Activity Picks Up at TheCapitol.pn as Panem October Sets to Launch

Panem October launches tonight!

As Panem October is set to launch tonight at 12:01 a.m. (EST), the other Hunger Games-themed website TheCapitol.pn has picked up its activity, as well. Coincidental? Hmmm. Whether it is or not, fans are excited to have something to do to pass the minutes until Panem October goes live.

District 12 citizens were able to access their district identification passes (DIPs) today. You can check out Shylah's at Down With the Capitol's website. All registered citizens need to keep tweeting and Facebooking to expedite their districts' DIPs.  So all you district 7 folks, let's get moving so we can get our DIPs!

And I'll see you District 5 peeps tonight at 12:01 at Panem October!

New images at TheCapitol.pn:

From TheCapitol.pn - District 12 gets their DIPs
From TheCapitol.pn - Keep tweeting & Facebooking, Citizens!


Classroom Freebies Official Launch!

The official launch of Classroom Freebies, a collaborative blog of teachers who post all freebies, all the time, launched today. Make sure you check it out! You might find a few Hunger Games products in the mix! :)


Panem October, Hunger Games Fireside Chat, and Other Sites Satisfy Fans' Hunger For More

Wonder where Buttercup will carry his ID?

It wasn't that long ago that fans of The Hunger Games could log on daily and find out new and exciting things happening in the fandom world. There always seemed to be some new movie news, new books being published, pictures of the actors being released, and The Potter Games, of course. But lately it's been a little slow.

Enter Panem October. The site, which was at the center of a controversy with Lionsgate last spring, is now back online and making its own news. Described as "a fan-made ARG for the Hunger Games," Panem October's official launch of its interactive features will happen October 1st. In the meantime, they have been releasing character IDs (like Buttercup's, released today) to scan and "friend" each day. And tonight (10p.m.EST/9p.m.CST) on The Hunger Games Fireside Chat, Rowan the Gamemaker will appear and break his silence about Panem October.

It does give fans something to be excited about, since movie and other Hunger Games-related news has been slow. But Panem October and the weekly Fireside Chat aren't the only things going on in the fan world. Down With the Capitol always has interesting things going on, such as their "Question of the Week" and Read-Alongs for all three books. They also have a spot carved out on their site for crafts and accept fan pictures.

I posted about TheCapitol.pn earlier, but that site seems to be unchanging as of right now. Will is stay this way until the opening of the movie? Or will it offer an interactive feature like Panem October? Time will only tell. At least, for now, we only have to wait four days to experience Panem October.

By the way, I'm in district 5 on Panem October and District 7 on TheCapitol.pn. How about you? Which district are you in?

My Panem October Home screen (as of Sept. 26th). I've added Haymitch, Effie, President Snow, Foxface, and Buttercup as friends, as well.


Celebrate the Freedom to Read During Banned Books Week

This week kicks off the ALA's Banned Books Week, which celebrates "our First Amendment freedom to read while drawing attention to the harms that censorship does to our society and our individual freedoms" says Molly Raphael from The Huffington Post. Did you know The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins made the list of challenged books for 2010-2011 according to the American Library Association (ALA)?

It's ironic, isn't it? Censorship and suppressing information is very President Snow-like. Do we want to live in Katniss's world? In Panem, where the government decides what we can read, what we can learn, and who we are allowed to communicate with?

One would think in the year 2011 that censorship would not be an issue, but it is. Attempts to suppress literature and other materials is actually more prevalent than you might think.  The ALA reported that there were 348 challenges to books last year alone. The majority of the challenges are initiated by a parent, directed toward a school and/or school library, and are instigated because of the objection of sexually-explicit material in the book (this refers to books that are labeled as age-appropriate, NOT books that are clearly not appropriate for the age group). For example, The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank is one that was challenged for sexual explicitness and deemed inappropriate for 8th graders in Culpepper, Virginia in January, 2010.

Let's compare reading a book in school to a doctor giving a vaccination shot, which are known to prevent illnesses and disease. Many parents object to giving their children vaccinations. They have that right to make that decision for their own child. But it would be absurd to stop offering vaccinations to everyone because one or more people objected. The benefits are far too great, right? So are the benefits of reading a novel: One book can open up a world of possibilities. One book can help someone cope with their own pain and loss. One book can prevent someone from harming another, or themselves. One book can convince someone that it's OK to be different. One book can inspire. One book can change someone's life. And, chances are, it's a book that someone else wants to prevent you from reading.

In my experience, many people who object to the content have not actually read the book in its entirety. Too often, parts of a novel are extracted and used as evidence of inappropriateness. An entire piece of literature cannot be judged by one passage or quote; the themes and purpose of the novel need to be considered before judging. So to grasp the full meaning, one must read the entire work. In fact, most of the books that are challenged are against the very thing they are accused of promoting. You can read more in my previous blog post about those who challenge The Hunger Games.

