The Hunger Games: Chapters 1-3

by Laurie Laurendeau on June 5, 2012

The Hunger Games is a very popular novel among children, especially in the middle school years.  This book is not for everyone; it is at times violent and it is not appropriate for all children.  If your child will be reading The Hunger Games this summer, then tune in every Tuesday as I post chapter summaries, as well as a couple follow-up questions/activities for each chapter.  The chapter summaries are intended for the parents to read (in case you haven’t read the book).  Give your child the Follow Up questions/activities only.

Chapter 1 Summary:

  • District 12 is nicknamed “The Seam”
  • Katniss (16), younger sister Prim
  • Kat sneaks under the fence into woods (trespassing is illegal, as is poaching)
  • Kat hunts with a bow and arrow
  • The country is named Panem, ruled by a city called the “Capitol”
  • Kat meets up with a boy named Gale in the woods.  He calls her “Catnip”
  • They eat bread and cheese
  • Gale suggests they run away together to escape the “reaping” (once a year, children are chosen to participate in the Hunger Games)
  • They go to the market, do some business, go to mayor’s house with strawberries
  • Mayor’s daughter Madge greets them
  • Children become eligible for the reaping day when they turn 12.  They can opt to add their name into the draw additional times in exchange for “tesserae” (a year supply of grain and oil for one person)
  • They go home, get dressed, at 1:00pm they go to the square
  • The mayor reads the history of Panem – explains the Districts, the uprising, the fact that District 13 was eliminated, and how the other 12 districts have to participate in the Hunger Games each year as punishment
  • He tells everyone the rules of the Hunger Games
  • Haymitch Abernathy is the only victor from District 12 who is alive (he’s a drunk)
  • Effie Trinket draws the name for this year’s tribute (child who participates in the Hunger Games)… it’s Primrose Everdeen (Kat’s little sister)!

Chapter 2 Summary:

  • Kat volunteers to take Prim’s place
  • The crowd is silent
  • The crowd shows its admiration for Katniss by placing 3 fingers to their lips
  • The boy tribute is now drawn:  Peeta Mellark
  • We learn that Kat’s father died in a mining accident, which left Kat as the head of the household at the age of 11, Prim was 7
  • Their family was starving to death – Kat couldn’t wait to turn 12 so she could sign up for the tesserae to feed her family
  • Kat tells of the time that she met Peeta – she was behind his dad’s bakery and Peeta tossed her some burnt bread
  • She went home, shared the bread with her family, then went to bed
  • Kat feels like she owes Peeta because she never thanked him for tossing her the bread

Chapter 3 Summary:

  • Peeta and Kat get taken into custody
  • Mom and Prim visit Kat, Kat tells them how to take care of themselves
  • Prim tells her to “really, really try” in the Games
  • Peeta’s father comes, gives Kat cookies
  • Madge comes, gives Kat her mockingjay pin
  • Gale gives Kat advice: get a knife
  • Kat and Peeta head off to the train station, and board a train for the Capitol
  • They eat a lot on the train, and watch past reapings on TV
  • Haymitch will be their advisor, he’s drunk, unreliable



  1. Explain the reaping process.
  2. What is a tesserae?
  3. Explain why Panem puts on the Hunger Games each year.


1. Write a summary of Chapter 2.


  1. Explain what the following characters do to help Kat as they say their goodbyes:  Kat’s mom, Prim’s father, Medge, and Gale
  2. Find 5 tricky vocabulary words, and write each of them in a sentence of your own.


  • As always, playing math games at home is a great way to reinforce math skills learned in school.
  • Have questions or ideas about this story?
  • Need help or advice about your child’s learning?
  • Have ideas for future Parent Homework Help stories?

Go to “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of this page.  I’d love to help!

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