Tag Archives: dystopia

The Hunger Games

Bibliographic Information: Collins, Suzanne. (2008). The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic.

Plot Description: Teenage Katniss lives in a future dystopian society where the elite in the Capitol feast and party, while those in the rest of the country are barely getting by. Katniss does what she can, even if it means defying authority, to help her family survive. When Katniss’ younger sister is chosen for the Hunger Games, a fight to the death sanctioned and mandated by the Capitol, she steps forward and volunteers herself to take her sister’s place, something almost unheard of in the history of the games. Though not as strong or brutal as some of the other contestants, Katniss uses her survival skills to become a contender for victory, but will she have to sacrifice if she is to outlive the others?

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile Measure: 810L, Interest Level: Middle/Upper Grades, ATOS Book Level: 5.3

Qualitative Reading Analysis: The story includes subplots and more complex characters. It is told in first person, so the reader is limited by only knowing what the narrator tells them, but she is a reliable narrator. The reader only knows as much as the narrator knows. Organization is conventional and chronological, with clear transitions to lead the reader through the story. The language is largely explicit with occasion for more complex meaning. Mostly contemporary language, with unfamiliar words, unique to the fictional world, being explained, such as tesserae, which the narrator explains is worth a year’s supply of grain and oil for one person. Many complex sentences with subordinate clauses and transition words. Some themes are clear and others implicit. Themes of varying levels of complexity are explored. Experience portrayed are distinctly different than those of readers. However, readers may relate to themes of taking care of or protecting family or younger siblings.

Content Area: Reading, Literature

Content Area Standard: English Language Arts Standards: Speaking & Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

English Language Arts Standards: Writing: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Curriculum Suggestions: Have students research one of the survival skills needed by the Hunger Games contestants, such as basic first aid, hunting, identification of edible plants, archery, camouflage, etc and have them make a how to video on the topic for amateurs. Have students write part of the story from a different character’s point of view, in their chosen point of view, such as journal entry or letter.

Supporting Digital Content:

http://teacher.scholastic.com/resources/hunger-games-for-teachers/

http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/the-odds-ever-in-your-favor-ideas-and-resources-for-teaching-the-hunger-games/?_r=0

Awards: SLJ Best Book; Kirkus Editors Choice/Best Book; Publishers Weekly Best Book; VOYA Award/Honor; ALA Notable/Best Books; Horn Book Fanfare; -Golden Duck Award/Nominee; Booklist Editors’ Choice;

Series information: 1st book in the Hunger Games Series

Character names/descriptions: Katniss is the heroine of the novel, she uses her survival instincts to try to stay ahead, Peeta is the other tribute training with Katniss, he is both a possible love interest and enemy in the fight for survival, Prim is Katniss’ little sister, for whom she risks her life.

Personal Thoughts: This book is intriguing, suspenseful and fill of adventure. The romantic element will appeal to some teens, as well.

High interest annotation: Katniss volunteers herself for almost certain death in order to save her sister, but could she possibly have what it takes to save herself as well?

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Filed under Reading For Pleasure (Chapter Books)

Divergent

Bibliographic Information:

Roth, Veronica (2011). Divergent. New York: HarperCollins.

Plot Description: In a future Chicago where people are divided into factions that honor each honor different virtues: truth, service to others, friendship, knowledge and courage. Beatrice has never truly felt like she belonged in her faction. Then her aptitude test reveals the reason. She is not like the others. She does not fit nicely into one faction. She has traits of multiple factions. She is something dangerous: Divergent. Beatrice is told not to let anyone know her results. She chooses to be brave and join the fearless faction of Dauntless. Once there she becomes Tris and faces a grueling initiation process, where only the strong survive. Along the way Tris makes enemies, as well as befriending other initiates and forming a special bond with her mysterious instructor, Four. However, initiation is not the only perilous thing she must face. Tris learns some of the faction leaders are hunting the Divergent and have sinister plans for the members of both her old and new factions.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile Measure: HL700L, ATOS Book Level: 4.8, Interest Level: Upper Grades (9-12), AR Points: 16

Qualitative Reading Analysis: Includes subplots, time shifts and complex characters. Explores themes of varying levels of complexity and abstractions. There is distance between the reader’s experiences and those in the text. Experiences are unfamiliar, as they take place in a future world, but some themes and issues will be familiar, such as fitting in, finding your place, family loyalty, individuality, struggle, etc. However, most students will hopefully not have experience fighting for survival. Register is casual and familiar. Vocabulary is rarely overly academic or strange to the reader. Unfamiliar concepts and societal structures of the future world setting are explained to the narrator’s understanding of them. Sentence structure is mostly simple, compound and some complex construction. Narration is first person and reliable, but limited to the narrator’s knowledge and perspective. Genre is familiar and text is consistent with the rules of that genre. Organization also adheres to convention.

Content Area: English, Literature

Content Area Standard: English Language Arts Standards for Reading: Literature

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

English Language Arts Standards: Writing

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Curriculum Suggestions: Have students take an online quiz to see which faction they have traits of and then explain which faction they would chose and why. Have students draw which tattoos they would have if they were in Dauntless. Students create their own faction in groups. Analyze characters’ personalities and behaviors and why you think they make the choices they do, based on what we know about them from reading the book. Have students rewrite a scene from a different character’s point of view.

Supporting Digital Content: 

http://www.teachingtheapocalypse.com/the-apocalyptic-era-teaching–ya-lit-blog/teaching-divergent-ya-lit-ideas-and-research-projects

http://practitioner.teengagement.com/four-resources-for-teaching-divergent

http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2012/10/24/teens-top-ten-an-interview-with-veronica-roth/

http://files.harpercollins.com/HCChildrens/OMM/Media/Divergent%20DG.pdf

Awards: SLJ Best Book, Publishers Weekly Best Book

Series: Book 1 of Divergent Series

Character names/descriptions: Beatrice (Tris) the narrator who learns she is different (Divergent) and must learn to use those differences to help her society, Tobias (Four) another Divergent who is Tris’ instructor and love interest, Eric an evil Dauntless leader, Jeannie Matthews is the Erudite leader with horrific plans to control the population, Will and Christina are Tris’ new friends, Peter is her enemy

 High interest annotation: Tris learns why she has never felt like she fit in and now she must use the dangerous secret of her Divergence to save her society from destruction.

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Filed under Diverse Characters