Author Topic: Writing Prompts for Intercultural Reflection  (Read 510 times)

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Offline ELatham

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Writing Prompts for Intercultural Reflection
« on: April 17, 2018, 11:53:29 AM »
Learning about Wizarding culture through Harry Potter also creates opportunities for students to reflect on differences between different Muggle cultures (i.e. their own culture and the target culture). Below is a general writing prompt and several possible topics for cultural reflections that can be used as reading journal assignments or free-writing topics. The prompt is written for ESL students in the U.S., but could also be adapted for ESL students in another English-speaking country or for EFL settings.
[/size]General Writing Prompt: Throughout Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry is surprised, impressed, and awed by all of the differences between Muggle culture and Wizarding culture, and he is always learning about new things. For this assignment, choose one of the topics below and write 1-2 paragraphs reflecting on what surprised you about this topic when you first came to the U.S.
  • Sports – [/size]The wizarding sport of Quidditch has very different rules and equipment (balls, bats, broomsticks!, etc.) from Muggle sports. Write about a sport in this country that seemed strange to you or that was difficult to understand.
  • Money – [/size]The wizarding money system is very different from the Muggle money system – the coins have different names, are worth different amounts, and have different relationships to each other (17 sickles equals 1 galleon???). Write about something that confuses you about the money system here.
  • Food – [/size]The wizarding world has all kinds of candy and sweets that don’t exist in the Muggle world, like Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s every-flavor beans. Write about a type of candy or other food that people eat here but not in your home country (or that they eat in your home country but not here). What is your favorite candy or other food that can only be found here?
  • Technology – [/size]The wizarding world uses magical spells to do impressive things or make things easier for themselves (like enchanting a sponge to wash your dishes!) In the real world, we don’t have magic, but we [/size]do[/size] have technology (computers, smart phones, even chairs that give you a massage!). Write about the differences in technology between your home country and here – are there technological devices that you’ve never seen before? Do people use technology in different ways? Do they use technology more or less often?
  • Plants and Animals – [/size]The wizarding world has all kinds of magical plants and animals, like Devil’s Snare and dragons. They have non-magical animals too, but sometimes have a different relationship with those animals than Muggles do (for example, owls can be pets and deliver the mail in the Wizarding world, but are just wild animals in the Muggle world). Write about a plant or an animal that lives here but not in your home country, or that lives in your home country, but not here.

Offline sheccabaw

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Re: Writing Prompts for Intercultural Reflection
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 10:26:22 PM »
I really like this idea! Here are few more prompts that I came up with:

  • Education - When Harry arrives at Hogwarts, he notices many things that are different from Muggle schools (new subjects, strange teachers, food magically appearing at mealtime, etc). What are some differences you've noticed between school here and school in your home country?
  • Transportation - There are many interesting ways wizards get around (broomstick, flying motorcycle, apparition). Are there any types of transportation that you are accustomed to that aren't as popular in the US? Have you encountered any new forms of transportation here?
  • Music - The Hogwarts School Song is performed in a very interesting way: each student recites the lyrics at their own pace, in their own tune. What is music like in your home country? Are there any similarities/differences from the music here?
  • Entertainment - Since wizards don't usually use technology, they often play interesting games like Wizard Chess for entertainment. Write about a game from your country that isn't common here. How would you explain this game to someone who's never played it before? Is it similar to another game here?