Sunday, August 14, 2011

School is starting soon!

School will be starting this Tuesday, August 16th. We're exceptionally excited about starting our big Hunger Games Project, but we're still a couple hundred books short. At least. We've had many new freshmen register in the last couple weeks, so we're hoping 600 copies will still be enough. Even though we haven't reached our goal yet, we've got a couple irons in the fire, so to speak, and we're planning to start around Labor Day, which gives us about three weeks.

As far as planning our unit, things have gone well. Anyone who has worked in a group knows the challenges involved, and I want to acknowledge how pleased and proud I am of our group's work together. We've still got some decisions and details to finishing working out, but the themes and topics we've put together really cover many of the most important concepts of the novel. At the core of these themes is our "big idea": What does it mean to be human? This question will lead us in a number of directions, from the power of compassion and love to the desire to exert control or power over others, from basic human needs, such as food, to the perils of a decadent and excessive lifestyle for an "elite" class.

I've mentioned before that one of our major goals with this project is building community within our freshman class. On a small scale, we've partnered up our sections so each freshman class has a "buddy" class that is being taught the same period. This will give us a chance to mix our students up and have them work with others on small projects. The large-scale project is getting a bit more fleshed out, but by choice, it will remain a bit "unplanned" so our students will have greater input in its creation. We do know it will be something that allows the entire freshman class to come together to celebrate the positive messages of The Hunger Games. We're also considering partnering with our local movie theater, the Roxy, to do some sort of project with the film's release in March.

There are more amazing developments on the horizon, but I'll save those for another post. Thanks to everyone for their continued support (you can still donate if you'd like to), and special thanks to Tracee Orman and Jen Curwood for their support with curriculum and planning. School starts in just two days, so to both teachers and students, may the odds be ever in your favor!

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