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Topics - sheccabaw

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Many of the characters throughout the Harry Potter series are very complex. This gives us lots of opportunity to have students critically assess events and characters' actions. Maybe teachers could pick a few questions from a chart like this for students to consider. Some ideas centered around the characters/events of Sorcerer's Stone include:
  • How did Hermione change after the troll incident? What factors do you think motivated this sudden change?
  • Why are Harry's aunt and uncle so hostile to him? Thinking from their perspective, can you see any reason for them to be upset by Harry's powers?
  • Ron is one of the youngest children in a very large family. How might this change the way he sees himself/others?
  • Many of the events of this book revolve around immortality. What are some pros/cons of living forever? What might motivate someone to try to "cheat death"?
  • Dumbledore warns Harry of the dangers of the Mirror of Erised. Why would something like this be dangerous? Is there a real-world application to this knowledge?
  • How would the book be different if Harry had been put in a different House, like Slytherin? Why might a small detail like this change the course of the book?
These types of questions can be used for short writing assignments, to facilitate in-class discussion, or to move basic comprehension questions up Bloom's taxonomy. Feel free to share your own ideas for critical thinking questions!

Harry Potter Lessons! / Harry Potter Prereading Prompts
« on: March 07, 2018, 10:57:45 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's a thread for HP Prereading yet. So I thought I'd start one! Here are some potential writing/discussion prompts for schema activation:

  • Have you read the Harry Potter books before? What do you know about the series? (Be careful using this one for class discussion-- spoilers might slip out!)
  • Have you seen any of the HP movies? What do you think will be different between the books and the movies?
  • What do you think of when you hear the word "wizard?" Based on the cover of the book, do you think Harry and his friends will fit this definition?
  • Looking at the cover of the book, what elements are familiar to you? What elements are unfamiliar? How do you think these things will play a role in the story?
  • In this series, Harry has to get accustomed to culture that is completely different from the one he is used to. Have you had an experience similar to this? Explain.

Feel free to add any more prereading/schema activation ideas that you might have!

Harry Potter Lessons! / Hogwarts Mystery: A Harry Potter Mobile Game!
« on: March 07, 2018, 10:19:32 PM »
A friend recently shared with me the trailer for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, an upcoming mobile game for Apple and Android. There's not a lot of information about it yet, but I can definitely see it being a great resource for getting students involved in the text. Players can create their own characters, interact with Hogwarts students, learn spells, get sorted, and more! The game is official under Warner Bros and takes place before Harry's timeline. This can give the opportunity to get away from activities that are focused on the same characters and plot points, while remaining in the HP universe.

We may want to keep an eye on this link and see if they make more announcements-- I can definitely see it being useful, especially for younger crowds!

Harry Potter Lessons! / Hogwarts House Argumentative Essays
« on: February 17, 2018, 08:54:04 PM »
Some students get really invested in Hogwarts house pride. Maybe we can use this to our advantage! For this activity, students will use Pottermore to get sorted, if they don't already know their house. Then, they should gather information about their respective houses (Harry Potter Wikia has lots of info on each house) and write an argumentative essay/paragraph explaining why their house is superior. This can be based on the houses' traits, "current" students, past students, the common room, and more!

Harry Potter Lessons! / Using "Wizard Rock" to Teach Poetry
« on: February 17, 2018, 08:24:18 PM »
One of my favorite sub-sections of YouTube is Wizard Rock-- a style of music where Harry Potter fans write HP-related songs. (Here is a link to a playlist with some examples.) Aside from being a fun way to get students to engage with the text, this could also open up doors for having students write "songs" or poetry. Students could create their own Wizard Rock songs, analyze others, or write a song from the perspective of an HP character.

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