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Laura Amatulli
Laura Amatulli
(Rochester Hills - United States)

Teaching 8th grade in a middle school in suburban Detroit I have strong interests in Earth Science and leadership.  I  have been a teacher consultant for our local National Writing Project site, Meadow Brook Writing Project, which keeps me active  ...

Hunger Games

Looking at Hunger in The Hunger Games

Students will compare the diets of the district citizens with the Capitol citizens and draw conclusions about each. Thematic connection: world hunger

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Hunger Games of Education? Curriki Blog Post

Hunger Games of Education?

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki

Here is a very thought-provoking blog on the “Hunger Games of Urban Education” that we are quoting in full below, or you can read at the original site:http://www.engagingeducators.com/blog/2012/04/29/sunday-soapbox-the-hunger-games-of-urban-education/

In the film The Hunger Games, a fictitious totalitarian nation on the North American continent (the U.S. no longer exists in this dsytopian future) is divided into a Capitol, where the wealthy live, and 12 surrounding poor districts. There is no social mobility.

In many urban and also rural areas in the U.S. this disparity is not science fiction but today’s reality, from an educational perspective and in other aspects. In the U.S. education is funded primarily at the state and local level, so well off states and affluent districts have significantly more resources per student. The education budget for students depends mainly on where they live since around 47% of K12 funding comes from states and about 42% is local (city or county) funding.http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3569  Only about 11% of education funding is at the federal level.http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/role.html

Should public education opportunities be available to all K-12 students in accordance with national standards, determined to be sufficient to 21st century requirements, and funded on a national basis?

Curriki aims to help level the playing field for all by providing access to an extensive collection of open educational resources available to all, on a global basis.

Here is the blog at Engaging Educator, quoted in full,http://tinyurl.com/cz9emfc

“Perhaps you’ve heard of the movie The Hunger Games. I saw it soon after its release last month and enjoyed it (although the books are much better). If you’re not familiar with the premise (and bear with me if you are), let me give you a bit of a synopsis. There’s an education-related point in all of this, I promise:

The story is set in the fairly distant future. What we know of the U.S. no longer exists. Instead, a new nation, Panem, is essentially a totalitarian state, split into 12 districts. Every year, in an attempt to remind the citizens that the government is in charge and that rebellion is not an option, the “Hunger Games” are staged. Each district sends 2 “tributes” to compete in a fight to the death. All of this is televised for all to watch, much to the amusement of the upper classes and bureaucrats of the capital city.

Here’s the thing…and here’s where the parallels to our own reality begin…all districts are not created equally. Some are more affluent, and thus given special advantages. Many of the others exist in abject poverty, slaving day in and day out, without the chance to move up the socioeconomic ladder. Then you’ve got the citizens of the capital city, most of whom are rich, carefree, and obsessed with fashion and social status. They delight in the “drama” of The Hunger Games.

This may sound like science fiction, and granted there’s a great deal of hyperbole involved in the metaphor I’m about to present, but I’d argue that we aren’t that far removed this sort of existence. We live in a country with great divides between rich and poor. Nowhere is this more evident than in education, where thousands of children in our nation’s cities are relegated to inferior, mismanaged, crumbling school systems. I believe the Hunger Games are real, and they are taking place in urban classrooms all over the country. And I believe it’s time for us to start talking about them.

Think about the last five stories about urban education you’ve read about, listened to, or watched. If you can even come up with five, chances are they were feel-good stories about students “defying the odds” or about a generous corporation donating money to a robotics team or something of the sort. We delight when these types of stories come out of urban education; they bring joy to the masses.

But when it comes to telling the stories of students stuck in classes of 40 or more students, students being taught by uncertified teachers, students sitting next to buckets to catch water leaking from the ceiling, students all but condemned to life as second class citizens…those stories aren’t being told. And if they are, they aren’t being told often enough, or broadcast loudly enough. If urban students succeed, more often than not, it’s because they have to fight for it in the Hunger Games of Education. They scratch and claw and overcome just to graduate. Success in school, for them, is a victory, an amazing accomplishment. But students just a few miles away from them in affluent, suburban districts have to do no such thing. Success is expected. It’s a birthright.

