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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids
My fifth grader brought home letter stating that for their government and revolution unit in school they will be reading The hunger games book. They are requiring a permission slip to read this but I have not read these books and am not sure which way to go. Any advice ? Or thoughts if you've read them?
by on Sep. 15, 2012 at 1:14 PM
Replies (41-50):
GwenMB
by Gwen on Sep. 15, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Except that I'm not sure I really thought about anything beyond being completely grossed out by the story. lol  But perhaps a better teacher would have helped me do that - odd that I didn't have that happen in 9th grade or college.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

I guess I don't think of being disturbed by literature as necessarily being a bad thing. The intent of good writing is to evoke emotion. So if you were disturbed it made a big impact. It might not be pleasant. But it made you think.

The Hunger Games, to me, doesn't have the impact of "The Lottery." (I loved it though) The premise is similar, but the writing just doesn't evoke the same mood. 

Kids know about violence and people mistreating each other. Both these stories are great ways to get kids thinking about what happens when society is out of our control. But I agree, they need adult guidance to help them process it. 


Quoting GwenMB:

Would you suggest that someone who was disturbed/bothered by The Lottery read The Hunger Games?

Maybe it wouldn't have bothered me so much if there had been a good gov't/bad gov't discussion either time I read the story.  I just couldn't get past how disturbing the premise of the story to get a bigger concept out of it & I don't remember either teacher saying much of anything.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting GwenMB:

Did any of you read that short story about the village that did a lottery every year & killed someone from their village?  Each man selected a stone & whomever got the one with the red dot, their family did a second drawing & whomever got the red dot stone was stoned to death by everyone else.

I don't remember the name of the story or who wrote it or any class discussion when we read it in 9th grade.  All I remember is being very disturbed by the story.  It still really bothers me almost 30 years later.

It's call "The Lottery" I read it 7th grade. It is disturbing. But like The Hunger Games, it's the premise that's disturbing. There's no graphic description of the violence. 




AmandaMichele
by Member on Sep. 15, 2012 at 7:07 PM

I feel the same. We read it in theatre arts and then watched the movie with Keri Russell. I still can't watch that movie when I see it in lifetime.

Quoting GwenMB:

Did any of you read that short story about the village that did a lottery every year & killed someone from their village?  Each man selected a stone & whomever got the one with the red dot, their family did a second drawing & whomever got the red dot stone was stoned to death by everyone else.

I don't remember the name of the story or who wrote it or any class discussion when we read it in 9th grade.  All I remember is being very disturbed by the story.  It still really bothers me almost 30 years later.


AmandaMichele
by Member on Sep. 15, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I wouldn't have a problem with it if the 5th grader was a mature child. 

mjande4
by Platinum Member on Sep. 15, 2012 at 7:22 PM
1 mom liked this

Eh my now 4th grader read the entire series last year as a 3rd grader. He also read most of the Harry Potter series as a 2nd grader and finished the last two books last year. I think that it would envoke some interesting discussions.

banana-bear
by on Sep. 15, 2012 at 7:26 PM
10 moms liked this

As a Christian homeschooler, I'd just like to note that the Bible is more graphic than The Hunger Games trilogy.

And goverment is not all about elections, voting and polls. It's more about corruption than anything, IMO. 

Quoting 6Fish:

I have a 5th grade student who just tested in reading comprehension at the level of a 10th grade student in the 7th month.  Technically, he's more than capable of reading these books.  Emotionally, I know that these books would deeply disturb him.  In addition, as a Christian, I do not believe these books are morally appropriate for children.  I don't understand the idea of teaching young children about government with a fictional book.  Our education system, and our government are in crisis.  My 6th grade niece believes that Canada and Mexico are states within the United States!  It seems to me that our students would be much better served studying our actual system of government in a government class!  If a high school teacher wanted to use this book in a literature class, or a psychology class, that may be more appropriate. 

I understand that there are lots of ways to teach.  But, I'm sorry, I don't think using the Hunger Games to teach 5th graders about government should be one of them.  How about making sure they understand the very basics before having them analyzing a fictional book that contains violence against children?  Why not hold mock elections in the classroom?  Have them track the daily polls? Practice writing their own platforms about what they feel are important issues?  Talk about the history of women and blacks being allowed to vote?  Talk about countries which have dictatorship governments in comparision to ours?  I just can't see any legitimate reason for the Hunger Games to be included in a lesson on government for 5th graders.

We also homeschool, and this thread has served as a reminder to me as to WHY we do! 

disneymom2two
by Silver Member on Sep. 15, 2012 at 7:29 PM

My son read them in 5th grade.  I read them last year because I wanted to read the first one before I saw the movie.  They're good books.

Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on Sep. 15, 2012 at 7:37 PM
2 moms liked this
There are lots of things that "christians" do in the name of God that send no better message. Anything that leads to in~depth discussions has worth in my book.

Censorship is a bigger crime than books that lead to discussion. Yes, the images n some scenes are graphic but no less graphic than images of persecution my kids have seen in church or the Jewish Skirball cultural center about the holocaust.


Quoting 6Fish:

I have a 5th grade student who just tested in reading comprehension at the level of a 10th grade student in the 7th month.  Technically, he's more than capable of reading these books.  Emotionally, I know that these books would deeply disturb him.  In addition, as a Christian, I do not believe these books are morally appropriate for children.  I don't understand the idea of teaching young children about government with a fictional book.  Our education system, and our government are in crisis.  My 6th grade niece believes that Canada and Mexico are states within the United States!  It seems to me that our students would be much better served studying our actual system of government in a government class!  If a high school teacher wanted to use this book in a literature class, or a psychology class, that may be more appropriate. 

