Congratulations, Muggles! You have been accepted as a virtual exchange student at Hogwarts! This new Wizard Studies Program is designed for non-magic folk (like yourselves)! But instead of learning charms and transfiguration: You'll be using Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math to bring a little magic to your every day lives!
You won't need textbooks or a lot of supplies. But you will be reading and discussing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. If you don't already have it, you can get a free copy of the eBook or Audiobook from your library! It's free on OverDrive and Libby through May 31. You can even sign up for an Instant Digital Card if you don't already have one. More information about that below...
These are two action-packed chapters about things that fly and float! Not only does Harry get his first broomstick (a Nimbus 2000!), we get our first look at the game of Quidditch, and there's also a big 12-foot troll loose in the castle on Halloween! And Hermione accidentally gets locked in the girl's bathroom with it! But not to worry: It all works out.
Using team work: Harry, Ron, and Hermione manage to knock out the troll (using the Wingardum Leviosa spell they had just learned in Charms class) and the three become fast friends from there on out.
So, there's a lot to cover! First up, though:
Are you caught up? Be sure to read both chapters before you go any further.
Technology and Engineering challenges inspired by Chapters 10 & 11:
This week, we will 1) make a catapult (launcher) out of craft sticks and rubber bands to launch a ping-pong ball Golden Snitch and 2) make a feather float! I've got two challenges for that. First, you can make a digital feather float with another Kano Coding Challenge! Second, we'll talk about a "magic" trick involving fishing line (or mono-filament).
There's also an optional art challenge to draw your favorite fantasy creature and to write a backstory/description for them!
When you push down on the milk bottle top, the craft stick catapult arm bends, giving it energy! When the arm is released, the energy is transferred to the ping pong ball which flies through the air!
The further down the craft stick is pushed (or the more force that is used) the more energy gets transfered to the ping pong ball. This means: it should travel further.
What more fun craft projects to do at home? There's plenty of free resources on CreativeBug to get you started if you want to learn more. Just go to our website and find it under "Online Resources" or visit this link.
CreativeBug has over 1000 video tutorials on all things art and crafts (including hand-lettering, calligraphy, crochet, painting, sewing, and more). Just enter your library card to get started learning. They have basic tutorials for beginners and kids all the way up to intermediate and advanced tutorials for experienced crafters.
Make a Feather Float!
More fun with Kano at Home!
In the book, Ron saves Hermione when he makes the Troll's club float over his head and fall to knock him out. Good thing she helped him say the spell properly! "It's Levi-O-sa. Not Levio-SA!"
Captain Disillusion makes a ton of videos on YouTube debunking magic tricks and hoaxes. Make sure you have your parents' permission before you visit YouTube. But if you'd like to see how magicians in our world levitate cups and other objects, watch this video.
Alan Melikdjanianis the creator of the YouTube web-series Captain Disillusion, a comedic series of videos promoting critical thinking and skepticism, mainly centering around the use of visual effects and video editing. Find out more on the Wikipedia page.
For more behind the scenes on how I make my videos... tune in next week when I talk about the "magic" of green screen technology and use an "invisibility cloak!"
Upcoming S.T.E.A.M. challenges: Over the next three programs, we will:
Next up in Module 6: Transfiguration and The States of Matter: It's a Solid... It's a Liquid... It's an Oobleck!
Next up in Module 6: Invisibility Cloaks and The Magic of Green Screen.
Finally in Module 8: Playing Wizard’s Chess with Moving Pieces Using Stop Motion Animation.
Then in Module 7: Engineer a Magical Egg Drop Contraption.
Then in Module 7: Make Your Own Flying Dragon!
Drawing and writing prompts!
Finally in Module 8: Harry Potter and the Dichotomous Keys Using Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.
In these chapters, Harry gets his first broomstick (a Nimbus 2000!) and he's put on the Gryffindor's Quidditch team - something that first year students aren't supposed to be allowed to have or do. Why do you think an exception was made for him? And do you think it was fair? Does Draco Malfoy has a reason to be upset or jealous?
In Professor Flitwick's class, the students learn the charm/spell wingardium leviosa - which makes objects fly or float. As it turns out, it's an incredibly useful spell... It ends up saving Harry, Ron, and Hermione during their run in with the troll later on! What other things do you think wingardiumleviosa might be useful for?
Why do you think Ron and Hermione had so much trouble getting along at first? Were you glad when they became friends?
Do you think it's odd that a troll would be able to find its way into Hogwarts? Why did Professor Quirrell seem so shook up about it? He's the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Shouldn't that mean he's a powerful wizard? If he couldn't subdue the troll on his own, wouldn't it have been a better idea to seek the help of another teacher (or teachers) rather than announcing it to all of the students in the Great Hall and causing a panic? While it's understandable that an adult (even a teacher at a wizard school) would get scared by a 12 foot troll... Do you think he could have or should have handled that better? What are your thoughts?
