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Reform: Making a Change

We are spending this week thinking about & discussing the concept of reform.

For this week’s blog, answer the following questions:

What is reform?

Is there something in our modern society that needs to be reformed?

How is the idea of reform found in your independent reading book?

Happy blogging!!

Books & Movies

The movie The Hunger Games, based on Suzanne Collins’ novel of the same name, will be released this Friday.  I am very skeptical that the big screen will be able to compete with the world of Panem that I have created in my imagination.  I worry that Katniss will sound and look “wrong” or that Peeta will be too pretty or that Gale will be too nice…

So, let’s talk about movies & books.  Have you ever seen a movie based on a book that you read that was better than the book?  As good as the book?  Have you ever read a book after having seen the movie?  Which one was better for you?  Are there books that should never, EVER be made into movies? What happens to the characters and the setting when they are presented for you “live & on screen”??

For this week’s blog, write about books & movies and movies & books.  And, if you go to see The Hunger Games, let me know what you think!


Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence): Katniss is the lead character in The Hunger Games. Physically she is described as having long black hair that she keeps in a braid, gray Seam eyes and olive skin; it’s also noted that she is short in stature. She is small for her age, which is 16, but remarkably strong. She lives in District 12 of Panem (which is the poorest of all the districts), in an area known as The Seam, with her mother and younger sister Primrose. Katniss resents her mother because of her debilitating depression after Mr. Everdeen’s death, which caused Katniss to become the provider and caretaker of her family.

Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson): Peeta is also from District 12, although as the child of the local baker, he and his family are better off than others since his family is able to eat the stale leftovers no one bought. He doesn’t live in The Seam like Katniss, rather in the middle of town, above his family’s bakery. Physically he is described as “medium height with a stocky build,” has “ashy blonde hair that falls in waves over his forehead” and blue eyes.

Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth): Gale is Katniss’ loyal best friend. He is described as having similar characteristics as Katniss – black hair, olive skin and gray eyes – and it is mentioned that he is over 6 feet tall. His father died in the same mining accident as Katniss’ father, and after they meet, they combine their hunting talents (his is trapping, hers is archery) to trade their illegal game at The Hob. Gale has three siblings that he helps provide for: Rory, Vick and Posy.

Primrose Everdeen (Willow Shields): Primrose – Prim for short – is Katniss’ younger, 12-year-old sister.  Physically she is completely opposite of Katniss, who is described to look more like her father, while Prim looks more like their mother. Prim has blonde hair and blue eyes, which sets her out of place in The Seam. She is depicted as compassionate and caring and likes to heal things like her mother. She also has a love for animals, including her goat, Lady, which Katniss gave her on her 10th birthday, and her cat, Buttercup. When Prim is selected as the female tribute for District 12, Katniss quickly steps in and takes her place. Katniss is quoted as saying that Prim is “the only person I’m certain I love and would do anything to protect her.”

Mrs. Everdeen (Paula Malcomson): Mrs. Everdeen is Katniss and Prim’s mother. She is described as having blonde hair and blue eyes, and was once considered beautiful, although now Katniss describes her as being worn down and beaten. Growing up she lived in the more well off merchant area of District 12, working in her father’s apothecary shop and learning how to be a healer by trade. Peeta’s father had been in love with her when she ran off to marry Mr. Everdeen, who was considered a lowly coal miner, ultimately giving up the better things in life that her own family had provided her.

Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson): Haymitch is described as a “paunchy, middle-aged man” who was the victor of the 50th Hunger Games when he was 16 years old. After winning, and becoming wealthy due to his win, he spends most of his life drunk. He becomes a mentor for Peeta and Katniss, as he has for the District 12 tributes in all the previous 25 games since he won. Katniss doesn’t like him at first due to his drunkenness and harsh personality. Overtime she begins to understand that he uses alcohol as a way to escape the horrors of living through the games, the nightmares that followed, and the difficulty of watching District 12’s tributes die in the games every year.


