Liberty School of Hogwarts
What do Hogwarts, potions, Professor Dubmledore and Liberty Elementary (Liberty) have in common? A lot thanks to a recent collaboration among Liberty fourth-grade professors who, for an entire week, turned the f
ourth-grade hallway into Hogwarts – a transformation to coincide with a unit introducing British author J.K. Rowling’s famous science fiction novel series “Harry Potter.”
“Our goal is to introduce our students to a book series and relate it to math, science and writing,” teacher Rachel Dodson said, noting an engaging learning opportunity for students to collaborate and experience cross-curricular activates in a fun way.
To kick off the unit, the entire grade gathered in the “Great Hall” – aka Liberty’s cafeteria – to reenact the Sorting ceremony, a yearly ritual in the series to determine the school house each student belonged to: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin.
To turn science fiction into reality, the professors and parents decorated the hallway with pictures from the “Harry Potter” movies, famous quotes from the books and giant posters resembling each house’s crest.
In addition to group book readings and chapter writing responses, there were plenty of Hogwart’s-themed classes for students to enjoy.
In potions class, students applied science skills to predict the outcome of how mixing ingredients like corn starch, hydrogen peroxide, yeast and dish soap, can create un-poppable bubbles and dragon toothpaste. In transfiguration class, students learned about optical illusions.
“This is a fun lesson where we get to act like we are actually at Hogwarts,” student Audrey Holder said. “We are relating all of our activities to the book, which helps us understand more about the story.”
Vocabulary used throughout the series of books may at times seem made up, but are actually drawn from Latin roots. With a little spin, professors offered a Pig Latin class, which is a language game where words in English are altered by taking the first consonant of a word and moving it to the end of the
word. Part of the class had students using the newfound language to write letters and make posters.
In poetry class, students were able to use themes, topics and characters from the books to create Couplets, Cinquain and Haiku poems. In addition, to incorporate math into the entire unit, students received points for good behavior, which they tallied at the end of the day to see which house had the most points.
“The whole unit is a fun way to teach students to find a love of reading while connecting with the story on many different levels,” Dodson said. “Thanks to the parent and administrative support at Liberty for helping us make the lesson reach such a grand scale.”