The Hunger Games: Ward Melville Edition

Nimra Ghani and Sapna Nath

Ward Melville High School is well known throughout Long Island for both its excellent academic performance as well as its competitive atmosphere. For a second quarter project, juniors in Dr. Kelso’s AP Language and Composition class, Ramya Rao, Kriti Jindal, Haebin Chang, and Nimra Ghani, wrote and produced a short film satirizing the stress and competition that Ward Melville students encounter.

After looking at this competition in Ward Melville High School, the group decided to parody its relation to the intense competition featured in the popular book series and movie franchise, The Hunger Games. In the satire, high school competition is dramatized as a, “life or death” situation in which students are tributes and compete to garner admission into the best colleges. Students will undertake any measures to excel, while trying to avoid the devious tricks that both the “game makers” or teachers and the “other tributes” or students have for them.

Throughout high school, especially during junior year, students compete for the highest grades and take the most challenging courses offered at Ward Melville to raise their GPA. “The idea behind the project came after we observed that students will do anything to raise their grades. They as a result can face an unhealthy level of sleep deprivation and a great deal of stress,” says the group.

Regarding the competition at Ward Melville High School, junior Kimberly Koon feels that, “The competition at Ward Melville can be extremely damaging to students’ self esteem. For the people at the very top, it might be motivational, but for the people whose talents are not particularly in academics, the extreme competition can be simply harmful.”

Junior Sydney Brenner concurs that, “The competition at Ward Melville can put unwanted and unnecessary stress on students. The constant studying prevents them from truly enjoying the luxuries of their teenage years.”

However sophomore Ariel Leong slightly disagrees. “While the competition at Ward Melville can engender an unwanted amount of stress, it can be used as a motivational tool as well. Seeing others work hard and achieve great things, naturally makes you want to work hard and achieve great things too.”

This satirical video project was done by students taking the AP English Language and Composition course. After their in-depth study of Mark Twain’s satire, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the “Humor, Satire And Parody” unit, students of Dr. Kelso and Ms. Rockford were required to create their own parody on any topic they wished to pursue. The goal of project was to teach students how writers can effectively convey their ideas through satire.

Students were allowed to work either independently or as part of a group on the assignment. To help promote creativity and originality, teachers did not include many guidelines for the video projects. However, they did require students to incorporate satirical techniques such as stereotypes, irony, and hyperbole within their project. For approximately the next two weeks, students videotaped the video project and then using a movie making software, such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, edited their videos to further enhance the satirical techniques already present.

Groups then presented their projects to their respective English classes, analyzing the effective satirical techniques that their peers used.

To see Hunger Games Satire please see the link: