The Hunger Games Lesson Plan Ideas

Are you looking for The Hunger Games lesson plan ideas? I have taught the famous novel as well as Catching Fire and Mockingjay—all multiple times.

Each chapter ends with a cliffhanger, a love story spans three books, and a memorable heroine takes charge: I love teaching The Hunger Games. Any time that students become excited about literature, I love a story even more than I previously did. Students really enjoy this series, and I have taught it in both middle school and high school. My Hunger Games lesson plans have evolved, and I’ve created Hunger Games activities for middle and high school students. 

No matter your format (lit circles, whole class novel) you can implement these pieces into your lessons. The Hunger Games lesson plan ideas: Use the following ideas to form or build your dystopian study.

The Hunger Games provides multiple learning opportunities for middle school English students.

The author

Any Hunger Games pre-reading activities I use with students involves looking at the author. Students can easily find information about the creator. 

Show an interview of Suzanne Collins talking about the background of The Hunger Games. Before I watched that video, I was unaware that the story had mythological origins. That’s perfect prior knowledge to build off for students who love the Percy Jackson series. Students love talking about books they enjoy!

Collins also discusses her inspiration for starting the story which students might find intriguing. Hooking students before diving in to your Hunger Games novel study will pay off later. 

Finally, students might note that the author does not keep a heavy social media presence. Still, her books sell incredibly well, and she has a loyal following. Ask students to weigh in on authors and visibility.

Activities for the Hunger Games


After teaching The Hunger Games a few times, I realized the depth of material included in the book. (Overall, we could analyze the texts in many ways, but some students found some of the material overwhelming.) Students might find some of the story confusing and need support. I often make anchor charts a staple in my Hunger Games activities. 

If students find the characters confusing, clarify the characters with infographics. Students can add descriptions, quotes, and actions from the characters to personalize the meaning. Plus, you can use the final images as review when you finish the book. Students who continue with the book series will also appreciate this character review, as names are referenced throughout all the books.

Teaching The Hunger Games can open lessons on dystopian literature

Dystopian literature

The Hunger Games lesson plans should include a background of the genre. Students might not be familiar with dystopian literature. Explain the background and genre so their knowledge expands. If students enjoy dystopian literature, you can explore speculative fiction with them too.

After students finish the series, you can suggest other dystopian books. I enjoyed Divergent, The Fifth Wave, and The Grace Year. If you learn that students enjoy that genre, you can add dystopian novels to your First Chapter Friday list. Whenever I teach any dystopian literature, I pull out all of my dystopian classroom library books for display. That way, our discussions can broaden, and hopefully, students pick up more books.

Writing can be a part of teaching The Hunger Games


Students remember concepts when they write about those ideas. Include time for writing in your The Hunger Games lesson plans. For higher order thinking questions, I provide choice with an assortment of prompts. Not every student will feel inspired by every prompt!

I share and utilize  journaling prompts with students many ways:

  • Quick exit tickets.
  • Group writing (where students each contribute ideas to a journal).
  • Brainstorming for larger writing assignments.

Sometimes, I don’t incorporate journaling prompts into my lesson plans. Instead, once we have a fabulous discussion, I’ll add on one of the prompts to cement students’ understanding of our conversation. As always, a variety of writing prompts allows for student choice.

An activity for The Hunger Games is to study reality television

Reality television

Discuss the implications of audiences not understanding the setup and performance of reality television. Katniss is incredibly aware (as are the other tributes) that their performance during the show earns food, safety, and money. The final viewing with Caesar, a montage of clips, is heavily edited to portray what the Capitol wants citizens to see.

I typed out every example of reality television from the book. After providing informational texts about reality television, students and I examine the effect that propaganda had on the citizens of Panem. Students understand that television and advertising manipulates them, and you can explore data and statistics concerning medial while teaching The Hunger Games.

And, yes—you will be able to discuss the scripting of framing of reality television that students watch after students see the manipulation the Capitol had on its citizens.

The movie adaptation of The Hunger Games


The movie is well done, and you can meet standards if you show the movie to students and ask them to compare the book and movie. Some parts were added to the movie, and some were taken away. What was the effect? Were the changes improvements? Students love critiquing movies, and you can incorporate lessons on text support and citations in a written response.

Other options include a basic movie review, a T-chart, or a one pager to cap off the movie and your Hunger Games novel study.

The Hunger Games contain wonderful mentor sentences

Mentor sentences

Since students enjoy the story, you can easily meet language standards with the material. This free download includes sentences for students to analyze and includes an answer key for you. Mentor sentences allow for meeting both language and literature standards.

If you are just getting started with mentor sentences, here are some questions to pose with students:

  1. What do you notice about the sentence? Note if it is long or short. Can you find the subject? Tell me about the verb.
  2. Deconstruct it: Break down this sentence using complex analysis. Did the author use active or passive voice, for instance? Why?
  3. What is the message?
  4. Tie the meaning to the language: How did the author convey her message?

Plus, dystopian literature often contains ample use of the subjunctive mood. If you need to cover verb moods, you will be able to pull samples from this novel.

Once you begin discussing sentences with students, they will analyze literature in a new way.

Try these extension activities for the hunger games

Extension activities

A common extension activity with The Hunger Games is creating an art piece. My students have created collages, movie posters, and skits to end our unit. Once, students and I mapped out what would happen in the next book—a sort of prediction activity.

Sometimes, I simply ask students what they want to create. Their ideas are often quite suitable!

Are you looking for The Hunger Games lesson plan ideas? Download free Hunger Games lesson plans that will meet a variety of language arts standards. Hunger Games activities can cover media literacy, language, & analysis. Set the stage with Hunger Games pre reading activities for your Hunger Games novel study with middle school language arts classroom. Teaching The Hunger Games will be a great addition to seventh grade language arts or eighth grade language arts classes. Middle school ELA help!

You probably already have started to gather The Hunger Games lesson plan ideas. I hope these videos, informational texts, and resources enhance your novel unit. If you need a complete Hunger Games novel study, check out my Hunger Games Unit

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