Vocabulary Test: (Chapters 1-4)
The Hunger Games: Themes and Concepts
A Well-Told Story
Constructing an action sequence
Reflecting on the Event's Significance pp. 48-49
1. Focus on the climax of your event. Write a paragraph describing the action
using short and long sentences to control the intensity of your narrative.
2. Recalling Your Remembered Feelings and Thoughts
3. Exploring Your Present Perspective
4. Formulating a Tentative Thesis Statement
The test covers the
words from Chapters
You will have 15
minutes to complete
There are 20 words.
In your groups
Take five minutes to discuss the various themes and
concepts that appear in The Hunger Games.
Try to identify particular passages from the text that
support your assertions
THEMES AND CONCEPTS
FREEDOM AND OPPRESSION
MATERIALSIM AND CLASS
Briefly identify the five
parts of your essay
• A Well-told story
To create suspense,, Wolff uses a combination of short and long sentences. Reread
this paragraph and consider how they work here.
I snapped awake at 2:18 A.M., the bloodshot numerals staring at me from the nightstand. For years
on end, I woke up at this exact time every night, regardless of what time zone I was in. But after
seventeen years I had just started sleeping through the night. I had finally outrun the old fears. Or so I
had convinced myself.
Remote sirens warbled in the night. At first I figured they were in my head, the soundtrack to the
dream. But the distant wail got louder instead of fading. I hadn’t awakened on my own.
I ran through what I remembered from the previous evening – the presidential debate had closed out
prime time, and after the commentariat finished yammering, I’d fallen asleep watching a high-speed
chase on the news. A guy in a beat-to-shit Jeep Cherokee, hauling ass down the 405, a legion of
black-and-whites drawn behind him like a parachute.
I blinked hard, inhaled, and looked around. Same Lemon Pledge scent of my third-floor condo. My
sweat imprint on the sheets and pillow. Breeze rattling palm fronds against my balcony in the next
And a watery blue light undulating across the bedroom ceiling.
I sat up.
The TV, across the room on the steamer trunk, was off. But the distant sirens continued.
And then, along with the light on the ceiling, the sirens abruptly stopped.
I threw off the sheets and padded across the carpet, stepping over a discarded Sports Illustrated and
sloughed off dress shirts form the job I’d left a week ago. In my plaid pajama bottoms, I ventured into
the all-purpose living room, heading for the balcony. The police lights had flickered through the
locked sliding glass door. Halfway to it I froze.
A thick black nylon rope was dangling from the lip of the roof, its end coiled on my balcony.
No longer groggy, I opened the sliding glass door and stepped silently out onto the balcony, rolling
the screen shut behind me. My balcony with its Brady Bunch-orange tiles overlooked a narrow Santa
Monica street populated by other generic apartment buildings. Streetlights were sporadic. I
confronted the rope for a quiet moment, then looked around, expecting who knows what.
Bulky shadows of cars lined the gutters. An SUV was double-parked, blocking the street. No
headlights, no dome light. Tinted windows. But a huff of smoke from the exhaust pipe. A sedan, dark
and silent, wheeled around the turn and halted, idling behind the SUV.
Terror reached through seventeen years and set my nerves tingling.
I squinted to see if I could make out a police light bar mounted on either roof. In my peripheral
vision, the tail of the rope twitched. The roof creaked. Before I had a chance to think, a spotlight
blazed up from the SUV, blinding me. A zippering sound came from above, so piercing that my teeth
Tension in your
1. Focus on the climax
of your event. Write a
paragraph describing the
action using short and
long sentences to control
the intensity of your
Show that the event was important
• Dramatize the event so readers can understand your
feelings about it.
• Show scenes from your point of view so readers can
identify with you.
Tell us that the event was important
• Tell how you felt at the time of the experience
• Tell how you feel about it now, in reflection.
