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Spring SAVY 2020: Day 2 – Unpacking the Magic of Harry Potter (5th/6th)

Posted by on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY.

We had another fantastic day in the wizarding world! Today, we started out with an icebreaker where students chose their favorite wizarding profession–from dragon trainer to Honeydukes’ candy designer, we had a lot of awesome answers.
We briefly reviewed what we learned last week about using critical theories to examine portrayals of race, class, and gender in texts.  We used these lenses to talk about passages from the original Harry Potter novels. In small groups, students chose a lens, then used this lens to analyze the passage they were given. We heard about the stratification of squibs, mudbloods, muggles, and pureblood wizards, and how class also plays a role in the social position of the characters. We talked about how the Weasleys are constantly described as poor and ridiculed by other characters (especially those Malfoys!), and how we see lots of “giggling girls” in the novel.
After using passages as our text to analyze, we moved to film analysis. We had a really wonderful discussion of how the “lovely ladies” of Beauxbatons and the “sons” of Durmstrang were portrayed very differently in the scene where they arrive at Hogwarts. Students noticed how music, costuming, choreography, camera angle, and dialogue contributed to how we saw Durmstrang students as fierce fighters and Beauxbatons students as graceful dancers.
After lunch, we talked about how HP has become a commercial success–to the tune of over 25 billion dollars! We then focused in on theme parks, learning a bit about theme park ride engineering and designing our own ride or attraction that draws on the magic of the books and films.
We continued work on our qualitative research projects, refining our research questions and designing our interview/focus group protocols. Some SAVY staff kindly volunteered to serve as our interviewees for the students to collect data, which we’ll analyze for patterns next week.
We had such a wonderful second week, and we can’t wait for the next!