Use Catching Fire Set Photos to Teach Inference

Teaching inference with photos from the set of Catching Fire

A slew of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" movie set photos hit the internet recently, so it's the perfect opportunity to seize that excitement and incorporate it into a lesson on inferring.

Because inference is a "reading between the lines" strategy, using images from the filming is good practice. No one knows exactly which scenes from the novel are being filmed, but students can make educated guesses based on textual evidence. This exercise forces them to look back in the text to support their inferences.

You can find images to project from many great fansites. See below for links to Catching Fire movie set images.

When you show an image to your class, ask students the following questions:

1. What is happening in the images?

2. What do you think happened just before the image was taken?

3. What do you think will happen next?

4. Based on the way the actors are positioned and their surroundings, which scene(s) from the novel are they performing?

Support your answers with evidence from the text.

Image links:

Hunger Games Down With the Capitol:


Catching Fire Updates:

You can also find many of the images on my Catching Fire pinboard on Pinterest:

Common Core State Standards Practiced

Inferring is practiced in the following Common Core Anchor Standards (look at your grade level for the specific corresponding standard):
If you incorporate writing:
Speaking & Listening:

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Cyber Monday SALE on Teachers Pay Teachers

Cyber Monday + Bonus Tuesday Sale www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tracee-Orman

Have you been waiting to purchase resources for teaching The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay until a sale comes along? Well, tomorrow and Tuesday are the big days for the TeachersPayTeachers sale! I won't be marking my materials down until the teacher appreciation sale in May, so stock up while you can. Use the code CMT12 at check out to get the greatest discount.

And guess what? I am putting my CDs on sale, too (which I rarely do because I tend to lose money on them). This is my way of thanking you for your support these last three years (yep, three years on TpT!). Don't forget that you now have the option to purchase on a USB flash drive rather than a CD. Just leave me a note and let me know you want the USB flash drive option (there's a box to leave a note to the seller when you check out--or after you check out).

Hunger Games Catching Fire Mockingjay Unit Teaching Resources www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tracee-Orman

I created a new heading leader logo in my store (see above), so it's super easy to find materials for teaching The Hunger Games trilogy. If you click on that link, it takes you to the 3-CD product, which actually has links to the CDs and the digital products.

Below is another logo that links to my second best-selling product, Creative Activities for ANY Novel or Story (or any unit, for that matter). I recently updated it with new activities and printables. If you haven't checked it out, the sale is a great time to do so!

Mrs. Orman's Creative Classroom Resources & Clip Art www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tracee-Orman

I just want to thank you all for supporting your fellow teachers. It means a lot to us and we hope you find lots of great sales over the next two days. Thanks for all you do!

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Testing out BlogLovin' - Have you tried it?

Hunger Games Lessons www.hungergameslessons.com

Have you checked out BlogLovin'? It's like a Pinterest for blogs. I just joined and am "claiming" my blog with the link below. Will I use this? Perhaps. But I thought it was worth checking out. :)

Resources for ELA Teachers www.hungergameslessons.com Hunger Games Lessons

Comment below if you use it or what you think of it.
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364 Days & Counting: Passing My Thanks On To You...

Catching Fire Movie - One Year Countdown

Today marks one year until "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" movie is released. Even though it still seems like ages away, it was too depressing to begin a countdown sooner.

In honor of today being the one-year mark and Thanksgiving here in America, I want to thank all of you by marking down all of my Catching Fire teaching materials, including the shipped CD. Enjoy the savings and thank you for your patronage!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Picture Your Name in the Catching Fire Movie Credits

 If you've ever imagined your name up on the big screen, here's your chance!

 Lions Gate® Movies will select 12 lucky winners to see their name in the credits of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." They will choose the winners from the first 12 million fans who enter on their Facebook page HERE.

 You'll also get to view the incredibly sleek new mockingjay logo, complete with the animated flames and audio (shown right).

 Underneath the image is the new logo for Catching Fire: "Every revolution begins with a spark." What do you think? I absolutely love it. I think it's a perfect tagline to describe the continuing storyline in Catching Fire.

 Now, we just have to wait a year to see the movie.
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November 22, 2013...Y U No Be Here Already? ;)
November 22, 2013, Y U No Be Here Already? www.hungergameslessons.com

New Unit for "The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness

I realize I've been talking a lot about Patrick Ness' novel The Knife of Never Letting Go lately. (You can read my gushing for it on my other blog HERE.) But, it's a book worthy of the praise and multiple mentions!

Last year I started teaching the novel with a small group of seniors. We already read the entire Hunger Games trilogy when they were sophomores, so I was in need of another good book for those reluctant readers. This year I teach almost all the seniors and decided to use it again. I was a little nervous, wondering if the girls in my classes would like it as well as the boys (I only had one girl in class last year). But I found out that the girls liked it just as much as the boys. I have a waiting list of students wanting to check out my classroom copies of The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men, the other two books in the Chaos Walking trilogy.

If having a lack of materials keeps you from using this novel in your classroom, I've recently uploaded several and there are others out there, as well. Candlewick Press has a page with links and resources. (Let me say that the audio version is phenomenal!)

