Successful Teaching of The Hunger Games!

I've been wanting to share the stories I receive from teachers all over the country (and world!) about how they have had great success teaching The Hunger Games to their students (or reading it with their students). Please send me your links, pictures, stories, etc. Or comment below with a link, if you'd like.  Let's share our success stories! Here's a collection of articles teachers have shared with me:

*  * IN THE NEWS *  *
Classrooms using The Hunger Games with Success

Do you have a news story to add? Drop me a line so I can add it here.  

Have your students participate in English teacher Jen Scott Curwood's newest research project on how teens are using The Hunger Games to improve literacy. It's a worthy project that would reinforce what we already believe: The Hunger Games is one of the best books to fully engage our students! 
Read more about her project on literacy and fan culture.

Read her post on using creative projects in class.

*  * Class Reaping, Training, and Mock Games *  *

Want to host a Hunger Games event at your school? You can start with a class reaping, but see how Bristol Eastern High School (CT) librarian 
Ms. Kenney created this awesome school-wide event:

Do you have a class reaping or mock Games to add? Drop me an email so I can add it here.

*  * Hunger Games Creative Projects *  *

Read about Ms. L's awesome experience with her students here: 
 Ms. L's Hunger Games Project & Pictures

Mor from A Teacher's Treasure shared her wonderful 8th grade students' Hunger Games projects here:
And these great Hunger Games "secret door" foldables

As I shared in an earlier post, Mrs. Cobb had great success with her students, as seen with the Facebook lesson and re-creating the arena:

 And teacher Lenzi Hart also had success using the project ideas, shown here:

Jamie Waites from Sonora High School shared pictures of her students' work on the Opening Ceremony costumes. Each student was assigned a district and had to sketch the design. Her honors students took it a step further and actually created the designs! What a great project:

Ms. Waites was generous enough to share her templates she used with you. You can download them {HERE} and {HERE}. Thanks, Jamie!
To download, you'll need to go to the "File" drop-down menu and save a copy or download original.
SHOW THEM EXAMPLES FIRST: Ms. Christine Kent shared the Hunger Games page from, "InStyle magazine has had real-world designers put pencil to paper and design their own version of Katniss’ outfit...There are designers like BCBG Generations involved and 12 different designs – some very simplistic and some really over the top.  They would make really great examples for this kind of project." 
I agree! Thanks so much for sharing, Christine!
Click {HERE} to see the 12 different designs.

*  * Using The Hunger Games in Other Content Areas *  *

From Mr. Neil Krasnoff's School Technology Paradise: 
Using Hunger Games to Get Students Ready for Biology Test
This is a great lesson for students to search for context clues and make comparisons. He listed a step-by-step guide for teachers and even has a presentation he will share. Thank you, Mr. Krasnoff!  

*  *  *  *
Do you have class projects you'd like to add? Drop me an email so I can add it here.

*  * Examples From My Classroom *  *
You can read more about how I began teaching The Hunger Games {HERE}. Below, I'd like to share some of my students' projects with you. I also have several separate posts for our {CLASS REAPING GAMES} and a SLIDESHOW of CLASS GAMES:

Some of my student example projects {MORE HERE}...and SLIDESHOW of STUDENT PROJECTS:

I am still working on my student to release his "rap" version of Rue's Lullaby (or "The Meadow Song"). He's a little shy and doesn't think it's worthy (but it is!). He created it using Garage Band on his MacBook Pro.

Here's an example of the Capitol Mutts project one of my students completed (this is just one of his pages):
As we read Catching Fire, my students had a lot of fun creating iTunes Playlists for the characters. We picked and chose the best songs for one final class compilation. I think it turned out pretty well:

A favorite activity of my students during Mockingjay was the silver parachute recreation. This activity could be done while reading any of the books; we completed it after reading chapter 3 (in the beginning we see that she has the pearl and spile wrapped in the silver parachute as momentos of Peeta and the Games). Each student had string, tin foil, and a napkin. I also gave them a synthetic pearl to place inside (to represent Peeta's gift to Katniss).

They had about 10 minutes to construct a homemade parachute before we threw them off the mezzanine balcony in the gym. As an added element, the student whose parachute held up and actually "floated" received some candy and a Mockingjay pencil. The students had fun and it gave them an opportunity to do something hands-on (and leave the classroom, even if it was only for a few minutes). I wish I had brought my time!

Which activities are your students' favorites? 
Comment below or send me your story/pics to post.


  1. I was wondering how you guys introduced Hunger Games. I'm really excited to start, but I'm a student teacher, and just a little overwhelmed at the moment. I bought your CD--thank you!

  2. Hi Katie! I still get nervous/unsure/overwhelmed when I teach something for the very first time, so that is completely natural!

