Monday, March 31, 2014

Harry Potter in the Classroom

For our group's final project, we looked for classroom activities for students who are reading the Harry Potter novels. Here are some of our favorites:

Harry Potter Haikus
  • Appropriate for students in grades 3-6

  • Source:

  • Haiku is a very old form of poetry from Japan

  • Haikus have three unrhymed lines. The first and last lines have five syllables each, and the middle line has seven syllables.

  • Students will create their own Haikus based on characters, events, or lines of dialogue from the Harry Potter series.

  • Sample:

    I hope you're pleased with
    Yourselves. We could all have been
    Killed--or worse, expelled.
    -Hermione Granger

Genetic Traits in Harry Potter
  • Appropriate for students in grades 7-11

  • Source:

  • Students review and become familiar  with basic genetic concepts and terms, including DNA, chromosome, allele, dominant and recessive genes, Mendelian inheritance and Punnett Square.

  • Students apply these concepts to identify and examine several examples of genetic traits in  various characters from Harry Potter.

  • Students also examine inheritance patterns of magical ability in Harry Potter, and identify  possible genotypes of the magical ability demonstrated by characters in the series. For examples, students can examine why Hermione Granger has magical abilities when her parents are both Muggles, and why Argus Filch does not have magical abilities even though his parents are magical.

Writing A Harry Potter Script
  • Appropriate for students in grades 3-8

  • Source:

  • Students are given a handout on script writing to provide background information.

  • Students select and re-read their favorite chapter or scene from one of the Harry Potter novels, and then summarize the chapter using the script writing handout.

  • Students then work either alone or in groups to write scripts for their scene. Afterwards, students read each others work and provide feedback for editing.

  • After editing their scripts, students act out their scenes in front of the class.

  • Extension Activity: Watch a film adaptation of another book and discuss whether or not the film accurately captured the tone and spirit of the book.

    • Suggested movies: Matlida, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte’s Web, James & the Giant Peach

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