3 May 2014
Few defining characteristics depict a book appropriate for middle schoolers to be taught in the classroom setting. Literature presented to young, impressible, students must be relevant enough to enrich and intrigue without boring them. Deciding whether children in middle school (7th and 8th grades) should be assigned to read an explicitly violent series such as Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games in class is a matter that has been debated numerous times since the first book came out in 2008. The Hunger Games trilogy is a series where children are annually forced to fight in a nationwide spectacle known as the Hunger Games. Many people believe that middle schoolers should not be allowed to read this at all, much less made to read it in the classroom. The part that puts parents off is that it is a graphic series that revolves around a teen protagonist who fights to the death with others of her age. Parents will not be able to avoid the topic altogether as increasing amounts of children begin to converse about the books and the movies. Protective parents and teachers are hoping to shield their children from violence by not letting them indulge in The Hunger Games. They are worried of any harm that kids may get from the series that seems to make violence among children acceptable. On the other hand, more liberal parents and instructors are allowing their youths to partake in the craze despite the blood involved in the stories. They argue that the story’s messages are something they want their children to see for themselves. The political and social aspects of the books are ideas that could be used to teach bigger, real-world lessons that students often sleep through. The Hunger Games books can open the minds of middle-schoolers to worldly matters in ways other series cannot, therefore teachers should incorporate the novels into their lesson plans.
Teachers should bring the story of The Hunger Games into the classroom since it encourages readers to read complex plots. This series has caused such uproar in recent years because it is intricately unlike any story before it. The dynamic of its new concept is surely one that could send the message to pre-teen readers that there are fascinating books out there. Not only is it captivating, but includes several stimulating literary devices that teachers could take advantage of to create lessons. In her article “The Hunger Games: Literature, Literacy, and Online Affinity Spaces,” Jen Scott Curwood affirms this by saying, “In terms of The Hunger Games trilogy, readers must be able to decode the language and recognize the use of literary techniques”(5). Consequently, the series may bring very valuable tools to young readers that other literature in common middle school lesson plans cannot.
The Hunger Games trilogy should be incorporated into middle-school education because it can be used to bring up conversations of war in the...