aka: Defense Against the Dark Arts
I just realized how far behind I am with posts! I owe you blog readers many more Harry Potter class posts, like as in at least 3 or 4 more. If you want to refresh yourself with my former class posts, here are the links the HP 101, Care of Magical Creatures, and Muggle Studies. Enjoy. And if HP is not your cup of Earl Grey tea, then you have my permission to just ignore this post. That's right.
Well here goes... This was a pretty interesting class to host, one that I think the kiddos were excited to have. They all seemed to be itching at this point to pretend to cast Potter spells and a few of my Slytherin kids had some "unforgivable curses" they needed to get out of their systems. I nearly dressed up as Delores Umbridge just for the fear factor, but she really scares me too and I don't have any cat sweaters, so that didn't seem to be a great plan.
At this point, my students were totally into doing trivia for house points, so I didn't disappoint. We spent a fourth of the class doing that. After we chatted about what Defense Against the Dark Arts is about, I pulled out some Cornish Pixies for the class to admire. Remember in book two when Prof. Lockhart brought out some pixies? Well, mine were supposed to look like this cool picture (via Panka with Love). Needless to say, mine turned out NOTHING like this. I guess my paint was old or something. Live and learn. But hey, wouldn't this have been cool if it had worked?!? The kids humored me and my jar had at least a tiny bit of glow.
The next thing we did was work on spell casting for ridding a closet of a boggart. This took A LOT of imagination and I had some really funny kids in my class, so this was fun. First I asked them (one kid at a time) what we could expect to fly out of the closet. Then we all had to laugh as loud as we could to back that kid up as he turned the boggart into something silly. Afterward, we talked about Harry's first encounter with a boggart and I gave out some protective chocolates - just in case of dementor attacks, of course.
And speaking of, the last thing we did in class was arm ourselves against dementors by learning to conjure up a Patronus. Well, actually, we made some Patronus wands. I brought in a ton of pipe cleaners and plastic straws for the kids to make bubble wands in the shape their Patronus would take. (My good friend Kate actually came up with this idea - thanks Kate!) I had some cookie cutters in different shapes for the kids to bend their pipe cleaners around, just in case they needed some extra creative help. I made a stag for my Patronus, but now I'm wishing I had used the rubber duck...
Anyway, the key to success with the wands here is to have a shallow and wide enough dish to have them test out their bubble wands. Also, and this is more a common sense thing, but you'd be surprised how many kids didn't get this - make sure that the shape is a closed circuit! It doesn't have to be a circle shape, but it does have to meet end to end for this puppy to work. And really, who doesn't have fun blowing bubbles?!?
Up next, I predict it will be... Divination class!