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Eighth Graders Pay Tribute to 'Hunger Games'

More than 100 Middle Schoolers compete in book series spin-off.

What happens when reality and fiction–along with a new way to teach students–collides?

It erupts into more than 100 eighth grade students participating in their version of the “Hunger Games” at .

Sponsors, tributes, stylists and the like–all types of characters from the novel series and hit movie–were on hand Tuesday in house 8-1, competing to win the day’s events, based on a points accumulated after completing a series of tasks.

Earlier this school year, Language Arts teacher Kate Sansom introduced “The Hunger Games” book to her classes. Over the course of a month, students read to the book and listened to it on CD during class sessions. Once the book was finished, the house took a field trip to see the movie at a local theatre.

“It’s the biggest series for kids since the “Twilight” series,” Sansom said. “We’ve tested the kids along the way and incorporated a lot of instruction while reading the book.”

Sansom said that some students that considered themselves “non-readers” were now on their second and third books in the series–all being done outside the classroom, not required by the teacher.

“Carol (Samples) and I read the book, and we just loved it,” Sansom said. “We hopped right on it and came up with this idea.”

Samples, the Middle School’s media specialist and librarian, helped Sansom construct the actual event on Tuesday, which included a series of physical and mental challenges in various classrooms.

Students were assigned roles, and 15 teams took off at 2 p.m. to engage in jumping rope, Spanish quizzes, book trivia, and using card catalog skills in the library to unearth hidden items.

“Kids were excited leading up to the Games,” Sansom said. “It’s really been fun. After the movie all the kids were talking about the differences between that and the book. It’s been great.”

Samples and Sansom worked on coordinating the project for weeks, they said, and had Middle School Vice Principal Jay Eitner act as President Cariolanus Snow from the book. Washington Township Schools Superintendent Jeff Mohre and Assistant Superintendent Rick Papera were also on hand, taking in some trivia in the library ‘district’ of the games.

Sansom says “The Hunger Games”–both the book and the activities–will be a staple for years to come in house 8-1.

At least until the next big thing comes around, that is.

Editor’s Note: Nick Carasone, a sponsor in the Games, proclaimed to all the land he was the best at his role. He also made the author of this story very aware of that, and deserves a mention in the story for his persistence. Nice work, Nick. 

Kate Sansom April 26, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Thanks for coming, Jason! It was a chaotic but a fun day! Kate and Carol
Jason Koestenblatt (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Thanks for having me, Kate - What a tremendous event this was, and the kids truly seemed to enjoy the competition and activities you guys planned. Great job!

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