Lesson plan suggestionsAny suggestions for alternate lp's/activities to do with small groups (8th grade honors English - 4 week timeline)?
The Hunger Games would be great to do with this age group. I could see groups constructing model arenas that illustrate aspects of the setting from the text, with little explanations of how and why each site was instrumental in Katniss' survival or struggles during the games. Students could also write short stories from the point of view of other characters -- like writing a story of Rue's impressions of Katniss and her feelings in the arena as the youngest player. Students could also write letters from people back home in the districts to the tributes, sending either encouragement, advice, or other messages. Students could also analyze the various districts and discuss the advantages that some districts have over others, and discuss game strategy. Students can also analyze Katniss and Peeta's relationship and cite evidence from the text regarding how real it is or how much is just strategy. Another idea would be to look at the philosophies of the different characters, for example, Peeta believes in not losing his dignity, even if he dies right away. He is not willing to become a monster to survive, he would rather just die with dignity and die as himself, holding on to his humanity. Essays or discussions could be held on this topic. I think this book would be so fun to teach, have fun!
I would want to get my students to design their own arena for a future Hunger Games based on some of the ideas in the text. Also, you can get them to turn fashion designer, designing the costumes of some of the characters and then having a fashion competition between the class. You can role play the interviews that Katniss and Peta face with the contestants, plus get them to produce a guide book on how to survive the Hunger Games and what tips and strategies they could learn from the book. Lots of ideas!
I had an English honors class and we taught them about the Steam Punk movement. It mixes science and literature. They got involved in reading the "Time Machine." We made jewelry from scraps metals such as old watches and the insides of them, springs, little odds and ends, keys, etc.
The next thing they did was make costumes that looked like they were from the Victorian era but science and time travel related. There are sights on this type of program.
I plan to do a StemPunk club next year because the kids had so much fun.