Friday, May 4, 2012

Paul Revere and The Hunger Games

The bellwork question today: In The Hunger Games, what was the significance of Katniss being "the girl on fire?"  Why use fire?  What does it symbolize?  What does it mean?  What does this have to do with social studies?

(For the first time ever, I'm allowing kids to make up their bellwork if they turn it in the very next day.  They can get it by clicking on the word BELLWORK.)

My students had some time to write down their thoughts, but most of them came up with what I'm calling "internal symbolism..."  They saw that Katniss was the girl on fire because fire came from coal, and thus represented District 12.  This is true.  This is what Katniss - the girl on fire symbolized to the characters in the story.

But we're not in the story.  We know Katniss and Panem and President Snow and District 12 don't exist.  And as a literary theme/motif we should know that fire symbolizes more.  The students were still having a hard time grasping what I was getting at, so I recited Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and looked at the use of fire in the poem.

We discussed Smokey, but didn't watch any clips like this:

Once I felt like most people were starting to get what I was talking about, we moved into a discussion about the Arab Spring using this article from Junior Scholastic.  (I'm not sure about it's posting online...  it's a little difficult to follow.)

The Arab Spring - a series of Revolutions that continue to spread through the Middle East (spread like FIRE Mr. Habecker?  Yes, spread like fire...) were started by a Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself on fire.  (Set himself on fire with FIRE Mr. Habecker?...  Uhhh....  yeaaaah....)

At any rate, we'll probably be studying The Arab Spring for a little while...  The rest of next week?

Students, if you want extra credit, discuss this blog with a parent, or adult.   Then, write two thoughts about the Arab Spring, or fire "works" in "Paul Revere's Ride" and The Hunger Games.   Have the adult you discussed the blog with sign the paper and put it in the extra credit tray on Monday.

Have a great weekend.

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