Monday, August 11, 2008

Session Notes - Potterfication & Lessons

**We hope to have the individual classrooms up soon; where you shall find sample lessons, articles with tips & ideas, & our reviews of things we tried.**


By now you should know what you'd like to teach. You may not have the details sorted, but you know what subjects need to be covered. If you haven't gotten that far, you might want to come back to this article at a later date.

Once you know what it is you want to teach, start looking at books, magazines, & websites for the information you need. It's no different than if you were looking up lesson ideas or plans for regular Homeschooling. 

Are you using HH to teach the usual subjects: math, science, reading, writing, etc? Is your plan to have HH be extra, just for fun? If you know this already, that will tell you for what you need to be searching. Still unsure? - look in our Library for the books & sites we regularly use.

What are the ages of your students? Tiny kids will like coloring pages, connect-the-dots, letter tracing, & simple crafts or experiments. The young set can handle actual lessons, & more complicated activities - with or without reading & writing. For teens you'll get to do some seriously wicked fun. We at HH have children ranging from tinies to youngs - we're looking forward to the more complex things to come!

You've decided what lessons, crafts, & activites you want to do; now what? This is where Potterfication comes in. Instead of trying to explain it, i'll walk you through a Dragon Studies lesson we did a few months back. We knew we were going on a field trip to the Natural History Museum, so I (Kat) began looking for information on Ptersosaurs. I came across a brief article online; to which I have since lost the link. Owner! If you recognize your work, contact us, so we can give you credit. I then copied the page into Word, & began altering it to suit our needs. Here is the result (Charlie Weasley my additions in italic) :


Image :: Property of Wikipedia


According to Muggle experts known as Paleontologists:


The flying reptiles are called the pterosaurs. They lived at the same time as the dinosaurs, through the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, and probably evolved from the same ancestors as the dinosaurs. Although they originally thought that the pterosaurs were gliders, they now think that many of them could flap their wings, and could probably fly quite well.


Pterosaurs (the names means ‘winged lizards’) belong to the extinct order Pterosauria. Like the dinosaurs, it is thought that they may have been warm blooded. The pterosaur wingspan ranged from 6 inches to 40ft, depending on the species, and their wings were leathery membranes stretching from the body to the end of the elongated fourth finger, which supported each wing (think ‘bat wings’.) Pterosaurs probably ate fish and possibly insects.


From there information gets bloody confusing, and totally boring. It all sounds realistic, and very official, but I don’t believe it for one moment. If you ask me…Dragons one and all.


Go to the room that houses the bones of these so-called Winged Lizards. Look them over, read the information, then chat about it. You should have brought your Dragonology Handbook; which species on page 13 looks the most like what you see in the room? On a Dragon Chart, have a Parent help you chart whichever one you chose.


** Please be careful if there are Muggles close enough to hear you**




Image :: Property of ???

We had a fabulous time with this lesson. The kids paid much more attention to what they were seeing in the Pterosaur room than they had on previous visits, & they learned quite a bit. Using the chart, they really got into measuring the creature, & excitedly talked together, comparing notes. Don't worry that we were teaching the children misinformation, the belief that pterosaurs were in fact dragons shall not go with them through life. One day they will stop believing on their own. For now they are excited, & that excitement is leading to actual things learned - & that is what this is all about.


If your students are older, you could have them write a report on their comparisons; or flex their imagination, & have them write a letter of complaint (do not mail it, or at least don't let the trail lead back to us, ha!) to the museum, listing all the reasons they believe the pterosaurs are mislabeled. Think creatively!


Tiny kids don't need the Potterfied lesson. Print some coloring pages of pterosaurs, & dragons that look like them before you head to the museum. Visit the room, ask if they see anything that looks like a dragon, encourage them to talk about it, or even sit them quietly in the corner to read a short dragon story. When you go to the picnic area for lunch, pull out the coloring pages & crayons, & let them have at it!


Do you get the idea? This is so easy, & if you think about it, it's as much fun to create as it is for them to experience. Now it's your turn -- Go Potterfy!





  1. This is totally the fun part! My kids haven't received their letters yet, because I haven't made it out to find parchment, but yesterday we spontaneously ended up in the Forbidden Forest collecting magical figs for a morning health potion, and I had to help my middle son escape from a Giant Spider lair! I was really wishing we had our wands already -- it would have been so much easier!

  2. hogwartshomeschoolAugust 13, 2008 at 3:26 AM

    How absolutely wonderful! It sounds like you need temporary wands: twigs work really well for this. Tell the kids you set up "E-Owl Service" & were given a special charm for temporary twig enchantment.

    We love your energy Amanda :-)

  3. hogwartshomeschoolAugust 14, 2008 at 12:42 AM

    Simply brilliant Amanda! We especially love the 'crushed fire opals'!!!
    Thanks for keeping us posted - we really do love reading what everyone is doing with HH.