Welcome to Part 2 of Making Learning Magical with Harry Potter! I hope you enjoyed the launch of our unit and reading all about week 1 last week. If you missed that post, click here to get all caught up!
Week 2 started off with a bang! In chapter 4, Harry receives his Hogwarts letter. I printed the letters on parchment paper to make them look real. Students came in Monday morning to find their own personalized Hogwarts letter on their desks. They were ECSTATIC!
Week 2 we focused on Chapters 4-7. These are long chapters, jam packed with information! I love how descriptive Rowling is in these chapters, and my students had such a a fun time picturing it all and describing it.
We continued with vocabulary and comprehension questions for each chapter. I met with students during small group time to work on comprehension questions, and students played Word Work games with their vocabulary all week.
Our fun activity of the week was going shopping for our owls! After Harry goes to Diagon Alley in Chapter 5, and Hagrid buys him Hedwig, we did a little research! I gave students a guided research graphic organizer to get them started. First, we spent 5 minutes "owl shopping" as a class on the Smartboard. I pulled up pictures of all of the types of owls for sale at Eyelops Owl Emporium and students could choose the type they wanted.
We spent two days researching, for about 20 minutes each time, to learn more about our owls. Then students wrote a rough draft of their owl story. We talked about how these were part real, and part fake because they had facts about the owls, but the name and story behind the owl was made up.
Once students had their rough draft done, they traded and peer edited, and had me check it off before getting their final copy.
Then the fun part--making their owls and their cages! I followed these simple directions for the Chinese lanterns to use as cages. We used the 12x18 construction paper to make the cages, and I had students cut off every other strip to leave space in between the cage bars to see the owls.
Here are some pictures of everything in action:
I put the finish products on display in our hall! I used left over parchment paper to make rolled up letters. I also had these kraft brown envelopes left over from my son's birthday, so I addressed a letter to each teacher in the school "Hogawart's Style." The students were so excited about those extra little details, and it made a great display for conferences and Open House. :)
After reading all about Harry's journey on Platform 9 and 3/4 and the Hogwarts Express, it was only fitting that I added these details to the decor. With the help of some amazing friends, my husband, and volunteers, the Platform and train came to life!
I took pictures of each student standing in groups the day before, but I didn't tell them what it was for. My amazing husband cut them all out and mounted them on yellow paper to look like windows on the train. :) Grandma Gale, our phenomenal volunteer helped SO much with this! For the front of the train, we put the black butcher paper up on my SmartBoard and projected a picture of it. We used pencil to trace, and then paint to fill in all of the details. The finished product is a stunning display!
Since we started meeting the rest of our main character trio, we worked on a fun characterization organizer for them.
The most vivid moment in all of the books to me is when Harry enters the Great Hall for the first time. I wanted to create this magic for my students. I purchased 2 sets of these LED candles from Amazon, and used fishing wire and paper clips to hang them from my ceilings.
The affect is stunning! (It's hard to get a picture of it, but here it is while we watch the movie on our last day.)
My students love having these on during our DEAR reading time, when we turn the lights off and lamps on.
To continue the magic of the setting, students did a Sketch It setting activity. For the front, they had to draw the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and label each part. For the back, they could choose ANY setting from the story so far to draw. Then they needed a quote from the book to describe the setting. As usual, students BLEW me away with their descriptive drawings!
As you can see, it was another AMAZINGLY successful week! As the book progressed, I could see all of my students becoming voracious readers, and THAT is the most magical thing of all!