love for reading. One that could mean a way out of poverty for many children. Because without reading skills, we all know how limited our choices, our world, becomes.

Visit the Literacy Revolution site; Shylah has links to classroom projects that need your funding. And when you donate, don't forget to add the following to your personal message:

“I gave to this project because I'm with the Mockingjay, and support a literacy revolution in American classrooms.”

(Source: Literacy Revolution)

Guess What? Another Contest/Giveaway!



OK, I think this is the LAST contest of the summer and it's a short one. You have until Sunday to register to win on the Teacher 2 Teacher website. Choose the grade level you want resources for & follow the sellers for your best shot at winning. I've donated one of my best-selling items & so have many other teachers in this MEGA contest.

Good luck! I mean, may the odds be ever in your favor!

6.15.2011

Contest Winners Announced

Special thanks to SpanishPlans.org for organizing the contest! So did you want to know who won??

Here's the post from: http://spanishplans.org/2011/06/15/contest-winners/

We we would like thank all the participants of our 6-12 Secondary Contest. The 17 teacher-authors are happy to announce the two winners. Out of 338 entries, two were selected and will each be awarded with their choice of resources up to $20 dollars from their choice of 5 sellers involved in the contest. That is up to $100 for each winner!!

The lucky winners are…
 Congratulations to Jenna Jewell and Jessica Peck!

You will be contacted shortly regarding how to claim your prize. Have a great summer!

LAST DAY for the $100 Giveaway!!!!

Today is the last day to cash in on $100 in resources OF YOUR CHOICE from select secondary teachers!! Don't miss your opportunity! All you have to do is "follow" the sellers listed here: Giveaway Sellers and fill out this FORM clicking on the sellers you followed. Easy, right!? Then just mention it on your own blog (if you have one) and you get a bonus entry! The two winners will be announced tonight.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

6.07.2011

HUGE Giveaway Contest - Win up to $100 in Resources!


Welcome to the 6-12 Secondary Teachers’ Contest where 17 outstanding teacher-authors have collaborated to bring you the biggest contest of the summer! You could win up to $100 in resources by following our TeachersPayTeachers store, becoming a fan of our Facebook pages, or by subscribing to our blogs.

Every ‘follow’ counts as one entry, which means you can enter this contest 44 times! To enter, click the links below and follow/like/subscribe to the site. Then submit your entry by filling out a Contest Entry form, or simply submit a comment on this tchr2tchr blog entry with “I liked _________’s, _______’s and _______’s facebook page and __________’s TpT store". That would be four entries right there! You can earn another entry if you post this contest on your own blog.

One winner will be selected from the Contest Entry Form and another winner will be selected from the tchr2tcrh blog! (Please, only submit your entries in one place). That’s up to $200 of teaching resources being given away.

Winners will be randomly selected Wednesday, June 15th, at 6:00 pm ET so be sure to enter before then! Winners will be allowed to choose up to $20 worth of products from each of their choice of 5 sellers participating in this contest.

English/Language Arts:

Tracee Orman:
TpT Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tracee-Orman
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hungergameslessons
Blog: http://hungergameslessons.blogspot.com

Addie Williams:
TpT Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … -Williams/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AddieEducation

Michelle Luck’s Social Studies and English
Tpt Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … e/Products
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Social-St … 8211919585
Blog: http://alessonplanforteachers.blogspot.com/

Tools For Teachers by Laurah Jurca
Tpt: Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … a/Products
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tools-fo … 3167926941
Blog: http://publicschoolteachersodyssey.blogspot.com

The Teaching Bank
Tpt Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … ching-Bank
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheTeachingBank
Blog: http://theteachingbank.blogspot.com/

Charlene Tess' Grammar, Writing, and Creative Writing Store
Tpt Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … 1/Products
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/booksbycharlenetess
Blog: http://simplestepstosentencesense.blogspot.com/

Runde’s Room
Tpt Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … m/Products
Blog: http://rundesroom.blogspot.com

