Feed Their Hunger for the Hunger Games
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins imagines a dystopian world in which people are divided into 13 major districts. 1 of the districts no longer exists. Each year 1 teen boy and 1 teen girl is chosen randomly from each district to participate in The Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which there can be only 1 survivor. The popular series is being made into movies set to be released sometime in 2012.
With the movies coming out next year, The Hunger Games is going to continue to be a popular book series. Here are some ideas you can use to make a HG program. You can divide the teens into groups onto teams – Team Peeta, Team Katniss, etc. – and have them compete and earn points to see which team will win the Hunger Games.
Also attached is a program flyer that you can download and personalize for your program. Just add your library information, date and time, etc. I recommend putting the date and time inside the gray circle.
- Knot Tying – Have teens attempt to tie a variety of different knots. You should have book resources in your library or you can visit the web. You can also purchase this game if you have the funds http://www.mindware.com/p/Knot-So-Fast/48014?sg=PMDG2&gclid=CJKOrv7X3akCFRIH2godonGvZA
- Arrow shooting – You can buy a Nerf bow and arrow (expensive) or a generic bow and arrow in the kids section of most large chain stores that sell toys. They also have a fun Nerf gun that shoots Nerf darts as part of the Nerf Dart Tag series. Or bust out some Laser Tag if you have some sitting around.
- Sardines – Play a game of sardines, a sort of reverse hide and seek. 1 teen hides and everyone seeks them out. When you find the hiding teen you join them in their hiding space. The last teen to find the group is the last man out. This will require you allow teens to roam through the library, but it is a fairly quiet game as you don’t want to be found. Just invoke Silent Library rules and anyone who is too loud is disqualified. More info on Sardines can be found at http://wondertime.go.com/create-and-play/article/sardines.html
- Hunger Games Jeopardy/Trivia – Include topis such as bird calls, Can you eat it?, Survival 101 and more. You can even include trivia about the books themselves. This site has a Jeopardy PowerPoint template you can adapt http://www.elainefitzgerald.com/jeopardy.htm.
- Would You Survive? – You can purchase and play the Worst Case Scenario Survival game http://www.amazon.com/University-Games-Worst-Case-Scenario/dp/B00005EB9M. Man vs. Wild has a variety of online survival games you can share.
- Scholastic.com also has HG survival games online that you can play via computer and overhead projector. http://www.scholastic.com/thehungergames/games/index.htm.
- Make Your Own Pin – Katniss is given a pin that becomes quite the inspiration. Provide the resources for teens to make their own inspiring pin (or you can use an acrylic pin kit to accomplish this – I have bought them at Hobby Lobby). You can also make Marble Magnets and put a pin back on them. Instructions can be found at http://www.notmartha.org/tomake/marblemagnets/
- The Costume Game – Have teens come dressed ready to kick of the Hunger Games pageant style and award a prize for the best dressed. They can recreate costumes right from the books, although I don’t recommend setting oneself on fire, or they can simply create any unique costume worthy of a HG opening pageant.
- Scavenger Hunt – Create a scavenger hunt and see if teens can “track” down the prize object, or cup if you will.
- Obstacle Course – Create an obstacle course using hula hoops, large blocks to make walls and whatever else you can think of.
- Get Creative-Have teens design book covers, movie posters and more.
- Paracord Bracelet– This youtube clip shows you how to make your own paracord bracelet. This is a bracelet that you can unravel in times of need and have a piece of paracord rope on hand.
- Gimme Shelter – Give each team a box of random supplies and see if they can build a shelter like a lean-to.
- Cornucopia Chef – At the beginning of each Hunger Games, participants rush to the Cornucopia to get their supplies. Give teens 1 minute to go to the cornucopia (designated space) and get a variety of supplies and then see what they can make out of them. Have a variety of fun food items that don’t require cooking and see what food masterpieces they can make.
Other elements you can include would be identifying animal tracks, bugs, edible vs. inedible plants, etc. Discuss with teens how they know whether or not the water they encounter in the wild is safe to drink.
The Hunger Games are a rich dystopian fantasy, and there are many more out there. Have a book discussion series where you and your teens read a variety of the titles out there and compare and contrast them. Ask teens to get creative and design their own post apocalyptic world – what would it look like, how would it be organized, what would the focus be? You can find some good dystopian booklists online at Librarypoint.org and InfoSoup.
What you do in your program will depend on the amount of staff, time and money you have – and of course your space. But there are so many great options with this book series for programming. And for a prize, give away a set of the books. Teens of all ages will love being a part of your Hunger Games program.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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