2020 EDIT: I’ve since run this project again, without the fancy Entry Event (Full honesty, I think the entry event went something like “hey I’ve got this cool idea…”) and with a mixed ability crew. It was just as successful, if not more. The fact that they were collaborating on the story really pushed peer editing to a new level, as they were genuinely invested in their peers stories. I seriously love this project. See 2019 project card.
I waited a full year with this idea sitting quietly in my back pocket just waiting to be used. I was beyond excited when I finally launched it with my top Year 9 crew Term 4 last year. This idea, like many others, was inspired by Bianca’s blog:
So a little background before we jump in. This group was a combined Science/English class. We team taught the subjects and ran two major cross curricular projects with them: Elephant in the Room and Ion Chef in 2014. They were an awesome group. Really, we loved them. So what better way to end a year with awesomely talented, creative writers than to get them to brutally massacre each other in fiction? Right? Let’s do it!
The Entry Event
The Entry Event was genuinely an event. As a bit of a teaser I had filmed a few promos during the week, like sealing the clues in wax, and posted them on our class Edmodo page with cryptic messages (so fun).
For the event we had a scavenger style hunt around the school with senior students playing the role of guest Gamemakers. What took me a week to create took them less than 10 minutes to complete! It was insane. They were super competitive; tearing around the school, jumping fences and sliding into home as if it really was the Hunger Games!
Opening the clues.
Some clues were based on class knowledge; such as using the the chemical formula for hydrochloric acid to get out of a sticky situation. Others were extracts from the novel that linked up to locations around our school…
Green clues meant they had answered the question correctly and could continue…
Red meant an incorrect answer and they were eliminated (Well, it’s the Hunger Games. Let’s face it, they’re dead)
My involvement in this project pretty much ended with the Entry Event. After this, half the class elected to compile their own Hunger Games novel, the other half decided they’d rather work on alternate tasks. This was fine. The Hunger Games crew came together every lesson and planned the details they saw as relevant. Every detail was 100% planned and organised by them – the arena, the storyline, the tributes, how to co-ordinate their entries. Everything. They were spectacularly organised. Watching them plot out their story and trouble shoot issues was such a feel good moment. They worked super hard and produced a bone chilling novel at the end. Our live reading was somewhat uncomforable (in the best way) when these harrowing scenes were read aloud to some somewhat shocked parents.