We wrote about Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans1 which included such culinary delights as vomit, rotten egg, soap, and booger in Level 2 of our Reading Comprehension series. No surprise that the opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway has led Jelly Belly to re-release this popular treat which, for the faint of heart, also includes cherry, lemon drop, and marshmallow. Earlier this year, we posted a blog about Harry Potter World in which we connected followers with a myriad of ways to bring Draco, Filch, Bellatrix Lestrange, and a host of bad actors into your classroom. Needless to say, the “bad actors” were all conjured up by J. K. Rowling. There were no bad actors in director John Tiffany’s brilliant Broadway production.
Scholastic’s Discussion Guide for the Harry Potter Series: Books 1-4 is a comprehensive guide to the educational aspects of the early titles in the series, such as theme, conflict, character, and discussion questions. A Scholastic Harry Potter Reading Club! exists for the same age group, and NEA offers a host of Teaching Harry Potter activities for teachers in all grades.
What new and different lessons, you might be wondering, can Harry Potter and the Cursed Child bring to your classroom. For starters, this title is not a novel, but a play, something to which upper elementary and middle school students are not frequently exposed. Might Harry Potter and the Cursed Child be the magic potion that makes this exposure happen? Plays and Plots Lesson Plan is a lesson and activity guide produced by the British Council. Activities can be adapted to align with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
“The Ever-Expanding Potterverse,”2 a graphic organizer in the December 28, 2015 issue of Time Magazine, presents what could be a starter activity for teaching Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. A graphic organizer activity could be assigned to students who would create and populate categories of their choosing. Written before the theatrical release, the Time graphic organizer is valuable as a creative source that does not rob students of this opportunity for creativity. Follow either of these two links to select a graphic organizer style that best serves your purpose.
To take the activity one step further, the graphic organizer can then be used as a prewriting activity for an essay on any of these topics:
- use of foreshadowing
- what might you travel back to fix if you had a Time-Turner
- living down or up to a family legacy
- unlikely friendship
- comparing childhood characters from the earlier books with their adult selves
- rewriting the outcome of a scene or of the play overall
- discussing the moral dilemma at the heart of the play
If time or budget preclude the purchase of the book for every child, and you are not up to a one-man reading of Rowling’s latest masterpiece, let two or three students share your copy for brief dramatic readings.
2 A copy of this article is available using most online periodical databases and in most libraries.
Ross, Ashley. “The Ever Expanding Potterverse.” Time Magazine, 28 December 2015, p. 140.