I understand that there are lots of ways to teach.  But, I'm sorry, I don't think using the Hunger Games to teach 5th graders about government should be one of them.  How about making sure they understand the very basics before having them analyzing a fictional book that contains violence against children?  Why not hold mock elections in the classroom?  Have them track the daily polls? Practice writing their own platforms about what they feel are important issues?  Talk about the history of women and blacks being allowed to vote?  Talk about countries which have dictatorship governments in comparision to ours?  I just can't see any legitimate reason for the Hunger Games to be included in a lesson on government for 5th graders.

We also homeschool, and this thread has served as a reminder to me as to WHY we do!


Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

There ar elots of ways to teach, why can't this be an option. A lot of things that were science fiction100 years ago are reality now. Why censor a book that really touches on a LOT of topics in society? I'm all for using many different ways to educate the next generation.



We homeschool, so it may be different but we watch the news. Watch election coverge, get current events from the newspaper. I remember in public Jr. High I had to trun in one current event each week and we could get 10 extra credit points if we did two.





Quoting 6Fish:

Absolutely not.  When you stop to consider the tremendous amount of classic literature available, and the hands on lessons that could be used to teach about government, the idea of requiring 5th graders to read this series of books is ridiculous.  Sure, some students may be able to handle the content, but I would guess that many are not.  Why is this necessary?  Maybe studying the ACTUAL government, and events that ACTUALLY occurred in history would give our children a better perspective, and a better handle on reality.  I'm floored that this is even a suggestion.  Seriously.  "Let's use a fictional book whose content may or may not be age appropriate to teach 5th graders about government!" And we wonder why the education system continues to deterioate!  This is an election year!  Get out the newspapers. Turn on the news! Talk about the REAL issues of today!!  Wow.  I'm sincerely stunned.





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6Fish
by on Sep. 15, 2012 at 7:57 PM
3 moms liked this

Wow.  We are talking about 5th graders reading a fictional book that is full of children comitting violence against other children, in the name of teaching government.  "Censorship" is not a valid argument in this discussion.  No one is talking about preventing anyone from reading these books.  This thread is in regards to young children being required to read the book as part of a school lesson. 

Yes, the Bible does contain violence.  The context of that violence is completely different though.  There are historical things to be learned from Biblically stories, or from events such as the Holocaust.  What is the purpose of having children read a fictional story about children slaughtering children?  Where is the lesson in that----and specifically, the lesson in regards to our government?!  I'm not saying that children should not be allowed to read this book.  As parents, we all have to determine when our children are individually ready to handle stories such as these.  My point here is not so much about the reading of these books, but rather the fact that reading these books does not seem to me to serve the PURPOSE that the teacher has stated she intends to use them for.  Honestly, with a fictional story where violence is sensationalized such as The Hunger Games, are FIFTH graders really going to be learning about GOVERNMENT?!  As I said, my niece who is in 6th grade in the public school system, up until about a week ago truly believed that Canada and Mexico were states in the U.S.  It seems to me that this teacher could find a much more relevant, age-appropriate, and truly educational way to teach a lesson about government.  It's no wonder that a recent study showed a majority of highschoolers in Oklahoma couldn't name the first president of the United States.  A majority of students can't name the first 10 amendments.  "The education system needs to be reformed."  LOL! I'll say! When you're teaching the Hunger Games in a 5th grade government class, you honestly can't expect these statistics to improve!!

mjande4
by Platinum Member on Sep. 15, 2012 at 8:18 PM
7 moms liked this
Quoting 6Fish:

Wow.  We are talking about 5th graders reading a fictional book that is full of children comitting violence against other children, in the name of teaching government.  "Censorship" is not a valid argument in this discussion.  No one is talking about preventing anyone from reading these books.  This thread is in regards to young children being required to read the book as part of a school lesson. 

Yes, the Bible does contain violence.  The context of that violence is completely different though.  There are historical things to be learned from Biblically stories, or from events such as the Holocaust.  What is the purpose of having children read a fictional story about children slaughtering children?  Where is the lesson in that----and specifically, the lesson in regards to our government?!  I'm not saying that children should not be allowed to read this book.  As parents, we all have to determine when our children are individually ready to handle stories such as these.  My point here is not so much about the reading of these books, but rather the fact that reading these books does not seem to me to serve the PURPOSE that the teacher has stated she intends to use them for.  Honestly, with a fictional story where violence is sensationalized such as The Hunger Games, are FIFTH graders really going to be learning about GOVERNMENT?!  As I said, my niece who is in 6th grade in the public school system, up until about a week ago truly believed that Canada and Mexico were states in the U.S.  It seems to me that this teacher could find a much more relevant, age-appropriate, and truly educational way to teach a lesson about government.  It's no wonder that a recent study showed a majority of highschoolers in Oklahoma couldn't name the first president of the United States.  A majority of students can't name the first 10 amendments.  "The education system needs to be reformed."  LOL! I'll say! When you're teaching the Hunger Games in a 5th grade government class, you honestly can't expect these statistics to improve!!



I personally believe that if your niece doesn't know her continents, states, and countries, then that is a PARENTING FAIL, not school.
Cara5
by on Sep. 15, 2012 at 8:21 PM
1 mom liked this

Yes.  They are fantastic books and will be great to use as tools in a classroom discussion about government and class. I would not deny my child that opportunity. 

The movie misses the important parts of the story, so anyone who is just basing their opinions off of seeing the movie is missing a whole lot! 

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