Incorporate Free Rice Into Your Class "Games"

Free Rice Birthday Celebration
Use Free Rice as part of your Hunger Games class challenge.
If you plan to have a mock reaping and have your students participate in a class "Games" for your Hunger Games unit, think about incorporating the website FreeRice into it. Free Rice celebrates its 5th birthday this week and you and your students can join in on the celebrations!

Using FreeRice is an excellent way your students can help combat world hunger. During your Hunger Games unit, have your own "Games" based on who earns the most grains of rice. The student with the most becomes the "Victor." Make sure that your students log in (or create accounts) and have them keep track of the amount of rice they earn. You can create a class group and have the website figure the amount for you, but it will take a little work setting up the group and having students join it.

To help you, here's a free download that has a link to directions and a log to keep track of donated rice: Using FreeRice.com in the Classroom

You can also submit your challenge to the website and have live updates during that time. :) May the odds be ever in your students' favor!

Click on the icon below to begin!

Celebrate 5 years fighting hunger with Freerice.com

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Banned Books Week 2012

Hunger Games Lessons, Banned Books Week
Celebrate Banned Books Week Sept. 30-Oct. 6.
This week kicks off the American Library Association's (ALA) Banned Books Week to celebrate our freedom to read and educate people about censorship.

I thought it would be worth noting that The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is number three on the list of frequently challenged books for 2011, up from number five last year. (Challenged means that someone objected to the book and asked that it be removed from either the shelves/library or classroom and/or from the curriculum in school.)

Other books making the list included ttyl by Lauren Myracle, Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily Von Ziegesar, and classics like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
Image from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/21stcenturychallenged

Also worth noting is why these books are challenged. The reasons given for The Hunger Games included "anti-ethnic" and "anti-family." And To Kill a Mockingbird? "Offensive language" and "racism."

From: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/21stcenturychallenged

I believe that parents have the right to decide what they do or do not want their children to read. If they are offended by the material, their child should be given the opportunity to read an alternative book. But I do not think those parents have the right to remove materials for all students. I do not want another parent telling me what is right for my son.

Censorship only breeds more censorship, and societies that begin to censor materials are preventing the population from becoming informed and educated citizens. Leaders such as Adolf Hitler used censorship to promote his own views. Freedom of speech includes the right to read materials of our choosing. We don't have to like what others are reading, but it is not our place to take away that freedom from anyone else just because it may offend us. If we don't believe in freedom of speech for everyone, then we simply do not believe in it. Period.

Spread the word about Banned Books Week and check out all the great resources on the ALA's website.

I have a pinboard on Pinterest for Banned Books Week. You can also browse my other book-related pinboards:
All Things Books
Book Community Board
Bookish News and Fun
Books Worth Reading

I'll be posting about my all-time favorite novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, on my other blog www.traceeorman.com. Check it out later this week to see what I have in store for you!

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To the Victors, the Spoils

Classroom Connections: The Price of Fame for the Victors on www.hungergameslessons.com
Classroom Connections: The Price of Fame for the Victors

In Panem, winning the Hunger Games allows the Victor a lifetime of fame, fortune, and ease...or does it?

As you and your class read Catching Fire, there are several opportunities to discuss the price of "fame" - both in the novel and in real life.

Students can look (and unfortunately, not too hard) for examples of celebrities who have not dealt very well with their new-found fame.

Then ask your students how Katniss deals with the pressure of being a Victor:

  - Is living in Victor's Village ideal for her family?
  - Is not worrying about feeding her family enough to ease her mind?
  - What other pressures and responsibilities must she take on?
  - Does money buy happiness?

Then, finally, poll your students; ask how many of them think Katniss would gladly go back to her old way of life, starving and all.

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Classroom Connections: Catching Fire Discussion Prompt on www.hungergameslessons.com


District 4 Revealed...How is Your Map of Panem Shaping Up?

Panem Hunger Games
Map courtesy of MyHungerGames.com

With as many different maps of Panem I've created, you'd think it would get old. But it doesn't! I still love the speculation that goes into each placement of the districts and finding context clues for support.

The new map that was released from The Hunger Games Adventures Facebook game is as close to an official map that we'll get, albeit it's based on the movie rather than the book. But how different can it be?

Last week District 4 was revealed to fans. I was not at all surprised of the placement on the Pacific side. In fact, if you look at my past maps, you'll notice that I favored that side on almost all of them. My reasoning was the "dead zone" area in the Gulf of Mexico. Author Suzanne Collins makes reference on several occasions that humans have brought about much of the destruction of North America. That was enough evidence for me.