So amidst all the talk of flipped classrooms and bring-your-own-device and 1:1 computing and the latest fads and trends, I wish a little more time was spent discussing the divide that continues to exist in American education (this applies to rural education, as well). When do we start talking about leveling the playing field? When do the Hunger Games of education end?

Footnote: We are public school teachers in Detroit, Michigan and founders of #urbaned chat. Join the conversation on twitter by following the #urbaned hashtag and taking part in the twice-monthly chat on the first and third Sundays of each month at 9PM Eastern.”

Prewriting about The Hunger Games

Introduction:

Any well written paper requires careful planning, yet before the body of the paper can be written, it is important to fully understand the arguments that will be made. Prewriting strategies help generate new ideas or help us better understand the ideas we already have. This lesson will introduce students to methods of prewriting to help them brainstorm for a paper about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, yet this lesson could also work with any other text. 
 

This lesson works best after the class has almost finished the book This way, the themes students will write about will already be familiar. Educators will also need to know how to use Microsoft Word and Cmap (concept map program). Although The Hunger Games is used in this lesson, the lesson plan can be adapted for any text.
 

Group Size: Any
 

Learning Objectives:
 

1. After having read The Hunger Games, students will generate ideas for an essay by either creating art, discussing ideas with peers, or free writing.

2. After prewriting activities, students will organize ideas for a first draft with either a concept map or an outline format.
 

Guiding Question:
 

How can ideas be created, articulated, and organized in order to prepare for a paper draft?
 

Materials:
 

Whiteboard

markers

class set of The Hunger Games

handouts that are examples of free form writing, art, outlines, and concept maps

class set of computers with access to Word and Cmap
 

Procedures:
 

first 10 to 15 minutes:

Class will begin in a whole group setting. The teacher will review The Hunger Games by reviewing plot, major themes discussed, and characters. The concept of prewriting is then introduced as a first step in writing about literature. Prewriting is defined here are the methods used to generate ideas for the purpose of writing. The teacher will explain how each person will feel comfortable with a different method of prewriting, and that three specific methods are free form writing, discussion, and art. Each method's ability to generate ideas are explained. The handouts that include free form writing and art are explained as examples of how these methods generate ideas and can be .

Next, the teacher will explain how ideas can be organized to form a plan for a draft. The teacher will explain what a concept map is and what an outline is, referring to the example handouts for clarification. The teacher will introduce the terms claim, an argument formed from opinion, and evidence, the material that supports/proves the claim.

Rest of class:

After the process of prewriting is explained, the teacher will explain the day's activities. Each student will choose a topic from the novel to write about, and each student will receive a computer to use. They will then choose which method of generating ideas is most comfortable for them; either discussion, free form writing, or artwork. students will engage in these activities for the rest of the period. Those who choose paint must write notes that explain what ideas their art has lead to. The teacher will roam around the classroom, making sure students remain on task and discuss their ideas with them. Students should demonstrate that their work has lead to a main argument, three claims to support it, and three pieces of evidence to support their claims. Not all parts must be present, but significant progress must be made. After students show evidence of their thoughts, either notes from discussions, artwork with notes to explain it, or free form writing, they may choose to work on their homework, using either word for an outline or cmap for a concept map. All parts of the paper must be included in the outline.

Homework:

After class, students will use their notes from discussions with peers, art with notes, or writing to create either a concept map or and outline to use for writing their drafts. Students may choose which method is most comfortable for them.      
 

Assessment:
 

Students will demonstrate prewriting skills by discussing the ideas they generate with the teacher during class.

Students will turn in their concept map or outline as evidence that the understand how to organize ideas for a draft.
 

Answer Key or Rubric:
 

concept map and outline rubric:

organization:

0- work shows no form of organization

1- ideas are arranged with some form or organizational pattern

2- ideas are organized logically and can be easily transfered to a draft

claims:

0- claims are not related to topic or do not make progress towards a paper

1- claims are related and somewhat based on reasoning, but the logic is incomplete

2- claims are related to topic and are well thought out

support:

0- support cannot prove claims

1- support is related to claims but does not completely prove claims

2- support proves claims thoroughly

generating ideas:

0- student did not demonstrate to teacher during class that they have generated ideas through chosen method

2- student did demonstrate to teacher during class that they generated ideas through chosen method

total score:_____
 

Benchmark or Standards:
 

LA.910.3.1-The students will use prewriting strategies to generate ideas and formulate a plan.