President Coriolanus Snow: Snow is the President of Panem. He lives in a huge mansion in the City Circle of The Capitol. President Snow is described as a small, thin man, with paper-white hair and thick lips that seem pulled across his face. Katniss mentions that his lips smelled of blood and roses and that he has the eyes of a snake;  he also always wears a single white rose. He is ruthless and willing to kill anyone who stands in his way.

Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks): Effie is a perennially perky handler assigned by the Capitol to escort and advise District 12′s tributes Katniss and Peeta as they prepare for the Hunger Games. Effie maintains a freakishly breezy disposition and an obsession with etiquette and punctuality that masks a growing attachment to Katniss and Peeta. She doesn’t like her job with District 12 but does it to the best of her ability in hopes that she will be promoted to escort tributes from a richer district in the future. Being from the Capitol, Effie appears to be completely oblivious to the hardships that people live in around Panem. She has pink hair, which is most likely a wig, since throughout the series it changes colors. She is most likely young and at the beginning of her career since she seems ambitious to move onto bigger and better things.

Cinna (Lenny Kravitz): Cinna is the stylist for Katniss in the Hunger Games, but unlike most newcomers from the Capitol who are assigned lesser districts when they first start out, Cinna actually requests District 12. Most of the people from the Capitol have unusual looks, stemming from plastic surgery, tinted skin and hair colors of vibrant shades, and over the top outfits, but Cinna is described as looking very normal and understated, with close cropped, natural dark brown hair. He does wear gold eyeliner, though, to bring out the gold flecks in his green eyes.

Portia (Latarsha Rose): Portia is the stylist for Peeta in the Hunger Games. Together she and Cinna come up with the fire-themed outfits for the District 12 Tributes that were a huge success. Not much is mentioned about Portia in regards to her physical appearance.

Octavia (Brooke Bundy): Octavia is part of Cinna’s prep team for the Hunger Games. She is described physically as being a plump woman whose entire body has been dyed a shade of light pea green. Katniss observes at one point that she thinks Octavia is in her early twenties.
Flavius (Nelson Ascencio): Flavius is part of Cinna’s prep team for Katniss; he does her hair. He is described as having orange corkscrew locks and wears purple lipstick.
Venia (Kimiko Gelman): Venia is part of Cinna’s prep team for Katniss. She is described as thin and angular, having aqua hair and gold tattoos above her eyebrows.
Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley): Seneca is the Head Gamemaker of the 74th Annual Hunger Games. The Head Gamemaker’s job is to design and control every aspect of the Hunger Games, from the design on the arena, the outfits, and even some of the deaths because if a game is deemed boring (ie. not bloody or exciting enough) the Gamemaker’s life is at risk. If he/she does manage to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, then they are guaranteed fame and fortune.
Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci): Caesar is familiar to all of the citizens of Panem as the host of the Hunger Games. Known for his outrageous appearance and buoyant personality, his upbeat interviews of the 24 tributes are presented on every television in the nation. He is famous for turning any conversation around to the positive and finding humor in even the most dire circumstances. Physically he thinks of himself as “tubby.” He has had the same general appearance ever since he began hosting the Hunger Games more than 40 years ago. He has had plastic surgery to hide his true age, like many others in The Capitol. The only difference in Caeser’s appearance is his hair, eyelids and lips, which he colors differently every Hunger Games. He wears a midnight blue suit dotted with a thousand tiny electric bulbs that twinkle like stars.

Claudius Templesmith (Toby Jones): Claudius is the legendary announcer in the arenas of the Hunger Games. Katniss describes him as acting superior and having a large booming voice. During the 74th Annual Hunger Games, for the first time ever, Claudius speaks with a panicked tone when Peeta and Katniss present themselves as a united front and face the Capitol with a suicide plan. The most noteworthy thing that people remember Claudius for is that he always ends his sentences with “and may the odds be ever in your favor!”


