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McKinlay Anderson sets his sites and draws his bow before striking his target during an archery
lesson in Roan Mountain as part of Avery Middle School’s seventh-grade All Day Focus.

Originally published: 2012-10-11 10:34:25
Last modified: 2012-10-11 10:35:25

AMS takes ‘The Hunger Games’ to Roan Mountain

Avery Middle School’s seventh grade students were treated to a rare adventure last Friday, Oct. 5, in Roan Mountain State Park, where park staff arranged a “Hunger Games” themed focus day, tying science, literature, history and mathematics together as the students learned a variety of skills including identifying edible plans, building a fire, orienteering, building a shelter and, of course, archery. The rangers continued the Hunger Games theme with a “reaping” to determine who would compete in an obstacle course comprised of the survival skills the students learned throughout the day. 

Seventh-grade language arts teacher Stephanie Huff explained that the day’s activities were all designed to establish context and a reference point when the students read “The Hunger Games” beginning in January. 

“This is the leadup activity so they can reflect later on this activity,” said Huff. In addition to the literature connection, the rangers conducting each session explained the historical significance of the skill the students were learning, as well as the science of herbal remedies, the chemistry of combustion and the mathematics of orienteering.

The entire program was planned as a collaboration between Avery Middle School’s seventh-grade teachers and park rangers, including Roan Mountain State Park Superintendent Pat Gagan and Tennessee State Parks 2010 Ranger of the Year Jacob Young. Gagan and Young were both on hand during the lessons and obstacle course, with Gagan himself conducting the fire-building workshop and creating a challenge on the obstacle course in which students had to build a fire high enough to burn through a shoestring tied between two small stakes. 

After the training, the reaping and the obstacle course, the team of Rom Robinson and Lauren Stamey emerged from the forest to claim victory in the first Roan Mountain State Park Hunger Games.