Author Topic: Using Harry Potter to Teach Critical Thinking Skills  (Read 870 times)

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Offline sheccabaw

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Using Harry Potter to Teach Critical Thinking Skills
« on: April 16, 2018, 07:48:19 PM »
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!