J.K. Rowling’s Birthday
Over 20 years ago, on June 26th, 1997, Bloomsbury published Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first of the entire Harry Potter series of books.
Harry Potter has since become such a phenomenon that from this point in time, it’s hard to see the full scope of what it has managed to accomplish: It feels as though fandoms and Young Adult literature and all of pop culture have always been the way we know them today. But it’s impossible to deny that Harry Potter managed to change the world of fandom forever.
Author Joanne Rowling was an unknown single mom when she first got the idea for her story whilst stuck on a train; the small UK children’s press that ultimately took a chance on it undoubtedly couldn’t have predicted how much this decision would change the world of pop culture.
It changed the business model for publishing books for kids. And it introduced an entire generation to the idea that it’s possible to interact with the pop culture you love — to write about it, make music and art about it, and build entire businesses around it.
Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts: The Secret of The Wizarding World
Eddie Redmayne and Daniel Radcliffe help Radio 1’s film critic Ali Plumb discover why J.K Rowling’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has become one of the biggest and most beloved franchises ever.
Character Costume Show
A great way to help kids engage with the characters and stories is to hold a class, or even school, wide costume show. Let them dress up and show off their creative side. Even teachers and other staff members can get involved in the day and show their appreciation for the world of Harry Potter.
JK Rowling Class Display
If you’re looking for some inspiration to help make learning more fun and engaging for kids in their own time, why not try and a splash of creativity to a spare section of the classroom and make a dedicated display area where the children can pin up their favourite pieces of work all to do with JK Rowling and her world of books.
Harry Potter Obsessed Teacher Transforms Classroom Into Hogwarts
Tressa Mellow Bargella, a teacher in Pennsylvania, USA, loves the book and film series so much she decided to base her entire third-grade classroom on Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. So when her pupils came back from the summer holiday, they were amazed to see the classroom decorated with a Nimbus 3000 broomstick, a sorting hat and even a wizard which took twelve months to craft.
‘Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.’J.K Rowling – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Red Carpet Premiere
An incredibly big aspect of Harry Potter and its world is the legacy that it has created.
Hundreds, if not thousands of stories have been written by fans and exist all over the world.
Stunning fan films have been created and explore regions of the books not yet expanded on:
On a more comical side, a bit of a fun read, if a little nonsensical. The company behind this, Botnik, is a machine entertainment company run by comedy writers. Essentially they use computers and AI to rewrite text into more comedy based reads.
The story that the AI created based on the Harry Potter books is one not to miss.
Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash
Baking Classroom Activity
This simple recipe is a great follow-up activity after reading the story of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The pack includes a list of what you will need, step-by-step instructions, and question prompt cards to ask about the story and what you are making.
Visiting Harry Potter Locations
A fantastic classroom activity that can be done straight from the classroom or, if you’re lucky enough to live near some of these breathtaking locations, make a trip out of it.
Harry Potter was filmed all around the UK and many of its outdoor filming locations were based in the beautiful Scottish Highlands – most notably the backdrops for many a Quidditch match, the TriWizard Tournament and the majority of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Take a look at this blog here from Visit Britain, you may be surprised at some of the locations. Maybe conduct some class research tasks to see who can find the nearest places that were used or if students want to share some holiday stories if they have travelled to these locations before.
When reading the books together in class, see if you can envision the places that JK describes, did the films manage to capture the essence of her writing? Are there any places local to your school that could be swapped or maybe suit the descriptions even more?
Have a great day!
We hope these ideas have given you some help teaching about JK Rowling.
If you have any great teaching ideas for this topic, feel free to comment below (they might even get added into the topic calendar!).