I was very fortunate to be placed with a teacher who enjoys Harry Potter as much as I do – which is saying something. At the start of the school year, we both agreed that we would spread our love for Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, and Miss. Granger onto the young minds of our students. How we would do so was something we did not realize would be as much fun as it was.
In our sixth grade schedule, we have an hour after lunch that is blocked off for intervention or homeroom time. Three days of the week we use this hour for intervention – students who may need extra help in math or reading are able to receive this help without being taken away from arts/fitness classes or their core content classes. The other two days of the week is reserved for homeroom time. This time can be used for various things – an advisory lesson, homework time, or a time to get caught up on the books students are reading.
We decided to use this homeroom time to bring Hogwarts into the classroom. With the help from Jim Dale – the warm, friendly, British man who narrates all the Harry Potter audio books – our students were able to cozy up, cast their worries aside, and just simply listen to the start of this great series.
Many things happened:
- I did not realize how many students had never read the books or even watched the movies yet
- I was surprised by how many students would want to listen to these books on tape – I figured sixth graders would not enjoy being read to
- I did not realize how much I enjoyed listening to Mr. Dale and how comforting he made my stressful days just by reading a book – even if I has read them a dozen times already
- I was taken aback by even after so many years, Harry still has an effect on young readers!
Our class became super excited for the days we would listen to Harry Potter. This made me want to take this a step further. After researching online for kid-friendly quizzes, I found one that would sort students into a Hogwarts House based on their personality shown when answering the quiz questions. Some students were more excited than others – but either way they all were curious as to which house they would be sorted into.
After seeing who else was sorted into their houses, our classroom community felt stronger they looked on students and noticed that because they are in the same house, they must have a few things in common. It also gave them somewhat of an ego boost to think about what made them different than the others to be sorted into their houses. I also noticed that students became more excited to come to homeroom and work with the students within our homeroom. It gave them a different identity than other homerooms in our school.
This proves that no matter what you are passionate about, there is a way to get students excited and engaged into things they never would have imagined they would be interested in. I feel that more and more students were interested and excited to come to this class simply because they could tell how interested and excited I was about it!
I think the most important thing teachers have to remember is that teaching can be fun. Even in a world where our profession is criticized by ignorant people and states mandate standards that may damper our days. If we make our classrooms a magical place, then students will magically learn. ⚡️🍎