I'm back with another week of Harry Potter lessons! (This is week two of my after-school class for 3rd through 5th graders... see week one here.)
The next class I taught was Care of Magical Creatures. I had a lot of fun with this because I got to make a whole slew of crazy props. And who doesn't love unicorns, hippogriffs, owls, phoenixes and such?!? I had to have a pair of Luna Lovegood earrings to ward off nargles, of course. (They were super easy to make. I just used polymer clay and followed these instructions on Instructables. I LOVE that site.) Anyway, the kids thought these were awesome.
Well, speaking of nargles, another good way to fend off these pesky little thieves is to eat a gooey flobberworm. Did you know that? Flobberworms can look an awful lot like gummy worms. Funny, the kids didn't seem to mind a dose of wormage. They rather enjoyed it, I'd say. (Just put them in a fancy jar and you can call them whatever you'd like!)
I read to them about several different magical creatures out of a very special book, too. You can't teach Care of Magical Creatures without owning a copy of The Monster Book of Monsters. It just isn't done. Ask Hagrid. So, Tim and I created our own version.
I had some raggedy old minks from a tag sale that I kept for freaky Halloween props - they were a taxidermy dream with little faces and legs... super creepy. Anyway, I had Tim cut them open and glue them onto an old book cover. (I was incapable of doing this on my own. At one point, Tim mistakenly broke a leg off and the snap-crackle-pop sent me into convulsions. I literally held back puke.) Tim also chopped off the tails of the minks and we used them as big fuzzy eyebrows. The eyes themselves are made from yellow polymer clay and those green glass bead things that people use in floral arrangements. They catch the light in a fun way. And the teeth and tongue are also polymer clay, baked and then glued into the book. I think the book turned out so great. I love how the mink feet randomly hang down around the mouth. I also added ribbon bookmarks to the pages and glued in some magical creature information to make the whole thing look official.
In class, we talked a lot about the importance of magical creatures and what the purpose in studying them is, which I really feel translates into "respect for animals." It's not that I've turned my class into an ethics class, but it's nice when fantasy can teach real life lessons. I was really quite pleased with my kiddos that they had so much to say about treating animals respectfully. The Harry Potter scene with Draco and the hippogriff was referenced, even.
At the end of class, I used these free printables from one of my favorite blogs - Paper Sparrow. (This chick is the cutest.) Anyway, she had a blog party of HP stuff and came up with an adorable creature craft. I just downloaded the pic and printed out a ton of them and let my little people choose which animal they'd like (owl, unicorn, rat, or cat). They cut the animal out and poked brads into them for moving appendages and gave their critters names. We went around in a circle and the kids had a chance to tell us what special ability their animal has... Too funny.
I'm not sure who is having more fun with this Harry Potter class... Anyway, stay tuned for Divination!