    I like to give my students some background information about the book/author first. If you have the CD, you can use the introduction PPT. But if you don't have access to computer/projector, here's another great activity you can use (I use it to introduce TKaM every year):

    Give each student 2 post-it notes. You are going to read a "story" (see below) and while you are reading, they should write 3 facts from what you read. (It could be anything.)

    The second time you read it, have them write down 3 questions they have or 3 things want to learn.

    Share by having students "post" their post-its on the board (or preserve them on a poster-board to refer to later in the novel...see how long it takes for all the students' questions to be answered). You can also preserve it by taking a digital picture of the board. I do this a lot & refer back to past year's boards for many things. (It's great to preserve notes written on the board, too, for absent students.)

    For the "story" you read, write up some things about The Hunger Games that you want them to know, that will spark an interest, yet leave unanswered questions. Here's an example:

    This is the story of a 16-year old girl who sneaks out to the woods to hunt. She has a little sister she adores and she'd do anything for her.

    Every year the youth of her country participate in a drawing for a chance to win a house and a lifetime of luxury. But most kids hope their names aren't drawn.

    (This is just a short example - you can make it longer and add more details.)

    Some facts students may write might be:
    1. girl is 16
    2. hunts
    3. has little sister
    4. adores sister
    5. participates in drawing
    6. could win life of luxury
    7. could win house

    Some questions they may have:
    1. Why does she have to sneak out to hunt?
    2. Why does she hunt?
    3. How does she hunt? (Type of weapon)
    4. What is her name?
    5. How old is her sister?
    6. Does she have a boyfriend?
    7. Where do they live?
    8. Why don't kids want their names drawn?

    I love this activity because they get excited about the story, but key facts are not given away (you don't want to spoil it for them).

    Good luck, Katie!

  3. Hi! I'm a student and was wonder how you introduced The Hunger Games to you're school board? Also I doing an essay on the Hunger Games and those who have sucessfully thought it in schools and would LOVE to interview you for it!
    Thanks,Katie (different Katie)

  4. Hi Katie,
    Fortunately I did not have to get permission from the school board to teach the novel. I read it one weekend in 2009, went to my principal that Monday & told him I needed this book for my general English class, and he approved a purchase of 10 books for me that day. I let our department head know and she was perfectly fine. I do teach at a high school and we have not had any complaints. In fact, many parents have read the book because their kids were telling them how great it is. I feel bad for teachers who have had resistance because it is such a great novel to teach. You can email me at if you'd like. :) Thanks, Katie! -Tracee

  5. SO exciting! I actually am right down the road from Etowah high school. I teach at Woodstock and taught the Hunger Games to my students using your lesson plans. I just wrote an article to be published on GPBS online that mentions your lesson plans. I will share as soon as it makes print! ;) Your lesson plans were amazing!

    1. Ckinneer - That is so great! Please share the link when it is printed. :) Thanks so much & thanks for sharing your success. Woodstock is lucky to have you! -Tracee

  6. I had no idea how many teachers were using The Hunger Games as a teaching tool until the orders start pouring in for my fan art posters, bookmarks and decals. This is a great way to get more kids to read! Keep up the great work.

    1. It's a wonderful book to teach because it's so engaging, yet has all the things English teachers love: strong themes, symbolism, interesting and authentic dialogue, etc. Thanks for stopping by, Blue Leaf!

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  14. Successful teaching of The Hunger Games would involve engaging students in discussions and activities that help them understand and analyze the themes and literary elements present in the novel. This could include exploring the political and social commentary via TM Whatsapp in the story, analyzing the character development and relationships, and examining the use of symbolism and imagery. It's also important to foster a safe and inclusive classroom environment where all students feel comfortable participating in discussions and sharing their perspectives.

  15. The Hunger Games is a popular book and movie series that has captivated millions of people. It is a thrilling dystopian story that follows the journey of Katniss Everdeen, a young girl who volunteers to take her sister's place in a brutal fight for survival. It is a great book to use in the classroom to explore themes of courage, loyalty, and justice. Here are some tips for successful teaching of The Hunger Games:

    1. Set the stage: Before diving into the story, get your students excited and engaged by discussing the premise of the book. Ask questions like, “What do you think the world of The Hunger Games would be like?” and “What themes do you think will be found in the book?”

    2. Break down the plot: As you read through the book with your students, break down the plot and discuss the main ideas and themes. Ask questions like “What do you think the significance of the Hunger Games is?” and “How do the different characters respond to it?”

    3. Discuss the themes: The Hunger Games is full of powerful themes, from courage and loyalty to justice and power. Talk about how these themes are expressed in the book and how they can be applied to real-life situations.

    4. Analyze the characters: Ask students to analyze the characters and discuss their motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. This can lead to some great conversations about how people’s decisions can have an impact on their lives.

