3.24.2012

Hunger Games Celebrations

The long-awaited Hunger Games movie debut was yesterday.  I had been so looking forward to it, after spending over a year waiting for more once I tore through Mockingjay in 2010. When the big day finally arrived yesterday, I wanted to share my excitement with...well, everyone.

At work, where I've been pressuring convincing all my coworkers to dive into the trilogy, I passed out Hunger Games school supplies made using Living Locurto's printables.
Amy designed the printables for Hunger Games parties, but they work just as well for book club favors.  The straw flags were easy to re-task as pencil toppers, and the bookmarks are as perfect for academics as for party favors.

Then, before the movie, I made a Reaping Day Lunch for two with bread, goat cheese and basil bites, blackberries, and blackberry soda.
Amy's square tags and poster were perfect for this pre-movie snack.

Is your case of Hunger Games fever as bad as mine?  How are you celebrating the movie debut with students or at home?

3.17.2012

Hunger Games Countdown

The Hunger Games movie premier is just six days away. I am SO excited. The first book in Suzanne Collins' trilogy, The Hunger Games, was published in 2008, and its theatrical adaptation will debut on March 23.  If you are counting down the days or wondering what all the fuss is about, check out these Hunger Games themed activities.

Let students summarize or reenact scenes of the exciting novel using props from the story.  Make a cornucopia to represent the golden source of supplies in the center of the 74th Hunger Games like this paper mache cornucopia from I am an Aspiring Artist or this felt one from Family Fun.
If you are serving snack, also check out this waffle cone cornucopia with instructions from Make Life Delicious.

Recreate the tracker jacker nest Katniss used to protect herself from the Careers with a yarn-wrapped pinata like Party Frosting's.
Then whip up some silver parachutes to send in gifts to the tributes like these from Caplan Miller Events.

This novel series is perfect for discussions about setting and geography.  While your students read the first book, have them sketch out how they think the arena looks for the 74th Hunger Games.  Here's my idea of the layout.
This activity will reinforce students' understanding of map scale and symbols while aiding in reading comprehension.  After drawing, older students could debate about and defend their ideas of where each part of the story took place.

Students who read the entire series could also map out the Districts of Panem like this one from Aim My Arrows High.

Next, let students use the story to think about culture.  As they read students can take note of the food, clothing, and traditions of the Districts and the Capitol.  After reading, discuss how the climate and industries of each region affects their culture.  Then, recreate some of the culturally significant dishes, costumes, and customs from each area.

Discuss Katniss' comparison of the green, fish-shaped District 4 bread to the crescent-shaped District 11 bread.  These examples were made by Culinary Adventures and More.
Let students hypothesize what kinds of bread the other Districts must have based on their locations and industries.  Then let students decide what kind of bread might represent their own culture.  If you feel daring, try out one of the dishes from the Capitol like the creamy chicken & oranges that Katniss ate with Cinna.
Recipes for this plate are available from Fictional Food.

Students can explore the trades of the different Districts.  Learn to tie knots like kids in District 4 with lessons from Boys' Life's video series. Or, mine for coal like in District 12 with these cereal treat coal snacks from Big Red Kitchen.

Get more Hunger Games ideas from this previous post.

3.13.2012

Pi Day

Tomorrow, March 14th, will be Pi Day, a day for celebrating the number 3.14.  The number called Pi has been used for thousands of years in order to measure circles.  Read Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi to help students get acquainted with the number.

Learn more about the history of Pi from Exploratorium.  Also check out their page of hands-on activities to help students understand the value of Pi.

Have fun with language connections by making pies and discussing homophones and how they can sometimes cause confusion.  Decorate your pies with these clever printable tags from Don't Eat the Paste.

*Edited to add, we decided to celebrate Pi Day with a Soda Cracker Pie, which is a surprisingly yummy treat made of saltines, egg whites, and nuts.
 It's a weird combination that turns out delicious.  Since the ingredients are so cheap, my husband called it Poverty Pie.  For at least a hundred years, in times when resources or money have been scarce, crackers have been a secret ingredient in pies.  Settlers of the American West, who wished for apple pie but had no apples, made Mock Apple Pie with crackers and lemon juice.  During the Depression, a handful of nuts became an entire pecan pie when supplemented with soda crackers.  You can make your own Poverty Pie and then discuss how necessity is the mother of invention.