Teen Librarian Toolbox
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TPiB: Hunger Games Monopolgy (from Kearsten)

Do you have teens that are crazy for The Hunger Games and Monopoly? Why not put together this HG Monopoly game as a Teen program in a Box?

This was a pretty easy program to plan, and although the prep is intensive (thank goodness for our teen volunteers), it is easy to package and send to our branches as a program in a box.  We’ve included downloadable PDFs with all the images we used for our materials so you, too, can enjoy this fun interactive game!
What you need:

Game Board (20 posterboards halved, plus colored paper and place name print-outs)

  • Inflatable Dice
  • Property Cards (printed on cardstock)
  • Monopoly money (borrowed from another Monopoly game, or, if you print your own: 20 each of $500 and $100, 30 $50, 50 $20, and 40 each of $10, $5, and $1)
  • 32 houses, 12 hotels
  • 5 math challenge cards, 5 science challenge cards, 5 trivia challenge cards (cardstock)
  • Gift bags with parachute images taped to them (these can be reused, as long as you have people to refill them inconspicuously. We had 18 ready to go and gave out our last one in the last round)
  • Reaping bowl/container
The biggest brain-drain of our set-up was changing the property names to Hunger Games propreties, and, no lie, we used teen knowledge and Wikipedia generously.  Using place names like The Seam, Mason Dam, and Avenue of the Tributes (instead of Bow Street, Trafalgar Square, and Park Place), we pasted the place names, rent and corresponding color strips to poster boards cut in half.  We laminated our board pieces to keep them in good condition, then duct taped ’em down when we played in order prevent too much slipping and sliding.
My supervisor, Merideth Jenson-Benjamin, is magic with graphics and created Hunger Games money and Victor pins for our winning team (we purchased a Badge-a-Minit starter kit several years ago and have made very good use of it!).  We also created property cards (complete with the rent values) for wheeling and dealing, printed images of houses and hotels, and purchased blow-up dice from a party store.
With the help of our Teen Library Council, we made a few changes to the game board and game play to better reflect both the books and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts. Thankfully, the teens LOVED the changes we made!
Instead of Jail, we sent teams to “The Arena,” where they played a game we dubbed “Catch the Sponsor Gifts” (though all manner of “minute-to-win-it” style games could work).  Using two styrofoam bowls, we poked holes in the sides, then threaded the holes with orange ribbon.  Two team members tied the bowls to their heads, and then tried to catch large pom-poms tossed by the other two teammates.  If they were able to then transfer five of the “gifts” to another bowl without using their hands within 30 seconds, they received “Sponsor Parachutes,” which were gift bags decorated with a silver-gray image of a parachute.  Our TLC members had a great time putting random amounts of HG Monopoly cash in the bags (and laughed maniacally when a team picked the bag containing one $1 bill).  If the team didn’t catch five poms, we still let ’em out of the Arena, but without prize money. 

“The Reaping” took the place of Community Chest, Chance, Income Tax, Luxury Tax, and Go (they still collected $200 when passing the Go/Reaping space).  We made cards for math, science, and trivia challenges, and if a team landed on one of those spaces, they had to pull a card from the Reaping bowl (a glass fish bowl would be ideal!).  That team had a minute or two to answer the question, and if they couldn’t, the next team had a chance to answer.  Correct answers also won sponsor parachutes.  Reapings ended up being the favorite activity, and I don’t think I ever could have predicted the eagerness with which a roomful of teens tackled math problems!

But where did we get those math problems?  Our TLC members offered to write questions, but when they forgot I had to scramble to find other resources…so plan ahead!  Luckily, Sean Connolly’s The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math (97807611637490) was checked in, and I was able to paraphrase a bit to apply it to the Hunger Games.  For example, the book has a “Spend a Million” challenge (pg 21), which I shared with the group as, “You’ve just won the Hunger Games and received 1 million dollars.  In protest, you vow to spend it wastefully at a rate of $.50 a second.  About how many days would it take to spend that million dollars?” (The answer? 23 days.)

I also used books for our science challenges.  Why is Snot Green by Glenn Murphy offered up a list of the “Top 10 Killer Animals” (…of 2007 – pg 113-114), and I asked them to name at least five.  This was a challenge that made it around to all six teams, and we ended up giving a parachute bag to the team that named the most…which was only four.  (The listed animals are: mosquitoes, cone shell mollusks, sea wasp jellyfish, spitting cobras, taipan snakes, funnel web spiders, hippos, killer bees, elephants, and poison dart frogs.)
As for our trivia challenges, one of our Teen Library Council members (who dressed up as Seneca Crane, drawn-on beard and all) put together a list, but H.G trivia questions are all over the internet.  Just be careful to only ask questions up to Catching Fire, just in case some of your attendees are waiting to read Mockingjay!
As we only had an hour and a half to play the game, we played by speed rules: the teens sorted themselves into teams of four, and we shuffled the properties and handed them out evenly to the teams at the beginning of the game, along with $1500 to each team.

I do recommend reading through the Monopoly rules ahead of time.  I was lucky in that I had a teen volunteer who is more than a little obsessed with the game (she can rattle off rents, with or without houses and hotels, for most properties from memory), and so I was able to consult her when there was a question from the players.

Yes, there is a bit of set-up for this program, but considering that I’ve already packed and sent the program to one of our branches, and several teens asked at the program for the date of our next Monopoly game…yes, it was a hit!

Kearsten and Co. obviously put a lot of work into putting together this epic live action Hunger Games Monopoly game and they have been kind enough to share all of that hard work with us here.  You can get everything you need by following the links.

Hunger Games Monopoly Board 
Hunger Games Monopoly Cards 
Hunger Games Monopoly Challenge Cards 
Hunger Games Monopoly Hotels and Houses 
Hunger Games Monopoly Map 
Hunger Games Monopoly Money
Hunger Games Monopoly Parachutes

Kearsten LaBrozzi, MLS
I’m a Teen Librarian at Glendale Public Library in Glendale, Arizona. I’ve spent half my life working in libraries, but the last six I’ve spent in the teen department have been the most fun by far: book clubs, zombie LARPs, and gaming, oh my! I run two monthly book clubs and a third every summer, and talking with others about the books we’ve read makes my day. Wandering our teen room, pulling books off the shelves, is my favorite way to recommend teen fiction and non-fiction, and here on TLT I’m hoping to translate that informal book-talking into something anyone can use. Kearsten does our monthly “Booktalk This!” feature.