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Spring SAVY 2020: Day 1 – Unpacking the Magic of Harry Potter (5th/6th)

Posted by on Monday, February 10, 2020 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY.

What a great first day in the Harry Potter-verse! It was wonderful to meet our young witches and wizards after much anticipation. We are looking forward to an exciting session with your students.

After introductions, we were able to dive into the concept of the influence of Harry Potter in the world around us. Harry Potter has such a big effect on us, and we want to figure out why that is and how it became a cultural phenomenon. Some places where we noticed Harry Potter include merchandise, theme parks, movies, libraries, and many other spaces.  The more we dive into Harry Potter this month, the more we can understand this big question.

In the morning, we dove into some critical theories in race, class, and gender.  Below is a quick crash course so that you can discuss with your student:

  • Gender critical theory is looking at literature through the lens of what it means to be male or female and how it supports or challenges those ideas.
  • Social class critical theory is looking at what social classes are shown in texts, what is said about social class, and how the text comments on or is represented in a text.
  • Race critical theory is understanding how racial stereotypes are challenged, how characters represent different races, and how the text comments on or represents characters of color.

To practice our critical analysis skills, we did a whole-class analysis of The Tale of Peter Rabbit through gender theory. We noticed how boys are portrayed as adventurous while girls were obedient and stayed out of trouble.

In the afternoon, we discussed research and what it is.  For this class, we will be using qualitative research. Ask your child about the positivist and naturalist paradigms in research!  Our project for the month will be a qualitative research project.  We worked on creating qualitative research questions, related to Harry Potter, that ask HOW and WHY.  After picking partners and deciding on a research question, we began to create a data collection plan for next week. We also took a brain break with some Harry Potter trivia.

We are looking forward to another magical Saturday next week!

Sarah and Holland