Vintage Teacher
Tpt Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … r/Products
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vintage-T … 2009619139
Blog: http://www.vintageteacher.blogspot.com/

The Mr. G Show (Language Arts, Science)
TpT Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Mr-G-Show
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Fran … 7994864009
Blog: http://themrgshow.com/

Melissa
TpT Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … z/Products

Minds in Bloom
TpT Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Rachel-Lynette
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mindsinbloom
Blog: www.minds-in-bloom.com


Foreign Language:

Spanishplans   
Tpt Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … B/Products
Blog: www.spanishplans.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/spanishplans

The Enlightened Elephant (Spanish and Math)
TpT Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … t/Products   
Blog: http://theenlightenedelephant.blogspot.com/   
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/enlightenedelephant

MadameA (French)
TpT Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … o/Products

Science:

Science Stuff       
Tpt Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Science-Stuff
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Science-S … 8748271578
Blog: http://sciencestuffbyamy.blogspot.com/   

Addie Education (Language Arts, Earth Science, Social Studies)
Tpt Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … s/Products
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AddieEducation

Music:

Aussie Music Teacher   
Tpt Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Stor … r/Products
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MusicTeacherResources4U

Teacher 2 Teacher Blog Entry form: http://tchr2tchr.blogspot.com/2011/06/teachers-pay-teachers-contest.html


May the odds be ever in your favor!  

6.05.2011

Have YOU Listened to the Hunger Games Fireside Chat?


If you haven't listened to an episode of the Hunger Games Fireside Chat, you're missing out.

Each week, some of the best fans of the series get together and talk about all things Hunger Games, most recently the movie news that ®Lionsgate has been releasing little by little. The podcasts are hosted by Adam Spunberg and Savanna New every Monday night at 9 p.m. Central time, or 10 p.m. Eastern.

This week, however, fans are in for a special treat: a musical edition! One can't help but think perhaps the creators were inspired by Glee. Most likely a topic of interest will be Donald Sutherland's casting of President Snow.  Fans can chat along on Twitter throughout the live broadcast using the hashtag #HGFiresideChat. You may even get a mention on the broadcast.

One of the great things about their live broadcasts is that if you can't listen to them live, you can listen to them anytime via BlogTalkRadio, on their YouTube Channel, or subscribe to their podcasts via iTunes.

Listen to Episode 9, which brings together Hunger Games fans from around the world:

Listen to internet radio with Fireside Chat on Blog Talk Radio

Use the Fireside Chats in your Classroom Curriculum
1. The creators and contributers are always looking for topics of interests to discuss. Have your students create lists of topics they would want discussed on the show. They can submit them to Savanna via Twitter () or post a comment on their BlogTalkRadio site.  

2. Have students with internet access at home participate in the chats on Twitter using the #HGFiresideChat hashtag and have them discuss with the class their experience. Did they learn anything? Did they get a "mention" on the show? Did their questions get answered?

3. Play parts (or all, if time allows) of an episode in class and have students write down responses, questions, or comments during. Require students to have at least three (or more) responses.

4. Prepare a list of your own questions for students to respond to while listening.

5. Have students create their own "Fireside Chat" podcast related to the novel(s). What topics would they talk about?

6. Research the "fireside chat" and its origination with President Roosevelt. What was its purpose? What impact did it have on our nation? 

7. Compare radio broadcasts with televised broadcasts. What are the benefits of a radio broadcast as opposed to a televised one? What are the drawbacks?

You can align these lessons with the Common Core Standards for ELA:
(Anchor) For Writing:
6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating
understanding of the subject under investigation.
8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each
source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a
single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

(Anchor) Speaking & Listening:
1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners,
building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and
orally.
3. Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the
organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5. Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding
of presentations.
6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when
indicated or appropriate.


Do you have additional ideas for using the Hunger Games Fireside Chats in the classroom? Post in a comment below. 
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