As I’m getting back into the swing of things, buying books for school and moving back into my apartment after a long, long break away, I noticed that Harry Potter 1 is on my reading list for the upcoming semester! I’m completely excited about this!!
I know this is going to sound completely unrelated at first, but bear with me. I don’t know about all of you, but as I grew to love HP, I decided that my future (currently non-existent) children would grow to love HP too. As a result, I started to consider what the appropriate age was to start these future Potter-maniacs on HP. I decided that age 10 seemed best. Magic is still real at that age, and 11 (!) is just around the corner. But, I’ve never really thought about it as a teacher.
Do you think that HP is too violent to teach to students in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade? Personally, I think these are the perfect ages to start kids on HP. Why not expose them to the wonder? Will some of the themes or important subplots pass them by at this age? Yes, of course they will, just like those things passed me up when I started reading HP at age 12.
So then, with that understanding in hand, what should be highlighted to students? Right verses wrong? The parallels to Nazi Germany? What makes magic automatically dark or light? How can we tell what is right or wrong? Why was Voldermort wrong? or was he right? Are these issues all too deep?
I don’t think so. When we talk about wanting kids to connect to literature, we (that is, teachers) try to approach the material in the way that would best engage young readers. What is the best way to engage readers in Harry Potter?
I personally think the concept of Hogwarts is the most fascinating! I would split my class into the four houses…Actually, as I type that idea, it might be a bad one. Think about it! Hufflepuffs and Slytherins rarely receive any type of respect from the other houses. Why would I ostracize a group of students like that. But I still like Hogwarts the best. I would highlight the classes, clubs, and sports. I might have my class create its own magical school, asking them to incorporate muggle classes with their magical ones to create a more balanced education. What do you guys think?
Sorry for the longer, more academic post. I just think this assignment would be fun. I’ll post the lesson plan as soon as I finish it. I’m sure it’ll need improvement, but maybe you guys could give me some ideas.
If you were in a class and your teacher was teaching HP1, what would you want highlighted? What do you think can be looked over? Where should you want to spend the most and the least amount of time?
I look forward to hearing from you guys!! You can also @ me on Twitter, @MyLifeWithHarry : )