Are you looking for a magical way to inspire your 6th-9th grade children to enjoy writing? Do they love the Harry Potter series?
I have the answer!
While many kids have a hard time writing about subjects for which they have no passion or knowledge base, they get very excited to discuss and write about books and characters they love. The Harry Potter books are the perfect source text for teaching quality sentence construction, creative paragraph formation, and engaging critical essay analysis. Not only that, these books are filled with an abundance of wonderful vocabulary, full of Latin roots.
Writing for Muggles is a 30-week Introduction to Grammar and Composition course for 6th-9th graders (ages 11-15) that uses the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling as a source text for grammar instruction, the basics of sentence crafting, Latin roots, and finally literary essay writing. This is a language arts skill-based course. Level I (6th and 7th grades) will meet 1 hour weekly on Tuesdays at 9:15. Level II (8th and 9th grades) will meet for 1 hour on Wednesdays at 9:15. Both classes are held at my home in downtown Waxhaw and are limited to 10 students. Financial information is here.
Q. Can my older/ younger child come to this class?
A. No. Sorry. Even though the source text is children’s lit, the writing level and prompts will be higher level. My 7th and 9th grader will be in these classes, so frankly, the parameters are to keep the class at an appropriate level for them. As for older students, I can recommend a fabulous high school level local writing class if you’re interested.
Q. Do they have to read the whole Harry Potter series to take this class?
A. Yes. If they haven’t already read it all, we will as part of the class.
Q. What books are required? What writing and grammar curriculum are you using?
A. You need to have a set of all seven of the Harry Potter books. I also highly recommend the audiobooks if you are able to get them. I am writing the curriculum myself using methods from Don and Jenny Killgallon’s books. We will use Grammar for Middle Schools and Paragraphs for Middle School worktexts, which I will purchase in a bundle to save costs, but you are welcome to look for used. They will cost around $15 each if we buy them in a bundle. The links include free downloadable samples of these books if you want to see the method we will use. Otherwise, I will use a Google Classroom to share worksheets, etc. Level I students will finish these two texts and do basic essay writing. Level II students will complete these texts AND go on to critical literary analysis and essay writing.
Q. Does this fulfill their English requirement?
A. Not entirely. They need on grade level reading or literature to have a full English credit, which this course doesn’t satisfy. Incidentally, I am also teaching a 1.5 credit Global Humanities class, which contains the necessary literature component, but it doesn’t have extra writing, so it’s PERFECT. Take that!
Q. Can you tell me a bit more about yourself and your teaching philosophy?
A. Sure. Just click over to the FAQ about Mrs. Ryder page.
Q. What does the course calendar look like?
A. Just click here to view the schedule.
Q. I’m interested! What do I do next?
Q. How do I know if this class is right for my child?
A. Here are some basic prompts that we will discuss. If your child spends at least one minute thoughtfully answering any of the below questions, this could be a great class for him/her. (No spoilers though! Don’t ask the question if they haven’t read that book.)
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone
What are some of the ways that Harry, Ron, and Hermione demonstrate their friendship towards one another? Give specific examples.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
As characters, both Hagrid and Professor Lockhart are a bit comic and a bit pathetic. Explain who you think is more pathetic and who is more comic and why.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The theme of generosity, giving, and sharing are very important in Harry Potter’s world. Talk about three significant times when characters shared something tangible (candy on the train to Hogwarts, Christmas presents, a ride on the Firebolt) with one another. How is this theme significant?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Do you think that Harry does have a “saving people thing” as Hermione accuses him? Explain why or why not.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Describe Luna Lovegood. Do you think her uncomfortable honesty is a good or bad quality? Explain.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Compare and contrast Snape and Umbridge. To this point in the series, who is worse?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
In the end, do you think Snape’s treatment of Harry is more a reflection of love or jealousy. Give reasons to support your answer.