Super Activity Incorporating the Super Bowl Commercials

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It's super bowl weekend and you know what that means! Super commercials! ;)
Sponsor a Tribute from College HumorI think the super bowl is the only time when someone will shush people when commercials come on. Unless it's a trailer for "The Hunger Games" movie, of course. How awesome would it be if we got a sneak peek at a "Catching Fire" trailer this weekend? OK, I know that is a long shot, but it would be nice.

One of my earliest lessons for The Hunger Games was my Advertising/Marketing Creative Project that could be used for any of the three novels in The Hunger Games trilogy (or ANY book, for that matter). You can incorporate sample super bowl commercials to give students ideas for creating their own advertising campaigns for the tributes.

This is the perfect activity to go along with a class reaping. (Read more about having a class reaping here and here.) Students can use the information to market their own tributes (classmates) rather than the characters from the novel.
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Here are some sample pages from the download: 
The Hunger Games Trilogy Propaganda TechniquesThe Hunger Games Trilogy Propaganda Advertising Creative Project

The Hunger Games Trilogy Creative Project Rubric - Free DownloadThe Hunger Games Trilogy Sponsors Tribute Gifts Activity

To get the entire PDF file, download it from my TeachersPayTeachers store here:

Show me your projects! 
If your students have created some fantastic projects related to the trilogy, feel free to email them to me and I will post them on my Teacher Examples page or share a link below. 
Thanks for visiting Hunger Games Lessons! 

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Valentine's Day Free Lessons Link-Up

Hunger Games ValentinesHunger Games Valentines
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Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, so here's an opportunity to incorporate a fun lesson into your Hunger Games, Catching Fire, or Mockingjay unit. You can read more about these Valentines on THIS blog post.

And if you are teaching a different unit, check out all the great free Valentine's Day lessons in my link-up from Mrs. Orman's Classroom. If you'd like to link up, as well, feel free to add your Valentine's freebie (no paid products) or blog post for Valentine's Day.

And may the odds be ever in your favor this Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day Freebie Link-Up at Mrs. Orman's Classroom

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Writing Prompt

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. Use the following journal prompt (from A Year of Journal Prompts) either as an individual writing assignment or to prompt a class discussion about the use of violence to promote peace. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Prompt - from http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Year-of-Journal-Writing-Prompts-Common-Core-Standards
From: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Year-of-Journal-Writing-Prompts-Common-Core-Standards

Hunger Games trilogy - CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS:
• President Snow uses violence (the Games) to maintain "peace" and keep the district citizens from rebelling. Does this method work? Give examples of both how it works and how it doesn't work.

• Find examples from history in which other leaders or groups used the same methods to maintain "peace." Are the people truly at peace? Explain.

• Which character from the trilogy would represent Dr. King's vision best? Why?

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A Million Thanks from Hunger Games Lessons!

Hunger Games Lessons One Million Thanks!
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I started writing Hunger Games Lessons posts in November, 2010. It seems so long ago and I often wondered if anyone would even read what I had to share.

Now, a little over two years later, I'm proud to announce my site has had over one million page views.

"Teaching The Hunger Games" was my first post on November 19, 2010. I explained how I decided to incorporate The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins into my curriculum and why I felt other teachers could benefit, as well. At the time I had already taught the entire trilogy to a difficult group of English students--the first of my students to read the novel with me (I had them two years in a row). They are now seniors and were able to join me in a field trip to the movie last spring. I will never forget their transformation from hating to read anything to begging to read every book in the trilogy.

My most popular post is "My Updated Map of Panem" article, which chronicles my decisions for my original and updated placements of each district on a map of North America. It has also received the most feedback of any of my posts and spurred a few heated debates. I love hearing others' opinions because it does open my mind up to new possibilities. We can never stop learning, right?
Teaching The Hunger Games http://www.hungergameslessons.com/2010/11/teaching-hunger-games.html
My first post on Hunger Games Lessons. (11.19.10)

The majority of hits have come from the United States. The top five states are currently:
1. California
2. Texas
3. New York
4. Florida
5. Ohio

When I first began, however, most of my visitors were from Utah. Canadians are my best non-U.S. visitors, with the UK and Australia next.

The month with the most visitors was March, 2012. No big surprise there! The premiere of "The Hunger Games" movie was drawing tons of visitors, and I also posted more that month than any other in 2012. However, in 2011, in which I wrote 154 total posts (I'm still not sure how I did and taught full-time), I actually had 18 posts in both April and August.
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To thank you all for being my visitors, I've reduced the price of my three teaching units for the rest of the weekend. You can buy The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay Teaching Units for 25% off in my teacher store.

I'd also like to learn more about you and hear YOUR suggestions! 
What brought you to my site?
What would you like me to write about or post in the future?
Please let me know in the comments so I can continue to make this site engaging for my visitors.

Clip art used in images:



Is Your Class Participating in World Read Aloud Day?

World Read Aloud Day: March 6th, 2013

World Read Aloud Day is Wednesday, March 6th. You and your class can sign up to participate in this event on the LitWorld website. Help spread literacy and exercise your freedom to read! The site also provides a packet of educational materials to download, found here.

The statistics about global literacy are so astounding, I wanted to share them with you. They are provided by UNESCO on the LitWorld website:

• According to the latest data (2009), 793 million adults – two 
thirds of them women – lack basic reading and writing skills. 
Included in this statistic are 127 million youth aged 15-24. 

