Monday, June 26, 2017

Hunger Games Comes to #tlap

Hunger Games Inspired Chat

Dear Readers,

The Hunger Games trilogy is never on my shelves, it is constantly being checked out by students. Many of them have read the books and/or seen the movies. In fact, I have found myself referencing the plot or characters consistently throughout my Language and Literature instruction, whether we are discussing character traits (such as President Snow and his need to exert power through control) or government (such as President Snow manipulating fighting among the districts). It has become a pop culture phenomenon.

A task I love to engage students with in 8th grade is to create their Ideal School Environment and the Worst School Environment. The ideal school is always depicted in bright colors, positive words or messages and smiling students. On the other hand, the worst school is usually in grays or blacks, has some kind of reference to a jail (such as bars on the windows) and frowning students. It reminds me of the capital vs. District 12. The images of pop culture transcend into our classrooms and student work.

As we have discussed and studied various types of "power", the students initial reaction is usually to choose the one who exhibits physical power. Then as we discuss different types of power, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening, their thoughts change. It reminded me of President Snow who tries to turn the districts against one another and forces participation in the Hunger Games with the ultimate sacrifice...death. While Katniss led people to a rebellion using the power of problem solving, collaboration, knowledge and words.

I love incorporating music, visuals and different types of media into my instruction. In the past I have used the song and lyrics Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift. We have used the video while playing the song and other times we focus on lyric analysis. 

Other songs from the movie:

Eyes Open (Taylor Swift)

We Remain (Christina Aguilera)

The Hanging Tree  (Jennifer Lawrence)

One of my favorite ways to challenge myself and connect to students is to bring their worlds into learning. I find pop culture, including music and movies, is a fantastic way to do that! It is an added bonus when it ties into literature as well!

I hope you join me for tonight's #tlap chat! The questions are below!