So where will the rest of the districts be placed? Here are my new picks:
Map of Panem Tracee Orman Template Hunger Games Lessons
The only districts I'm not sure about are the top three: 5, 9, and 7. District 5 is probably the one that is most up in the air for me, but I do believe that there are many sources of power in northwestern Canada. I had never thought of District 5 being there, but with the water, wind, and oil potential for power, it could definitely work. The rest I placed based on World Atlas maps (yep, old school from the book) and the most plentiful places for each industry.

So, only time will tell if my speculation is way-off or not. What do you think? Where would you place the districts based on the new "official" map?

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Get Ready for the Victory Tour 2013

If you haven't heard about the Victory Tour 2013 event planned for next summer, you are in for a treat! Leaders Gamemakers in The Hunger Games fandom have organized an event to unite the fans from around the world for a few days of entertainment, conversation, and just plain fun.

According to the official Victory Tour 2013 website, Victory Tour 2013 will be held in an undisclosed location in North Carolina, revealed only to Tributes who are the most passionate about the Hunger Games and what it stands for. It is an arena devised to encourage education and healthy discussion. You will meet the gamemakers and the fansites dedicated to keeping us out from under Capitol supremacy. You will laugh in the face of tyranny at the Hunger Games Musical, conquer your fears during The Tribute Games, and declare your stylistic freedom during the district fashion extravaganza.
The Gamemakers are looking for donations to help bring some big-name stars to the event, as well. If you'd like to donate (and receive some great perks in return), visit the Victory Tour 2013 donation page.

Share the news about the Victory Tour 2013 with your students to generate even more excitement for the novel.  

In other exciting news, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" began filming this week in Atlanta. Lions Gate® Movies also launched a new sweepstakes for fans to win a trip to visit the set & filming of the movie, which will be filmed in Hawaii, as well. You can check out all the details on their Facebook fanpage:  www.catchingfiresweeps.com

The contest asks entrants to submit a video with their question for the cast of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." You could make this a "classroom connection" and have your students do it for an enrichment exercise. Or compile a list of questions as a class. (Official entrants must be 13 years or older.) The contest deadline is Oct. 12.
You could have your students create videos with their questions as an enrichment exercise.
May the odds be ever in your favor!

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If You Like The Hunger Games...Try These Book Suggestion Sites

Chances are you're having a hard time finding a book that is as engaging as The Hunger Games. Or Catching Fire. Or Mockingjay.

Try Tastekid.com for kid-friendly book suggestions.
So what do you do after you've read a series (multiple times) and want to find another one? As a teacher, I love giving suggestions to my students. But sometimes I'm stumped or my students have read all that I've suggested. I do like it when their peers give suggestions (see my "Good Reads" board). And librarians are also wonderful sources for book suggestions. When students have exhausted all the human sources (or those sources aren't available), they can try out these "book suggestion" websites.

To test them out, I typed in "The Hunger Games" to see the results. Then I typed in "The Age of Miracles" (by Karen Thompson Walker, which I just finished reading) to see if it would produce results. Here's a run-down on some of them:

YourNextRead.com - Same concept but has many features and can be connected to your GoodReads account.

What I like: I can connect my Good Reads account and utilize the site for more accurate suggestions. Also, the book cover "web" visuals are nice.
What I don't like: It only gives you fewer suggestions. Newer books (even Mockingjay) had even fewer suggestions. Plus, it recommended The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. One would assume those have already been read, so they should rule them out.
Your Next Read did produce some results for The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, a relatively new book.

Whatshouldireadnext.com - A more simple search that produces pretty good results.

This list actually goes on and on, producing a nice long list of suggestions.
What I like: A lot of suggestions.
What I don't like: Newer books, again, do not produce as many results. But I was pleased that The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker actually produced results, albeit fewer.

Tastekid.com - This is a kid-friendly site that will give pretty accurate results...for kids. (See the results when I typed in 50 Shades below...) Thanks to my Twitter friend Jack McNally for letting me know about this website.
Tastekid.com is a kid-friendly site...obviously.
What I like about it: it's not just for books. Type in an author, song/music, movie, games, etc..
What I don't like: Newer books produced zero or fewer results. Also, it's kid-friendly. If you are looking for books for yourself, the results may not be what you expected (see above).

Do you have other book suggestion generators you like to use? Share them in the comments below!

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