By Teachers, For Teachers
Last week, my excitement hit a fever pitch for the long-awaited release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I! I lined up at midnight with all the Pottermaniacs (those enlightened enough to recognize the genius behind J.K. Rowling’s creation) and it didn't disappoint.
To tide myself and the rest of you fans over until the final film is released, here are some Harry Potter themed lesson ideas.
3-8 Social Studies Activity:
Diversity and Democracy
Break into five groups. Each group will be assigned a character.
Harry Potter – An orphan who found out he was a wizard after being mistreated by his non-magic relatives. Harry is rebellious, likes adventure and is determined to defeat the dark wizard Voldemort who killed his parents and tried to kill him.
Lupin – Werewolf who previously taught Defense Against the Dark Arts at the wizard school. He is a member of the group fighting Voldemort and the dark wizards.
Voldemort – Dark wizard who wants only pureblood (no non-magic people in their family) witches and wizards to be in power. He is interested in undiscovered magic and using it without any restrictions.
Hagrid – Half-giant who teaches Care of Magical Creates for the wizard school. He has a fondness for dangerous animals and is also a member of the group fighting Voldemort and the dark wizards.
Hermione – The daughter of two Muggles (non-magic people). She is a young witch who is very intelligent, loves books, and is passionate about the rights of elves and other creatures who serve wizards.
Get into the mindset of your character. Based on that characters views (using the description if you aren’t familiar with the stories), propose a bill that the Ministry of Magic should put into law. Write five reasons why the entire community would benefit from this law.
Based on those reasons, your class will vote on each bill. If a majority of the students vote for your bill, it will become a law.
Rights of Muggles
Should those who are only part-wizard have to report their heritage to the government, employers or neighbors?
Should wizards stay hidden from the rest of the world?
What age should young wizards be allowed to do magic outside of school?
3-8 Language Arts Activity:
Make up five magical spells. For each spell, identify what your spell will do and the “incantation” of two to three words that the witch/wizard would say to make it happen. The words don’t have to be real, but they do have to have a root word that relates to the magic spell.
“Objecto revelus” would make an object appear out of nowhere. The root of objecto is object and the root of revelus is reveal.
K-5 Science Activity
Using these directions, make invisible ink to write invisible messages to your classmates. Switch papers with your neighbor and reveal the message.
6-12 Essay Activities
The Harry Potter stories may be set in a magical world, but they are filled with common literary themes. One major motif within the books and films is the issues issue of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil and human (and non-human rights). Using one of the texts we’ve read, compose a well-organized, persuasive essay that examines how the texts deals with one of these issues (right vs. wrong, good vs. evil or human/non-human rights).
Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series revolves around a war between Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters (the dark wizards/witches bent on purifying their race through force) and Harry Potter and the Order (fighting to maintain freedom and equal rights).
1. Compose an essay that compares the fictional magical war to an event or war in history in which these themes exist(ed).
2. Compose an essay that examines how human rights have been a factor in a major historical event (such as a war or major social movement).
Find more free lessons based topics students love in the Pop Culture Lesson Plans section!