This does not mean that I don't believe parents have a right to decide what is appropriate for their child. I believe they do. However, they do not have a right to impose that belief on all children, or all people, for that matter. At our school, if a parent objects to a novel we are teaching, the student is given an alternative substitution that deals with similar themes. The book is not removed from the classroom or from the curriculum.

What is your school's policy? Has The Hunger Games been challenged by any parents? How have you responded? Do you fear it could be challenged? If so, make sure to read my previous post and feel free to contact me if you need additional support.

you can print & distribute. :) Enjoy!


Picturing the Characters: Do Movie Adaptations Ruin It For Readers?

Original image from Hunger Games Movie.

Imagine you are reading a captivating novel and are picturing the characters, setting, and events in your mind, just as the author intended. And then you see a trailer for the movie adaptation and the characters look nothing like you imagined. You are crushed.

So, here's my dilemma: Do I show my students pictures and trailer videos (OK, just one video for now) of The Hunger Games as we are reading, or do I allow them to picture the characters and setting first, then reveal Lionsgate's vision later?

Last spring I couldn't contain myself as we were getting movie casting news practically daily. We happened to be reading the novel in my class at the time, and each new cast member received a prominent spot on my white board. My students would rush into class each day to look at the board to see if I put up any new pictures. It was exciting; thrilling, actually. To see students who normally hated to read looking at the board and reading the articles about each casting...that was priceless. It also seemed to help students who had trouble picturing the story and characters.

But this year, I wonder if I should reveal the look of the characters first? Granted, if students want to find out who is cast in each role, a simple Google search will bring up gobs of pictures. (Although, some will be "dream casts" not featuring the true actors.) But there's been a few "that's not how I pictured Katniss" and "Peeta's blond in the book" comments that make me wonder whether I'm doing them a disservice showing them pictures of the movie actors.

On the other hand, I also have images of Scout, Atticus, Jem, and Tom from the movie "To Kill a Mockingbird" on my walls, and I never thought twice about those images tainting the picture in our minds as we read the classic novel by Harper Lee. Is it because I wasn't alive when the movie was being cast and have always known those actors in those roles? (Even though Dill doesn't have white-blonde hair, like his description in the book?) 

What do you think? Do the actors' images stifle the student's creative thought while reading? Or does it enhance the reading experience? Comment below or reply on Twitter (@MrsOrman) with your thoughts! I'd love to know what you think and how you handle it in your classroom. And if any readers here are students, I'd love to hear from you, as well.


Blog Award Thanks & Paying It Forward

I want to thank a couple of people/blogs for awarding Hunger Games Lessons with a Top 10 Teaching Blog award! Thanks so much to Amy from Science Stuff and Mrs. Magee from First Grade Brain! I am honored and get to proudly display this award:

Top 10 TBA 

So now is my chance to pay it forward to my favorite teaching blogs!
I am sure some of these have been nominated before, but they are the ones I frequent and think you might like, as well:

I love looking at all of Jen's classroom pictures and she has fabulous ideas that can be utilized for all ages.

Kim covers a wide range of content areas and teaches The Hunger Games, as well. Who can't love that!?

Science, Etc.

Kristen offers wonderful literature guides for practically every novel taught in high school! Plus, she's a great "cyber" friend!

Secondary Solutions

Not sure on the blog etiquette, but I'd like to nominate Amy right back for offering a wonderful website that even non-science people (like myself) enjoy reading & find fascinating. She's also a great "cyber" friend. :)

Margaret is such a wonderful person and I know I would have loved having her as a teacher. 

Denise may teach much younger students than me, but that doesn't stop me from getting awesome tips and ideas from her blog!

Visit Sunny Days

Charity is another "cyber" friend who offers fabulous tips and hosts awesome giveaways throughout the year!
The OC Blog Button

Laura's resources are so versatile and she is generous with them, as well! There's a reason she has quite a following!

Again, here's another "cyber" friend who is at the opposite spectrum when it comes to the age group we teach, but oh my gosh, I love looking at all the cute classroom pics and things going on in Deanna's class! 

Ruth's site is relatively new and could use some more followers! She has resources for grades 4-12 and is very creative! Check it out!

Carolyn's site is so fascinating...I could spend hours here every day reading about all the books. If you teach English/language arts, check out her book-a-day reviews and ideas!
The Wise Owl Factory Book a Day

So...again not sure on the blog etiquette here, but I think The Lesson Cloud is an awesome new collaboration of teachers posting tons of freebies for teachers of all ages and content areas.

Make sure to visit these great teacher blogs & follow them! And thanks again to those who nominated me and/or have featured Hunger Games Lessons on your site. I appreciate it!