The way fantasy races are depicted in Harry Potter can sometimes be problematic. Trolls are depicted as mean or "stupid," giants as aggressive or savage, and goblins as greedy. Granted, these one-dimensional portrayals are pretty common across fantasy books and media (such as the Lord of the Rings series). So, it's just JK Rowling who does this... While they don't make for very interesting or fully-formed characters, they do make for a quick and easy-to-recognize side character or villain... However, most people are more than just one thing.Good characters are just as complex as we are! Could you imagine a story where a goblin or a troll turned out to be the hero? If you like your character and their backstory, consider writing it all out in short story format (as an optional STEAM challenge).
Hermione lying to the teachers (about the troll incident) does more than just keep Harry and Ron out of trouble. It's maybe the first time she's ever broken a rule... and maybe the first time she's stood up for someone else. Not only does this help our three main characters become friends, this incident tells the reader a little bit about Hermione's character. Some people think Hermione should have been in Ravenclaw because she loves books and studying (and taking tests). But maybe - just maybe - she has more bravery in her than people think? She also knew the risk the boys had taken to warn her and to make sure she was OK. Is it any wonder then that she showed them loyalty and risked harsh discipline (maybe even expulsion) on their behalf? Was there ever a time you stood up for yourself or someone else when you thought you or they might be in danger or trouble?
The incident with the troll also showed a little bit about Ron's character, too! Among other things: he isn't afraid to admit when he's wrong. First, he realized it was wrong to tease Hermione. His words and actions lead to her being alone in that bathroom when the troll came in. He also realized he was wrong not to take her help or advice in charms class. He was only able to cast wingardium leviosa against the troll because he finally admitted that she was right. Admitting you were wrong takes courage! Are you sensing a theme here? In a short period of time, we learn exactly why these characters were put into Gryffindor House. What house were you sorted in and why do you think that is? Are you loyal like a a Hufflepuff? An ambitious Slytherin? Or are you more like the Ravenclaws? Of course, you may be a combination of one or more of these things. Most of the main characters are! That's why they are so interesting. Ron is very loyal, for example. But he's not a Hufflepuff. He's a Gryffindor. Who's your favorite of the trio so far?
If you want to share your thoughts with your professor: email me or reach out on Facebook!
Draw a Magical Creature
Draw a magical creature or a character of a popular fantasy race! Will it be a troll, goblin, unicorn, orc, elf, centaur, or mermaid? Think about what your character likes to do or eat. Are they clumsy? What kind of clothes do they wear and why? Do they go on adventures? Or do they attend a school for magic? "interview" your character to see what they like/dislike and what their hopes and dreams are! Work as much of that into the look of your character as you can. And example: If they like to read, draw them holding a book! If they like donuts, draw them ordering a dozen! It's up to you.
Something that helps me draw is to start with simple shapes. You can also use reference material - such as photographs or other artwork. Just don't copy someone else's work completely! Make it your own.
If you need some inspiration, check out this fun how to draw video from author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. He works on the Jedi Academy books.
Have fun! If you'd like to share your character design with me, you can email it to me at email@example.com.
Write a little Backstory and/or a Short Story About Your Creature.
Continue interviewing your new character. Really get to know them. What kind of conflict do you think they have in their life? Do they want adventure in the great wide somewhere? Or are they on the hunt for the perfect cup of tea and a good book? What are their friends like? What Hogwarts House do you think they'd be sorted into? Use all of that to craft a back story and/or a short story for your character.
Good stories have a beginning, middle and an end. There's usually something that happens towards the beginning called an "inciting incident" that starts the hero on their journey. There's a bit of rising action... leading to the ultimate climax or confrontation as they try to achieve their goal. Then, after the obstacle has been overcome: You just have to wrap up your story. Did they win in the end? How are they or their world different now?
Things to think about: Was the conflict internal (were they overcoming or dealing with personal struggle) or was it external (somebody else put an obstacle in their path or tried to keep them from achieving their goal). It could be a combination of things! Maybe they have to overcome their own fear in order to take on the challenge presented to them by another character! Have fun!
If you'd like to share your story with me, you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for joining us!
Please consider filling out this survey form each time to help us keep track of virtual program attendance and get feedback (to use in our grant reports).
If you have videos or photos you'd like to share with us or with the rest of Putnam County, please send those along, too! We would love to see some of your completed challenges!
This program is made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. It is administered locally by the Florida Department of State Division of Library and Information Services (commonly known as the "State Library") with help from the Putnam Alachua Levy (PAL) Public LIbrary Cooperative.
Go to the library's website: FunInPutnam.com and click on "eBooks" at the top to learn more about OverDrive and Libby. If you're using a computer, I'd recommend OverDrive. If you're reading on a smart device or if you're listening on a phone, I'd recommend Libby. You can find the apps for both in the Google Play or Apple App Store. Sign in by choosing "Putnam County Library System" in the list of libraries and then entering your library card number. If you don't have a card, sign up for an Instant Digital Card using a mobile phone number.
Watch celebrities read aloud from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Did you know that the British version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has a different title? It's the same story, though! So feel free to read along with Daniel Radcliffe, Eddie Redmayne, and others. For more information, click here. To hear Daniel Radcliffe (who played Harry Potter in the films) read "The Boy Who Lived" (Chapter 1), click here. For more chapter themed challenges developed by the folks at WizardingWorld.com, just click here.
PUTNAM COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM 601 College Road Palatka, Florida 32177 386-329-0126 funinputnam.com/