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SAVY 2019: Session 4, Day 2 – Unpacking the Magic of Harry Potter (Holland W.) (Rising 5th/6th)

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY.

Hello parents!
Everyday these amazing young minds continue to produce magic in our Potter-verse. I am continually astounded by their brilliance!
To start off the morning, we interviewed one another about what Hogwarts jobs the students would choose given the chance.  There were a lot of great aspirations for their future at Hogwarts!
To practice our critical analysis skills, we did a whole-class analysis of The Tale of Peter Rabbit through gender theory.  We discussed the stereotypes of men as the “head of the house” or the one to go out and earn while the women stay home and care for the house. Ask your student how gender theory applies to Peter Rabbit.
After warming up our brains, we analyzed passages from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  Students participated in literature circles and worked together to read their passage, analyze the context, and decide if their passage would work best by considering race, class, or gender theory.
After a quick meeting with their research partners, we headed outside to the Quidditch Pitch–yes, the Quidditch Pitch–so that our witches and wizards could try their hand at the popular game! Don’t worry, we kept them firmly on the ground. 🙂
Coming back to class, we started discussing methods of data collection, including autoethnography, interview, focus groups, and observations.  The kids will be using some of these different ways of collecting data for their research project. With this knowledge, the pairs devised a research plan including type of research, where they will research, participants in their research, and materials they may need.  Tomorrow, they will be ready to conduct their research!
Once we had all of that set up, we went back to critical theory and connected it with theater.  We looked at an article entitled “Casting a Black Hermione Granger Underscores a Key Harry Potter Theme” by James Poniewozik (it can be found at this link: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/21/arts/black-hermione-harry-potter-theme.html).  They were able to share their thoughts in a fishbowl-style discussion and shed some light on some of the larger themes of Harry Potter and how they play out in the real world.
For a brain break, we continued our in-class rivalry of Harry Potter trivia! The questions were tough, but the students prevailed.  To get back in the swing of things, we watched a clip from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ug8Q8xedx0 ) and continued to use our critical lenses to analyze what the clip said about race, class, and gender. These young experts are making some excellent observations about these different theories as applied to Harry Potter.  Not only did they have a beautiful discussion about the gender portrayal, but also the cultural stereotypes and why the authors and filmmakers make these choices.
Finally, we finished the day with work on research projects.  The students were able to look at their plans, gather tools, write questions, and conduct background research.  The students are doing such a great job being inquisitive and precise when working on their projects!
We accomplished a lot today, but there is much more work to be done! Looking forward to tomorrow.