    5. Connect to current events: The Hunger Games is a great opportunity to discuss current events and politics. Ask your students to draw parallels between the world of The Hunger Games and our own society.

    By following these tips, you can ensure that your students get the most out of their reading of The Hunger Games. It is a great book to explore in the classroom and can lead to some great conversations about important themes.

  16. Teaching "The Hunger Games" can be a rewarding experience for both you and your students. Here are some tips for a successful teaching experience:

    Read the book beforehand: Make sure you have read the book at least once before teaching it. This will allow you to have a better understanding of the plot, themes, and characters.

    Plan your lessons: Plan your lessons in advance, taking into account the book's structure, themes, and characters. Incorporate different teaching methods, such as group work, class discussions, and multimedia resources, to keep your students engaged.

    Incorporate current events: Relate the themes and events in the book to current events in the world. This will help your students understand the relevance and importance of the book.

    Use visual aids: Use visual aids, such as maps, charts, and diagrams, to help your students understand the world of the book. You can also show scenes from the movie adaptation to help them visualize the story.

    Assign creative projects: Assign creative projects, such as writing assignments, art projects, and role-playing activities, to help your students engage with the material on a deeper level.

    Allow for discussions: Encourage your students to share their thoughts and opinions on the book. Allow for class discussions and debates, and encourage students to ask questions and challenge each other's ideas.

    Make connections: Connect the book to other subjects, such as history, politics, and sociology. This will help your students see the interdisciplinary nature of the book and understand how it relates to the wider world.

    By following these tips, you can create a successful teaching experience that not only helps your students engage with "The Hunger Games" but also encourages critical thinking, creativity, and empathy.

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  18. Teaching "The Hunger Games" can be an engaging and successful experience for students. Here are some strategies you can employ to make the teaching process more effective and enjoyable:

    Pre-reading Activities: Begin by introducing the novel's themes, context, and relevant background information. You can include discussions, multimedia presentations, or short activities that stimulate curiosity and create a connection with the story.

    Reading and Analysis: Assign reading portions and provide ample opportunities for students to delve into the text. Encourage active reading by incorporating comprehension questions, vocabulary exercises, and character analysis activities. Explore the themes of power, government control, social inequality, and survival, promoting critical thinking and discussion.

    Socratic Seminars or Group Discussions: Organize Socratic seminars or group discussions to foster deep analysis and critical thinking. Encourage students to share their interpretations, ask questions, and support their arguments with evidence from the text. This promotes active engagement and enhances comprehension.

    Visual Representations: Engage students in creating visual representations such as concept maps, character profiles, or storyboards. This allows them to analyze and visually represent key events, relationships, and themes, aiding in their understanding and retention of the material.

    Writing Assignments: Assign various writing tasks such as reflective journals, character analyses, persuasive essays, or creative writing exercises. These activities encourage students to explore their thoughts, develop their writing skills, and express their ideas effectively.

    Comparisons and Connections: Encourage students to connect themes and events from "The Hunger Games" to real-world situations, historical events, or other literary works. This helps them develop a broader understanding of the novel's relevance and fosters critical thinking skills.

    Multimedia Exploration: Utilize multimedia resources such as film adaptations, author interviews, or related documentaries to provide additional perspectives and enhance students' understanding of the story. Comparing and contrasting the book and film adaptations can also lead to interesting discussions.

    Culminating Projects: Conclude the unit with creative culminating projects that allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the novel in unique ways. Examples include creating a digital presentation, designing a board game, or staging a scene from the book.

    Empathy and Ethical Discussions: Encourage students to explore the moral dilemmas presented in the novel, fostering empathy and ethical discussions. This can lead to valuable conversations about social justice, human rights, and personal values.

    Assessment and Feedback: Provide regular feedback and assessment opportunities throughout the unit. This can include quizzes, class participation, written assignments, or group projects. Individual conferences can also be valuable for personalized feedback and to address any questions or concerns students may have.

    Remember to tailor your teaching approach to the specific needs and interests of your students. By incorporating a variety of activities and encouraging active engagement, you can create a dynamic and successful learning experience with "The Hunger Games."

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  20. When it comes to incorporating popular novels like The Hunger Games into school curricula, there have been numerous success stories that highlight the effectiveness of this approach. The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, captivated the hearts and minds of readers worldwide, particularly among young adults. Its compelling themes of survival, social injustice, and resilience make it a thought-provoking and engaging choice for classroom study.

    One crucial aspect of successfully teaching The Hunger Games is the ability to connect the novel's themes and characters to real-world issues and experiences. By encouraging students to critically analyze and reflect upon the dystopian society depicted in the book, educators can foster meaningful discussions about power dynamics, inequality, and the consequences of blind obedience. This approach not only deepens students' understanding of the story but also encourages them to make connections to their own lives and broader societal issues.

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