21 April 2012

Muggle Studies

I'm really behind on my Harry Potter class posts.  Sorry about that!  Life just seems to keep getting in my way.  If I could just add an extra hour onto my day, like say sometime AFTER the boys were in bed...

Anyway, let's talk Muggles!

I love J.K. Rowling's sense of humor.  I think I'd love walking around in her brain for a day or two.  One of her genius ideas in the Harry Potter series was distinguishing between Wizards and Muggles.  A Muggle is a person who lacks any magical ability and was not born into the magical world.  (Different from a "Squib," which is a person with one or more magical parents who has zero magical abilities...)  Muggles have no magic in their bloodline and usually are ignorant of the magical world in general.  Rowling has the Hogwarts students learn about these non-magical people so the students can familiarize themselves with their odd habits and be in a better position to protect the innocent Muggles from evil wizards. 

The fun part about teaching this class is really based in the power of imagination.  I brought in a whole slew of "Muggle artifacts," everything from a lighter to a remote control, and talked to the kids (in my most amazed voice) about what these items are used for and what the equivalent magic would be.  For instance, a flashlight provides light and a wizard would just use the spell "lumos."  Keys unlock things, just as a wizard could use the unlocking charm "alohomora."  I had a few bonus items like binoculars vs. omnioculars, and I gave out house points when my students knew the magical equivalent. It was a great way to get their creative juices flowing.

The main part of the class was used in making Muggle Studies notebooks. (Thanks for the idea, mom!)  I made up some little construction paper notebooks for the kiddos to make magazine collages in, with things like "Silly Things Muggles Wear" and "Muggle Inventions" and "Funny Muggle Words."  The kids chopped up old magazines looking for outrageous things Muggles do.  It was great having the kids share their findings afterwards.  We had a lot of laughs (at our own expense)!

Stay tuned for Defense against the Dark Arts!


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