Love it or hate it, you have to admit that The Hunger Games has become quite a popular book among teen readers and many adults as well. Though some parents might choose not to allow their teens to read it, if you are considering adding The Hunger Games to your or your teen’s bookshelf, you will want to get your hands on a copy of Progeny Press‘ The Hunger Games Study Guide.
Why use The Hunger Games Study Guide?
Right off the bat, I’ll tell you the best thing about this resource: it is written from a biblical perspective. Personally, I love the young adult literature genre, and I read the entire Hunger Games trilogy along with my teenage son. As we each read our copies, we checked in with each other to talk about the events and issues raised in these stories. Rather than censor everything he reads, I tend to use literature as a conversation starter. The Hunger Games broaches many topics that can lead to valuable discussions about life and faith. Not only is The Hunger Games Study Guide available on interactive CD and download, a format preferred by my computer-connected son, but it also contains everything needed to thoroughly cover The Hunger Games in an affordable package. Progeny Press guides are also available in print form. The print form might be more attractive for “old school” style moms, like me.
This unit study is designed to take from eight to ten weeks to complete. Parents can choose how much or how little to require, based on the amount of time they wish to spend and how in-depth they wish to study. If the entire guide is completed, Progeny Press recommends that it count as ¼ high school credit. The format of The Hunger Games Study Guide makes it possible for students to complete as independent study, but ideally, parents should use the guide alongside their students. The interactive CD and the download version allow students to enter answers directly into the document, and parents can grade and leave comments in the file as well. The interactive format includes a study guide for student and teacher use, a “Read Me” file with complete instructions and examples, and an answer key. The font and layout are clear and easy to read, and the file itself is easy to navigate (even for this low-tech mom). Instructions are included for those of us who need a tutorial for the technology. The study guide includes a synopsis of the novel and background history on The Hunger Games author, Suzanne Collins. Pre-reading ideas will increase understanding before beginning the novel and will help lay the foundation for the rest of the study, such as:
Read about the period in Roman history when gladiatorial fights were common. Write a short paper or create a multimedia presentation explaining their purpose and how were they held (p. 8).
The chapter-by-chapter lessons contain enough material for students to cover all areas of language arts, including research and writing along with the reading:
- a variety of methods for vocabulary study including: origins/root words, synonyms, finding the best meaning, and context clues
- comprehension questions to check for understanding
- analysis questions for interpretation of the story
- literary terms such as exposition, flashback, dramatic irony, and perspective
- some Dig Deeper questions require additional research
- summary essays
The Hunger Games Study Guide also contains biblical application, which is sure to spark great conversations with your student:
Read 2 Samuel 10:1-7, 17-19. How might the situation described between Hanun and David be similar to the way Katniss treats Peeta after the interview with Caesar Flickerman? Read Matthew 7:12. How would things have worked out differently if Hanun had followed this command of Christ? How would Katniss behave differently (p. 25)?
After the chapter by chapter lessons are covered, the guide also contains a book overview sections with activities related to themes, plot development, literary devices, and more biblical application. There is a long list of choices for essay and writing assignments as well, which cross the curriculum to tie in with history, science, speech, and logic. The Hunger Games Study Guide provides plenty of options, whether you follow the scope and sequence of the entire guide to develop a eight-week unit study or simply use the questions to spur conversation between you and your child. Either way, you might walk away with a deeper appreciation of a genre that is often overlooked in the homeschool classroom.