This year I opened up with this anticipatory activity, in which students record their thoughts in a thought bubble. Then, I had students read their thoughts aloud. In small groups they recorded their thoughts using Quicktime, though some students used online tools like Voki. The class came together and everyone played their thought recordings at once. They agreed that it sounded like a noisy cafeteria, barely being able to pick out individual thoughts. I asked them what they thought it would be like to always hear this noise? This led into our discussion about the "Noise" in The Knife of Never Letting Go and the challenges we would have with others if people could constantly hear what we were thinking.
You can listen to their final recording here:

You can download the anticipatory activity free from my teacher store, here:

You can also check out my other lessons, which are aligned with the 11-12 Common Core State Standards.


Three-Finger Salute to Our Veterans

Veterans Day Three-Finger Salute

Today I'd like to take a moment to thank all those who serve their country. Though it is Veterans Day in America, I think the men and women around the world who risk their lives for complete strangers should be saluted, as well.

And fictional characters are no exception. Why should they be saluted? Because they inspire generations of readers to respect and admire those who serve others. Katniss, Peeta, Finnick, Boggs...just a few who were willing to take a bullet for the citizens of Panem.

As you celebrate Veterans Day in your classroom, take a moment to ask your students which literary characters they admire for their service to others and why?

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Hunger Games Director Gary Ross on his first children's book

Entertainment Weekly Exclusive on www.hungergameslessons.com
This is an exclusive story by Entertainment Weekly about Gary Ross and his new children's book Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind. Interestingly, Ross was inspired by another favorite children's book, the Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. You can read the story on EW.com HERE or continue on...
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Exclusive EW.com story about Gary Ross' new book and how he has no regrets leaving The Hunger Games
Director Gary Ross on his first children's book, and why he hasn't had a moment's regret after walking away from the 'Hunger Games' franchise- EXCLUSIVE
Back when Gary Ross’ twin son and daughter were just a year old The Hunger Games writer/director got a frantic call from a friend. David Koepp was shooting his first movie, 1996′s The Trigger Effect, and needed a bedtime story for Elisabeth Shue to read to her son in a scene. Could Ross come up with something on the fly? So Ross dashed out some verses about a boy named Bartholomew Biddle who flies out of his window using his bedsheet as a kite, surfing currents of air in search of wild adventure. Then Ross set Bartholomew aside for years, though the boy never really left his heart. It was while on the set of 2008′s Tale of Despereaux, the adaptation of Kate DiCamillo’s charming tale of a misfit mouse which Ross wrote the screenplay for, that he showed those early pages to DiCamillo’s publisher Karen Lotz. She too fell hard for Bartholomew’s curiosity and verve and offered Ross a book deal.
The tale of Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind has since bloomed into a 30,000-word epic told in verse, full of heart and fun and surprising poignancy, which Candlewick Press will publish next week. Ross wrote the bulk of the book in the year before he dove deep into The Hunger Games
There were days it was the easiest thing in the world, like eating dessert,” he says. “And then days when it was brutally difficult. I was a real purist in the beginning. ‘I will never look at a rhyming dictionary. If a word doesn’t come to you organically it’s not appropriate.’ And then by the end the rhyming dictionary was on my bookmarks bar.”

There’s something touching, Ross thinks, about now getting to share such a personal project whose gestation has spanned his now 17-year-old children’s entire lives. “Especially after Hunger Games it’s nice sending this thing out into the world and seeing what comes back,” says Ross. (And so far what’s come back includes a starred Kirkus Reviews rave and an Amazon Book-of-the-Month pick.) As for The Hunger Games, Ross insists he’s never second-guessed his ultimate decision to walk away from the franchise after co-writing and helming the phenomenally well-received first installment. "I didn’t feel that I would have the time for the way that I work to do the movie justice,” he says. “I wear two hats. I don’t wear one hat. When you write and you direct that’s a linear process, it’s not a simultaneous process. I would’ve had to have written a script and prepped the whole movie in four months and on the first movie that’s a process that took me eight months. And I thought [Catching Fire] was a more difficult adaptation, not an easier one. I didn’t really feel I had the time I needed to live up to my own standards. And I haven’t had a moment’s regret. It was absolutely the right decision and I’m thrilled about new challenges.” (Ross’ next movie will be Peter and the Starcatchers, a reimagining of the Peter Pan fable that he’ll direct for Disney.)

In the meantime EW challenged Ross, a former Los Angeles library commissioner whose mandate included expanding children’s and teen services, to narrow down his own favorite children’s books—culled from his memories both as a boy with a flashlight under the covers and as a parent reading to his kids. Ross’ list of most treasured reads will make you want to call in sick tomorrow and spend the day on the sofa covered in books. And then read them all over again with your kids when they get home from school.


Teachers Help Teachers in Sandy's Aftermath

Teachers Help Teachers - Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser www.hungergameslessons.com

Our heart goes out to all those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy last week. A group of teachers has joined together to gather teaching materials for those schools who have lost everything.

If you are a teacher, please consider joining by donating a digital resource that will be distributed to administrators to pass along to their teachers. You can fill out the form HERE.

Special thanks to Laurah Jurca of The ESOL Odyssey blog for organizing this special fundraiser. Please pass it on by pinning, tweeting, blogging, posting on Facebook, and so on! Thank you!

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