Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Outdoor Discussion and Hunger Games

Last class, we started an anticipation guide activity designed to have you think about your opinions on some of the potentially controversial issues that will be raised in the Hunger Games. Topics include:

-Breaking laws
-Dealing with issues of government
-Having children
-Plastic surgery
-Responsibility for siblings
-Killing humans

Light and friendly, eh? Kidding. So, these topics had some of you so worked up that we couldn't even finish our discussion about them last class. For this class, I came prepared with chalk and a warm jacket because I knew you were all so upset by these issues that we needed to go outside.

Once we were outdoors, I had a few of you help create two circles: one for "agree" and one for "disagree". The directions given to you prior to the activity were:

-I will read a statement
-Choose and move to the circle that best expresses your opinion
-A group leader will listen to all opinions
-After a few minutes, the group leader will report out to others about the opinions s/he heard
-You may clarify your opinion if you didn't feel like the leader expressed your opinion fully

With this structure in place, we had an amazing discussion. There were no upset feelings and everyone expressed themselves verbally and physically by moving toward their circle. Once back inside, I took your feedback. You said:

-It was cold outside (I know, I know)
-You felt listened to in your groups
-You liked moving to the circles
-You liked to see where people moved
-You felt like emotions were kept under control
-You felt like it was less noisy outside than in the classroom
-You wanted to do this again

I'm glad that this structure worked for you. My camera was too low on batteries to snap any photos, but a couple of you creative folks emailed me a few pics of this discussion. I've enclosed one in this post. Thanks!

We read to page twenty-eight in the Hunger Games. A lot has happened already; Katniss has started her journey and changed her fate forever. I can't wait for next class!

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