Introducing The Hunger Games

A lesson plan submitted by Lauren B. Thoma
College of Saint Benedict
Spring Semester 2012


Lesson Narrative: This is a holistic/confluent learning lesson plan emphasizing emotions, opinions, and beliefs through cognitive discovery, lecture, and discussion.  The general purpose of the lesson plan is to introduce a new unit on The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins by making students familiar with and intrigued by the textís themes and general plot.   I will introduce the text, show the trailer for the movie based on the text, and have the students read excerpts from Shakespeareís Julius Caesar.  After students have explored the texts and medium that associate well with the texts themes and plot in these three ways, the students will come to conclusions about the value of the text.  They will measure their emotional reaction and beliefs in a way that will help them to form an opinion about how and why the text should be used in the classroom.  Once students have connected personally with the themes and plot, have emotionally weighed the benefits of this text, and have formed an understanding of how the text sits with their beliefs, they become prepared and excited to break into the novel. 


Minnesota Academic Standards:

Substandard: Reading Literature - 

2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.  

7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Substandard: Writing-

1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Substandard: Speaking, Viewing, Listening, and Media Literacy-

1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaboration with diverse partners, building on othersí ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

3. Evaluate a speakerís point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.



Students will identify and relate to themes in The Hunger Games.

Students will connect similarities between Shakespeareís Julius Caesar with The Hunger Games though a *comparative organizer.

Students will form and express *opinions about The Hunger Games based off of pre-reading and the movie trailer in relation to their *values, *attitudes, and *feelings.



Grade Level and Subject: Ninth Grade English/Language Arts



This lesson is important because it connects students emotionally and prepares them to approach the book The Hunger Games in a thoughtful manner.  It will help students to identify with commonalities in the characters and the situation, and themselves, and build curiosity about how the story will unravel.   Students will use their previous knowledge of *prediction skills, their ability to identify textual themes, and *pre-reading skills.  Students will use this introduction to The Hunger Games to fuel their future reading.  They will also use the *skill set to explore other books and form personal opinions and *beliefs.


Materials/Set-up/Preparation Needed (Include copies of all worksheets/handouts):

        Copies of The Hunger Games book for each student

        Internet video of The Hunger Games movie trailer

        Copies of Julius Caesar (cropped to just the parts that match theme/character)

        Arrange/be able to *arrange studentsí desks in a way that is conducive for *discussion


Instructional Technology (What instructional technologies will be used in this lesson?):

         A Smartboard would be helpful in diagraming similarities in a *comparative organizer

         A projector hooked up to computer with internet for showing the movie trailer



Because this lesson is taught fairly collectively, it would be easy for students to peer-teach their classmates who struggle.  Also, by including different levels of text and visual media (ex: Shakespeare, movie trailers), more students are likely to be able to connect at whatever level theyíre comfortable with and each student will receive the same message, whether theyíre at a level where they can unpack the complexity of Shakespeare or understand the pictorial and auditory message of the movie trailer.  No matter the studentís learning level, s/he can create opinions, and be challenged to stand firmly in that belief with rational.  *The variety in method (reading, watching, discussion, action etc.) will appeal to multiple learning styles.   



Students will be relating the content directly to themselves and that can be motivational because it becomes *relevant to the students.  The *appropriateness of the difficulty level and *variety of content will also be helpful in keeping students motivated.  Also the class will be well *organized into a productive pace which keeps studentís attention. 


Behavioral Expectations (What are your expectations for student behavior? How will you make students aware of these expectations?) Students will be expected to show that *the classroom is a safe environment to share opinions.  In order to do this, students will perform short skits *on the first day of class to put themselves in the position that a targeted student might be in in order to *connect with feelings.  As a *whole class, we will make a cumulative list of things we should avoid saying and doing while we discuss and I will *post a written list in the classroom all year to refer to whenever any student is sharing information.


Introduction/Anticipatory Set/Advance Organizer: I will ask how many students have ever read or seen The Hunger Games, or read Julius Caesar.  Then I will summarize part of the plot and some of the themes of The Hunger Games to get students interested and catch up students who havenít connected with it yet.  Iíll tell students that itís time that we read a whole class novel, and I think that we will use this book, but I want to hear what they think about it first.  Then Iíll tell them that we will first gather some information and evidence, and then use that information to build an opinion, and then we will have a class debate to decide if we should read the book. 



I will be using *cognitive discovery and *lecture and then *discussion in a *debate format.


[5 minutes] I will show students the *Introduction/Anticipatory Set to catch their attention and prepare them for what is going to happen.


[1 minute] (Transition) For those students who havenít experienced The Hunger Games, I will invite all the students to do a quick *summary along with me. 


[15 minutes] First, I will supply a brief plot overview of the story (not giving away the good parts) while asking students who have read/seen it to *add in as we go.  I will also discuss themes. 


[2 minutes] (Transition) I will introduce the movie, give a little background information on when it came out, how it did in theaters, etc.


[10 minutes] I will show movie trailer.


[3 minutes] (Transition) I will ask for a *show of hands of how many students said in the Introduction/Anticipatory Set that they had read Julius Caesar.  Then I will ask students to raise their hands also if they know the general story. 


[20 minutes] Then, I will pass out a cropped copy of Julius Caesar to students and ask them to read silently to themselves.   


[3 minutes] (Transition) I will gather class back together and shift their attention to the board where I will have a *graphic organizer (vendiagram).  I will ask if they found any similarities between Julius Caesar and The Hunger Games.


[10 minutes] We will use the *graphic organizer to sort and display students ideas of similarities and differences.  I will use *scaffolding to lead students to the conclusion about theme and character Iím looking for.


[1 minute] (Transition) I will open up another *graphic organizer (a T chart) and summarize that students now have a fairly good idea of what The Hunger Games is about, what themes it has, how it can connect to other literature, and also connect to ourselves.


[20 minutes] One side of the T chart will be negative aspects of reading this book specifically, and the other will be reason to read the book.  I will ask students to list academic reasons as well as *emotional feelings about the bookís plot, and *personal connections to the characters and themes.  I will encourage students to debate about the *morality of the book as well as its application to the *big picture. 




I will summarize individuals thoughts as a whole by looking at the *T chart with the students and we will come to a communal understanding of the qualities of the book, and that it is important for the students to read it with the *respect and *compassion required of reading about a traumatic event such as the games. 


Student Assignment: 

Assign students the first three chapters of the book.


Assessment of Learning: 

Students will read with a packet including *content questions, *thematic questions and questions which *connect the event to the reader directly.  This packet will be checked in class daily for progression, but will be due to be *graded at the end of the book.


As the unit continues, I will give daily reading quizzes on content.


It will also be easy to view studentís activity and attentiveness through their public responses in the classroom *discussions and *graphic organizers.


Reflection/Self-Assessment: I will base my reflection mainly off of how clearly students are connecting to the book.  Whether they connect positively or negatively, I want them to make strong relationships with the themes and characters.  Their connection will also be evident in the amount they participate actively, and the sincerity with which they experience beliefs.  These actions which will be important to me and the lesson and the way I want the students to be experiencing the book at the unit unfolds. 


Attached Tool: Copy of the reading packet


This is one dayís example from the reading packet for students to fill out as they read.  This same layout would be printing multiple times to create the packet for each reading day.




Personal Connection:



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