• Since 1985, the female adult literacy rate has risen 15%, which is 
about double the growth of the male literacy rate in the same 
time period. (UNESCO) 

• On tests involving 4,500 to 10,000 students in 43 countries, half 
of the girls said they read for at least thirty minutes a day, 
compared with less than one-third of the boys. (UNESCO) 

• In sub-Saharan Africa, girls have less than a 50% chance of 
finishing primary school. In some Asian countries, girls also 
struggle: 41% of girls in Pakistan and 30% in India fail to finish 
primary school. (results.org) 

• Poorly-literate individuals are less likely to participate in 
democratic processes and have fewer chances to fully exercise 
their civil rights (UNESCO)  

• A child born to a mother who can read is 50 percent more likely 
to survive past the age of 5 than a child born to an illiterate 
woman. (UNESCO) 

• A literate and educated girl is three times less likely to acquire 
AIDS, she will earn at least twenty-five percent more income, 
and she will produce a smaller, healthier family. (UNESCO) 

UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

I think so many Americans take for granted their education. Yes, we have many illiterate citizens, as well, but it could be far worse. I think it's important to share this information with your students and encourage them to read more. As the date gets closer, I'd love to have a link-up with other teachers participating in this event. More on that later!

You can participate in this event in a variety of ways. For more information, visit the LitWorld website.
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Is the Message of "The Hunger Games" Lost on Those Who Haven't Read the Book?

A "Things That Make Me Go Hmmm..." Post

We all know that the novels versions are almost always better than their movie counterparts. And we all know that there are going to be people who won't read the book, opting for the movie versions instead. That, probably, will never change.

What bothers me, though, is when the book's message is lost or doesn't translate to the audience in the movie version. It ultimately tarnishes the reputation of the book.

Is the Message of The Hunger Games Lost... www.hungergameslessons.comRecently on my Facebook page one of my friends had this question from a family member and was looking for advice on how to respond:
"So...if the statement of the Hunger Games is all about the how low will we go, like low enough to kids hunt and kill each other, cheering for our favorite, then what does it say about us watching a movie with kids hunting and killing kids, while cheering for our favorite?"
It saddened me because I really think the message is clear in the book that violence–and the glorification of it–is wrong. Katniss is sickened by it. The reader is sickened by it. Katniss doesn't want to kill or see anyone die. And the reader doesn't want anyone to die. There is no cheering or fanfare for the Games.

I thought the movie did a good job of translating that message, though there were a few moments that disappointed me in the end [a couple of my complaints here]. And, yet, the first time I saw the movie on opening night, there were people cheering in the theater. Those of us witnessing this looked at them in disbelief and a few shushed them. I can only surmise that they had not read the book.
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I am reminded of the movie "Schindler's List," in which terrible acts of violence are portrayed onscreen. I saw it in the theater when it was first released and can attest to the fact that no one was cheering during those scenes. Same for movies like "Saving Private Ryan" and "Full Metal Jacket." Is it because these movies are based on real events? Have we disconnected ourselves from fictional experiences in such a way that we don't see the characters are real humans being killed? Real humans who are forced to do the killing? Are we so dense that we cannot see that even fictional portrayals hold truths?

Yet, looking at movies that are based on true events, I'm reminded that in that present, we, as a society, were cheering. Even though the war poets of the early twentieth century reminded us not to cheer, there were just as many poets, reporters, and politicians who did the opposite, encouraging the public that it was our patriotic duty to applaud the killing of others. They may not have been so blunt, but ultimately, wasn't that the message?

One argument for the fanfare is that we were the good guys, destroying the evil in the world. Shouldn't we rejoice when we triumph over evil? It's a good point, and I think it's hard to argue against the fact that Hitler was a madman who needed to be removed from power. Does it justify acts of evil in the name of war? Is it okay to kill civilians for a greater good? What about the innocent citizens who lost their lives because they were defending their families, their homes? Does it justify the need to drop atomic bombs on not just one city, but two, taking thousands of innocent lives and probably affecting thousands more years later due to radiation exposure?

The book is always better. www.hungergameslessons.comWe issue service awards and mark the number of raids or bombings performed. Is there an award for turning around and deciding not to attack a village or deciding not to blow up an elementary school? Aren't these are the heroic acts we need to applaud instead?

The anti-war movement of the 60s and 70s seemed to be a turning point for our society, insisting that we cannot continue to cheer for war. It's not a problem-solving method we should encourage and applaud. And for the first time, I think people began to see that the clear-cut line between good vs. evil was blurred. Instead of radio reports that were censored for the public, people began to see the real images of war on TV and in the newspapers. And it looked more like varying degrees of evil battling one another.

"The Hunger Games" exposes the eventual truth of war: there are no "good" guys, no "teams" to cheer for. We are all guilty when we cheer for the death of another. When Katniss tells Peeta she doesn't want anyone to die, she just wants to go home, we feel her pain. We can relate to it because those who serve or those who have children serving in the military probably feel the same way: they don't want to kill (or have their child kill) others. They just want it to end. To come home, safely.

I think the "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay" movies will need to show this message loud and clear. They need to show Katniss' journey from being a survivor, a soldier, then placed on a pedestal as a symbol for rebellion, used as a pawn by both her enemies and her friends, then–most importantly–her realization that they are all, herself included, the "bad" guys.

But this is treading in difficult waters: how do you tell this message without insulting those who serve our country? Will they be offended by the message that they are "pawns" used by our leaders to advance their own agendas? And how do you tell this message without appearing unpatriotic? Katniss loved the people of Panem; she saw good even in the citizens of the Capitol. Denouncing both sides did not make her unpatriotic. It made her human. Expressing this message does not make us love our country less; it shows just how much we love what is best about it: the people.

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