Amazon Offering The Hunger Games in 4-for-3 Promo

Not only is Amazon.com selling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins paperback novels for $4.94 each, but they are also offering it as part of their 4-for-3 promotion.

This is a great opportunity to buy a class set or replace older copies for your classroom. If you are a Prime member, you also get free shipping. And remember, public schools are exempt from sales tax.

And...if you are one of many teachers who has to purchase your own books, this purchase can be claimed on your taxes as a deduction for classroom supplies. 


Girl on Fire Song is Smokin' Hot

Bekah Hawker

Thanks to The Hunger Games Fireside Chat, I was exposed to Bekah Hawker and her song, "Girl on Fire" about our heroine, Katniss Everdeen.

The song is of "Sam Cushion" quality and is so addicting. I could listen to this song over and over and never tire of it. My favorite part is how Bekah weaves names and elements of characters and the Games into the lyrics in such a creative way. The only thing it's missing is a reference to Boggs, who was definitely a favorite character of mine in Mockingjay.

If your students have already read all three novels, have them listen to the song and find the references to the different characters and the story in the lyrics. Click on this link to listen & see the lyrics.
Or, just listen below:

Girl On Fire (New Recorded) by Rebekah Hawker


The Best Birthday Cake Ever!

So for my 40th birthday today my students surprised me with a Hunger Games inspired cake! They made it themselves and I think it is so cool--and so sweet! 

As a high school teacher, it's a treat to have a student wish you Happy Birthday. Heck, it's a treat to have a student acknowledge you, period! ha ha We don't get the pleasure of receiving positive feedback from our students like elementary teachers...many of our kids are so wrapped up in their teenage lives that their teachers are the last people on earth they would want to bake a cake for. Which, of course, made today even more special!

Here are more pics of this awesome cake. Thank you Breanna, Marissa, Stephanie, Delaney, and Nick! You made my day! :)

 Close-up of Katniss, the girl on fire. Love the orange flames coming from her head! LOL
Oh, and that nipple-looking thing is the cornucopia. It was a truffle...and so delicious!

The gel-frosting mockingjay!

My students (missing Delaney and added a second Stephanie) posing by the cake they made 
(actually, I think Bre did most of it! ha ha). My 1st period class was welcoming the 
distraction from learning, I'm sure. ;) If you look in the background, you can see my 
Hunger Games movie poster--which was given to me by another teacher 
& her daughter (who is a former student).

Notice the tootsie-roll arrow in the top right corner and the parachute (top). :)


Celebrate Literacy Month with a Windfall of Lessons

Download free lessons all day September 8th on The Lesson Cloud in celebration of International Day of Literacy and National Literacy Month! And if you miss it, you can always click on the links to all the free products posted on our site.


Listen to Tonight's Hunger Games Fireside Chat

Listen to the Hunger Games Fireside Chat tonight (episode 23) as we discuss the education in Panem. This is my first time on the podcast...hope I don't mess it up! ;)
Also, so many other great topics & guests. Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #HGFiresideChat to discuss the topics. It's a great experience and I'm honored and thrilled to be a part of it!


Hunger Games Unit Common Core Standards Alignment

Has your state adopted the Common Core Standards?

Over the summer I aligned my Hunger Games unit with the Common Core Standards for ELA for both grades 6-8 and 9-12 strands. Those who purchased earlier CDs or my digital unit will not have this document, so I wanted to post it for you. Anyone who has purchased (or is going to purchase) a CD since July will already have this it. Thanks for your patience!

Because there are so many standards (and lessons!), I grouped them together--any that fulfill that particular standard will be listed to the left of it. They can be viewed/downloaded below.

I hope everyone has a wonderful school year, especially if you have the opportunity to read this fabulous novel (or the entire series) in your classes. Check out the Hunger Games Back to School Sweeps (a collaboration between Scholastic, Lionsgate, and DonorsChoose.org) to help support your fellow teachers and the chance to win a library for the school of your choice. There are many teachers in high poverty areas that need your help getting The Hunger Games for their students. Lend a hand...you may win your own set of books in the process!  

May the odds be ever in your favor this school year!
Hunger Games Unit Common Core Standards


Celebrate Literacy Month With The Hunger Games

Would you like to win a classroom set of The Hunger Games novels?

Find out more on Sara Gundell's article on The Hunger Games Examiner. Scholastic and Lionsgate have joined forces with Scribd and Donors Choose to promote literacy during the month of September (which is National Literacy Month). You can now read the first two chapters of The Hunger Games online now, as well. Enter the contest & help out a fellow teacher here.

And don't forget, Shylah has been promoting literacy for almost a year as part of her Literacy Revolution. Perhaps Scholastic and Lionsgate heard of it and realized what an awesome idea it is?!

Read more of Sara's article here:
'The Hunger Games' campaign for Nat'l Literacy Month includes unique contest
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...