Rethinking the novel study


I’m taking a few moments away from studying because a conversation I had yesterday has been gnawing at me.

What am I going to do with the study of a novel and incorporating the Flip model?

I’ve already been having an internal discussion with the release of The Hunger Games film. Unfortunately, and fortunately, it is ridiculously close to the book, minus a few creative liberties taken for time and cohesion on the big screen. If a student watches the film, then why will they read the book?

I think I sort of have an answer. I want to redo the entire Hunger Games experience in my classroom, from start to finish.

Other schools have dabbled in this exercise, as referenced on Tracee Orman’s website. But everything seems like a separate event, not necessarily a continuous exploration of the text (as far as I can tell. There very well could be this and posted somewhere on the Internet, but I’d like to create something organic, so I purposely am avoiding further Googling).

I think my unique angle will be focusing on the other districts and the other tributes. It’s very easy to access a chart that shows the names/photos of the tributes, as well as a reference to their districts area of expertise. I can place the students in groups of (4): (2) of the students can be tributes, (1) can be the mentor and the other can be either the Capitol Escort or the Stylist.

From there, I am thinking that it would be great to really allow the students in their groups to act as a team through a fictionalized creation of the Reaping, journey to the Capitol, the interviews etc. Once they get to the games, I am thinking that I will have a “Choose Your Own Adventure” model setup. How that will work with multiple groups all making separate decisions, I’m not sure. But I do think that it is possible.

In terms of the Flip, I think this will be a perfect way to introduce the skills to then come into class to really practice them in class.

For example, I can make a video on the skills needed when preparing for an interview. This will be applied to their interview with Caesar Flickerman, but are also 21st Century Skills that they will need later in life. They can practice with each other as if they were job interviews, based on the way they have fleshed out their characters.

A culminating project would conclude with a study for the U.N. Human Rights Act and having a Town Hall discussion about how or why this practice should be eliminated.

This is all rough right now. I’m processing Into the Wild, but I’m thinking something similar, where they will have to walk through Christopher McCandless footsteps, using Google Earth and archived footage of interviews with specialists. They can become their own character and follow his lead. It would be amazing if I could make contact with his sister and Skype her in for a class discussion.

Lots still to process . . . but at least I’m doing it and not procrastinating.

Back to studying.

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