700 students in Niagara, Ontario, participated in their own version of The Hunger Games promoting themes of survival and teamwork seen throughout the book. The challenges lasted a week and the schools hope to repeat them closer to the release of the movie in March. Here is what the school board and students had to say:
From The Standard:
“We wanted to make it living literature,” she said. “Even kids who have given up on reading are getting right into these books,” said District School Board of Niagara English and literacy consultant Cheryl Caldwell.
Caldwell acknowledges that the subject matter is dark, but many of the themes are the same as Lord of the Flies, a novel that students study in the English curriculum.
“A lot of the kids were saying, ‘Lord of the Flies, my parents read that,’” she said. “We thought that maybe it was time to look at something else, something they read.”
Students teamed-up to build shelters in the forest and hunt for food and supplies in the woods, which were signified by small pieces of paper tacked to trees.
If another student catches them, they can surrender their supplies, negotiate or fight. A game of rock, paper, scissors decides the outcome of the duel.
“There is an emphasis on compromise which is very similar to the novel,” Caldwell said.
“You have to deal with people that you don’t know,” she said. “Alliances are a big thing in the books and we’re kind of doing that, we’re working with people we don’t know at all.”
But Hayden Todd, a 16-year-old Welland Centennial student said those differences ended up becoming strengths.
“We’re all different,” he said. “But in some ways we’re getting along because we’re different. We have to stick together to get things done.”
From Niagara This Week:
“It’s out-of-the-box learning, and it’s a great way to engage the students,” said Sean Hanna, outdoor education coordinator for the DSBN. “The kids really learn to work together as a team and we find a great cooperative spirit when they participate in the challenges.”
“It’s neat watching how things unfold, they really put their hearts into it,” said Hanna.
Students, when “hunting” for food and water – signified by punch cards – were in a scenario of “hunt or be hunted”, said Hanna. The groups had an opportunity to search for food outright, or quietly prey on others who had their supplies.
“The kids say to me, ‘my parents read that [Lord of the Flies] in Grade 10’, and they want something fresh,” she said. “I think this was a great alternative, and they’ve really embraced it and bought into the novel and the lessons.”
Those lessons, she said, include respect, compromise, cooperation, teamwork and making ethical choices – all things she say they can carry on back in their classroom, and carry on in life as well.
“It’s a great learning tool and the response from the students and the teachers has been fantastic,” she said. “We’re really pleased with the results.”
Category: Hunger Games News