UNION, NJ – Eighth grade students brought “The Hunger Games” to life last week in Mr. Gabriel’s class at Burnet Middle School through presentations and reporting about the young adult series.

The project spanned the entirety of the novel and was divided into three group projects where students were assigned a “district” as dictated in the novel.  “The Hunger Games” is a trilogy of books written by Suzanne Collins.  All three novels have topped the bestseller lists, and have been recreated on the big screen in the highly successful franchise.

“The Hunger Games” takes place in the fictional region of Panem, which is surrounded by twelve districts that are ruled by the Capitol City. Each of these districts are known for different goods and services that are provided for the region. For the project, each group was assigned a district. Based on the what information they gathered while reading the book, they were given the assignment of researching where they believe their district lies in the country, based on the location of the industry their district is focused on.

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Students dressed in costumes related to their industry and presented a rationale for picking their location and what the symbols of their districts represented.  The use of social media and its importance to the students' lives today was the next part of the project.  Each district group created a Facebook page for one of the characters from the novel, which allowed them to not only create something tangible to demonstrate knowledge of the book, but also helped to connect them to their own use of social media on a daily basis.

The final part of the project involved students immersing themselves into the novel by taking on a profession from the book.  Novel based careers such as stylists, game makers, trainers, survivalists, entertainers, and others were explored and students got to put their own twist on themes and professions from the story. They wore costumes, created presentations, and had interactive activities that they presented for classmates and teachers.

"This novel lends itself so well to the current climate of our country both politically and socially and is a gift to any teacher who likes creative projects where children can spread their creative wings and make some real life text to life connections,” said Gabriel.  “I still receive emails from students years after who have used this project as a springboard for their studies in high school and college."