What elementary school student doesn’t like Harry Potter? Words like Patronus, Sorting Hat, and Hogwarts conjure up images from both the Harry Potter books and movies that most people, young and old, can envision in their minds.
At Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKYCTC), Assistant Professor of Sociology Bertena Varney has used this fun and imaginary topic to teach her class by exploring today’s society through the lens of characters of this literary best seller. In fact, there has been so much interest in the class that she has formed a Harry Potter Club at the College.
Ms. Varney felt that if this technique could make learning enjoyable for college students, how much more would younger students be entranced by Harry Potter in the classroom?
So the Fandom of the Phoenix chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance first visited Warren Elementary on Read Across America Day with the SKYCTC Community Service Committee.
They met Ms. Handler’s English Class who were reading the first 2 books of Harry Potter- the Sorcerer’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets. They brought them book marks, House ID badges, handouts, coloring sheets and even a Nimbus 2000. After the class session, they stayed and answered questions about Harry Potter.
It went so well that they then had a Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban night in April, and Ms. Handler brought her class over to SKYCTC to participate in the event to enjoy games, food and watch the movie.
“The students had so much fun that they asked if we could come visit them again before the semester ended, so we did,” says Varney. “We met on the 22nd and we bought journals and printed the house crests so that the journal would look like a book from Hogwarts. We then requested a list of names of the students and their houses, and we stayed at school and worked on putting these together.”
The SKYCTC Harry Potter Fandom of the Phoenix Chapter along with Ms. Varney and Associate Professor and SKYCTC librarian Kathryne LeFevre then went back to Warren Elementary to visit them for their final party on May 23rd to give them the notebooks and an ink pen.
LeFevre is also the co-advisor of the Harry Potter Alliance Fandom of the Phoenix Chapter, and she requested that they read some books over the summer and visit the WCPL Summer Reading program and to keep a journal of their favorite things. Varney and LeFevre asked them to have their teacher contact SKYCTC and ask for the Harry Potter ladies, and they would give them prizes for doing this.
Bertena Varney reminded them that in seven years, they can come to SKYCTC and register to take her Harry Potter class when they become college students. The students were all excited about this, and many plan to take her up on the offer.