The first class we went over the syllabus ( as mentioned in the last post ) and requirements to get the literature award(s). I also summarized Theseus and the Minotaur, as that myth heavily influenced The Hunger Games series. I handed out study questions and tried to inspire them to make annotations and take special notes on 3 of the characters. I asked them to look up the meaning of the main characters names, promising that their minds would be blown.
We watched several interviews with Suzanne Collins. As a girl she loved reading mythology, and the story of Theseus especially haunted her. She was horrified that a conquering king would remind them that he was in control by feeding them to the minotaur. Killing children as punishment makes a significant impact. We also read Oliver DeMill'es paper about Hunger Games being a new freedom classic and talked about it.
Week 3 and 4
The first book, The Hunger Games was hopefully read or reread by this class. We discussed the meaning of the names, talked about how the Capital keeps control and the use of propaganda. I tried to inspire them again to annotate and take notes on the characters by sharing some of the things I wrote down. I kept track of every reference to how the Capital kept control and the first signs of rebellion. I looked for themes and symbols like references to birds. I showed them my notes on the characters, so I could watch how characters and relationships evolve. I asked if they noticed how strange it was for Suzanne Collins to mention that Katniss's birthday is May 8th (take note of 1933 and 1945 and that the astrological sign is a bull. Yup. Get it?) and what the deal was with the moth. There wasn't a ton of discussion on week 4.
We had some great discussions this week. I asked how does Panem resemble America today. We talked more about the symbolism and if Cinna was the one who used Katniss to start a rebellion. I handed out study questions for Catching Fire and encouraged them to continue to take character notes and make annotations.
Feb 26- This week we will do the literary analysis, map the plot, hero cycle and assign archetypes.
Catching Fire should be read or reread by March 5.