District 1

Glimmer (Leven Ramblin): Glimmer is considered one of the Careers and is described as very beautiful and downright sexy, tall with long blond hair and emerald green eyes.

Marvel (Jack Quaid): Marvel is considered one of the Career tributes and is described as ruthless and strong.
District 2

Clove (Isabelle Fuhrman): Clove is considered one of the Careers and is described as having dark hair and being arrogant, strong and an expert with many weapons, especially knives. She has a particular aversion to Katniss due to Katniss’ high training scores.

Cato (Alexander Ludwig): Cato is considered one of the Careers, and Katniss believes he will be her and Peeta’s most fearsome opponent due to his large size and strength.

District 3

Female Tribute – unnamed (Kalia Prescott): No information given on the female tribute from District 3.

Male Tribute – unnamed (Ian Nelson): He is able to rearrange and reactivate the land mines at the start of the games to protect the food the Careers have gathered.

District 4

Female Tribute – unnamed (Tara Macken)

Male Tribute – unnamed (Ethan Jamieson).

District 5

Foxface (Jacqueline Emerson): Foxface is the nickname Katniss gives to the female tribute from District 5, and we never learn her real name. She is described as being smaller than most of the other tributes, with fire-red hair, amber eyes and sharp, fox-like features. .

Male Tribute – unnamed (Chris Mark) : No information given on the male tribute from District 5.

District 6

Female Tribute – unnamed (Kara Petersen): No information given on the female tribute from District 6.

Male Tribute – unnamed (Ashton Moio): No information given on the male tribute from District 6.

District 7

Female Tribute – unnamed (Leigha Hancock): No information given on the female tribute from District 7.

Male Tribute – unnamed (Sam Ly): No information given on the male tribute from District 7.

District 8

Female Tribute – unnamed (Mackenzie Lintz): She starts a fire in the woods the first night of the games, near Katniss, and attracts the attention of the Careers and Peeta, who attack her.

Male Tribute – unnamed (Samuel Tan): No information given on the male tribute from District 8.

District 9

Female Tribute – unnamed (Annie Thurman): No information given on the female tribute from District 9.

Male Tribute – unnamed (Imanol Yepez-Frias)

District 10 

Female Tribute – unnamed (Dakota Hood): No information given on the female tribute from District 10.

Male Tribute – unnamed (Jeremy Marinas)

District 11
Rue (Amandla Stenberg): Rue is the youngest tribute we know of at 12 years of age. She is described as being small with dark brown hair, skin and eyes. Her size and demeanor remind Katniss of her sister Prim, which is what leads Katniss to form an alliance with her. She loves music and teaches Katniss a simple 4-note melody which she used to signal quitting time in the orchards back in District 11.
Thresh (Dayo Okeniyi): Thresh is described as very strong and physically well built, possessing immense strength. He has the same dark brown skin as Rue but is not very similar in appearance because he is so much larger than her.

District 12

Katniss: See above.
Peeta: See above.


Poetic Lines

We’ve been talking a lot about poetry lately…about the tools that poets use, the emotions that are necessary for “good” poetry.  But what about other forms of writing?  What about novels and short stories and newspaper articles?

For this week’s blog, I want you to go into your book that you are reading (should match with your reading calendar) and find a line or two that you would label “poetic”.  Rewrite the lines here (make sure to put them inside quotation marks and copy them exactly as they are printed in your book) and explain why you chose them.  What poetic tools did the author use?  Your response must include the title and author of your book, as well as the lines and your explanation.

Happy blogging!

Poetry Everywhere!

Find some poetry & put it in your pocket!

Take a blog holiday and channel your energy into your notebook.

Happy writing!

Read Aloud Day March 7, 2012

Imagine a world where everyone could read…imagine!

World Read Aloud Day is coming on March 7th and there will be many opportunities for guest readers coming into our class & I will be going to other classes to read.  So, my question for you this week…what is your favorite picture book?  Why is it your favorite?  Who read it to you for the first time?  When was the last time that you read it?

I’m looking for a good book to share!