Saturday, July 3, 2010

Flowing Fireworks, an Example of Potterfication

[caption id="attachment_257" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Photo :: Property of Steve Spangler Science"]

One of the questions I am most asked, is how to Potterfy lessons. I know it can be daunting, but I assure you it is as easy as pumpkin pie. In this post I shall give you an example of the most basic of Potterfications: taking an existing project, & tinkering with the wording. Let us begin.

Let us look at a wonderful project by the Wizards at Steve Spangler Science.  As you read through the first time, make note of the words you will want to replace. Some are obvious; pen/quill, others may  take some thought. It is best to keep a master list, so you do not accidentally call something by more than one name. I speak from experience; your kids will notice.

Once you have words swapped, you can add a bit of detail, to make your lesson sound as if it had been written by one of our ilk, or a specific professor. Not comfortable with creative writing? That is fine, stop at simple word-swapping.

Type your lesson into your favorite Muggle program, & choose a font you consider appropriate. The Mugglenet is teeming with HP fonts. I hope to have them here for download soon, but until then, please make sure you download fonts from a reputable site. You may now print your lesson onto parchment. Yes, as easy as that.

Arthur Weasley has not yet discovered why we can no longer create a pdf, so my Potterfication of the above lesson is here. Edited to add :: A pdf of this lesson is now in the Classrooms!
Flowing Fireworks

The Muggle art of “tie dye” has its roots in the ancient Wizard practice of transferring rings of pigment onto fabric using magic. Of course, Muggles are unable to utilize magic, so they had to come up with their own way of decorating their clothing. We believe it was in the late 1960s, possibly in San Francisco, that they began “tying”, and “dying”.

In this lesson, you shall learn to create brilliant rings on fabric the proper way, with magic.

You shall need:

* one white t-shirt, pre-washed

* permanent quills, in a variety of colors

* one plastic goblet

* one cursed ring

* dragon spit, 70%

* one pipette or dropper

Cautionary Notes:

* Dragon spit is highly flammable, so must be kept away from open flames, or heat.

* This spell must be practiced in a well-ventilated area, either out-of-doors, or with opened windows.


* Place your goblet inside the t-shirt, where you would like to create your design. Stretch your cursed ring over the cup, to secure your fabric.

* Draw 6 or so dots (in the center of the fabric), in a circle approximately the size of a Muggle quarter. You may use more than one color of permanent quill if you like. Place those between the spaces of your previous color.

*Slowly squeeze 20 drops of Dragon spit into the center of your circle of dots. It is important to go slowly, so as not to flood the area.

*Once you like what you’ve created, set your fabric aside to dry for 5 minutes. After you have, you may move your cursed ring & goblet to another area of the t-shirt.

*Let your shirt fully dry before placing it in the Muggle dryer for 15 minutes. This is an important step, as it sets your design.

*Record your observations.

Muggle Explanations

This is really a lesson in the concepts of solubility, color mixing, and the movement of molecules. The Sharpie markers contain permanent ink, which will not wash away with water. Permanent ink is hydrophobic, meaning it is not soluble in water. However, the molecules of ink are soluble in another solvent called rubbing alcohol. This solvent carries the different colors of ink with it as it spreads in a circular pattern from the center of the shirt.

What I did:

Created an introduction. This helps with the illusion that the lesson came from the Wizarding world. It is not necessary, merely more interesting.

Swapped Muggle words for proper ones.

Gave a Muggle explanation at the end. There is no need to change wording here; this is the magic as the Muggles see it. It is also what your children are learning, so unless they are very young, you'll want to include it.

I hope I have been of some help. you are welcome to e-owl me with questions.
Prof. Kat.

dragon spit/rubbing alcohol, cursed ring/rubber band, permanent quills/permanent markers

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