If your students are anything like mine, one of the first things they ask me is if we get to have a class simulation of the Games while we read The Hunger Games Trilogy. Even after they find out that I don't allow a recreation of the Games because it would defeat the purpose of the novels, they continue to ask me EVERY SINGLE DAY if they can "fight" each other with toy weapons, or wrestling matches, or air-soft guns. I just shake my head.
I've always been adamant about stressing the theme of non-violence throughout the unit. But...they are typical students who want an excuse to "goof around" in class. And I do like to give them opportunities to get up, move around, have fun...but learn something while they're doing it. Nothing is learned by giving them fake weapons and simulating a "Hunger Games" activity. Or at least not what I want them to learn.
You know your students want to compete in some way, but how can you give them that thrill of competition in a non-violent way?
How about trying one of these ideas:
-Food Drive competition: It literally IS the Hunger Games.
-The Academic Games: Use trivia questions from the novel; ask each student a question. If they answer correctly, they stay in the game. If they get it wrong, they're out. Last one standing is the victor.
-The Spelling Tracker Jacker: Not quite the same ring as a spelling bee, but like the "Academic Games," students would spell words from the novel to compete. Imagine throwing them off with Suzanne Collins' spelling of "muttations." Bahahaha...(that's my evil President Snow laugh, by the way).
-The Training Games: For those who still need that physical challenge, focus on training skills where students compete against one another in various physical challenges that test their agility, speed, accuracy, and endurance.
-The Sponsorship Challenge: Have students work in groups to create marketing campaigns for the Tributes from the novel(s). The can create an entire campaign, including a TV ad-spot, billboard, podcast, and more. Students can vote for the tribute they would sponsor based on the campaigns.
-Surviving the Games: Create a series of survival challenges for teams of students. These can include activities like knot-tying, plant and insect identification, shelter building, and more. As an alternative to survival skills, try group challenges that allow students to rely on one another to complete. Using these team-building activities allow for collaboration and bonding between your students.
In my next post, I will share the activities I used with my classes and show you how you can implement them into your curriculum.
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