The Goal: Indicate the Event’s
Before the opening ceremonies, Katniss meets with her stylist, Cinna, to prepare. Cinna
presses a button and a fancy meal of “Chicken and chunks of oranges cooked in a creamy
sauce laid on a bed of pearly white grain, tiny green peas and onions, rolls shaped like
flowers, and for dessert, a pudding the color of honey” appears (65). Katniss thinks about
how difficult it would be to get a meal like this in District 12:
What must it be like, I wonder, to live in a world where food appears at the press
of a button? How would I spend the hours I now commit to combing the woods for
sustenance if it were so easy to come by? What do they do all day, these people in the
Capitol, besides decorating their bodies and waiting around for a new shipment of
tributes to roll in and die for their entertainment?
I look up and find Cinna’s eyes trained on mine. ‘How despicable we must seem
to you,’ he says. (65)
Katniss doesn’t respond to Cinna’s statement, but she agrees in her head. “He’s right,
though. The whole rotten lot of them is despicable” (65).
Although our world does not really consist of a Capitol and many districts, there are still
some people who live more comfortably than others. For people like me who live in privilege,
life is easy. Food is readily available if I want to eat. Outside of school, I don’t really have
many responsibilities. I don’t have to worry about how I will survive day to day. My family
has told me on many occasions to think about how lucky I am to live the way I do. In other
countries, life is hard. In Africa, children starve to death as a result of famine and poverty.
People my age in some countries are working more than my parents do. Katniss’s disgust
for the extravagant Capitol is similar to the disgust I felt for myself when I listened to
an account of one man’s visit to factories in China.
The Strategy: Recall Remembered Feelings and Thoughts: Answer
1. What were your expectations before the event?
2. What was your first reaction to the event as it was happening and right after
3. How did you show your feelings? What did you say?
4. What did you want the people involved to think of you? Why did you care
what they thought of you?
5. What did you think of yourself at the time?
6. How long did these initial feelings last?
7. What were the immediate consequences of the event for you personally?
Pause now to reread what you have written. Then write another sentence or
two about the event’s significance to you at the time it occurred.
The Strategy Continued: Explore Your Present Perspective
1. Looking back, how do you feel about this event? If you understand it
differently now than you did then, what is the difference?
2. What do your actions at the time of the event say about the kind of person
you were then? How would you respond to the same event if it occurred
3. Can looking at the event historically or culturally help explain what
happened? For example, did you upset racial, gender, or religious
expectations? Did you feel torn between identities or cultures? Did you
feel out of place?
4. Do you see now that there was a conflict underlying the event? For
example, were you struggling with contradictory desires? Did you feel
pressured by others? Were you desires and rights in conflict with
someone else’s? Was the event about power or responsibility.
5. Pause to reflect on what you have written about your present perspective.
Then write another sentence or two, commenting on the event’s
significance as you look back on it
Emphasizing the significance of
Readers do not expect you to begin your narrative essay
with the kind of explicit thesis statement typical of
argumentative or explanatory writing. If you do decide to
tell readers explicitly why the event was meaningful or
significant, you will most likely do so as you tell the story,
by commenting on or evaluating what happened, instead
of announcing the significance at the beginning. Keep in
mind that you are not obliged to tell readers the
significance, but you must show it through the way you
tell the story.
Review what you wrote for Reflecting on the Event’s
Significance, and add another two or three sentences, not
necessarily summarizing what you already have written but
extending your insights into the significance of the event,
what it meant to you at the time, and what it means to you
Read: HG through chapter 12. SMG p 37 “Commentary:
Autobiographical Significance,” and 625-633.
Post #5: Post your draft: Long quote; transition; thesis; intro to event,
description of place(s), description of people, a dialogue or two, the
climax (with short and long sentences working to achieve your goal),
and a paragraph that speaks to the significance or your event (use
the list of answers to the questions on slide #10 and #11); end with
Study: Vocab 5-7
Bring: HG and SMG; A copy of post #5
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