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...
A baby dragon Norbert might be a cute little bundle of joy in Hagrid's eyes... but this little fire-breather also gets Harry and his friends into a lot of trouble. They manage to get it whisked off to safety (with Ron's brother, Charlie). However, on the way back to the dormitory... They forget the invisibility cloak and end up getting caught! Their punishment? They must journey into "The Forbidden Forest" with Hagrid to see what or who is hurting the unicorns. Now that's an interesting way to serve detention!
What's worse? Draco's there, too! But Harry doesn't have much time to deal with that little rivalry. The true enemy is about to show up!
What Harry encounters in the forest is chilling... However, what the scene does is: It lets him (and the reader) know the true stakes: Voldemort will stop at nothing to return. All he needs is the Sorcerer's Stone! Conclusion: The stone must be protected at all costs.
Are you caught up? Be sure to read both chapters before you go any further.
Build something that will protect your baby dragon egg from a high fall
If you’re unfamiliar with this popular STEM activity, the challenge is for kids to design a contraption using various materials (usually recyclables or household items/office supplies) to protect a raw egg from a high fall. It's usually done as a high school physics lesson but it can be a fun engineering challenge for younger kids, too! It's about problem solving and experimenting! More info here.
Materials: Use anything you'd like! Some ideas include: paper towels, straws, tape, cardboard tubes, paper, popsicle sticks, bags or baggies, or old boxes. And, of course, you'll need at least one raw egg. Of course, you can always use a plastic egg filled with something. But that's going to be harder to break. It's up to you.
Plan out and illustrate your design with this printable worksheet. Explain why you think your design will protect an egg from a fall. Later, record your results on this sheet and talk about why your contraption did or did not work! Science is all about experiments, theories, tests (and making mistakes), and ultimately: figuring out new ways to do things until you come up with a solution to a problem!
Don't worry if you don't succeed at first. All scientists, inventors, artists, musicians, athletes, and business owners fail from time to time. That's just life! The thing about failure is: The next time you start, you know more than you did the last time. That increases your chances of getting it right this time. So, keep trying! Your only limit is your imagination!
If you're concerned about cleanup, try putting the eggs in plastic zip-top bags (that seal). I got this idea from "Little Bins for Little Hands." This blogger has some great ideas for running different experiments (using things found in the kitchen) for children of different ages. You might also want to download and print their Engineer's Notebook (with a list of suggested supplies).
Flying Dragon Craft: Pull the Strings and Make Them Fly!
This simple kids craft is also a wonderful STEM activity for kids. The yarn is actually acting like a lever in this activity.
Pulling the yarn pieces apart and to the sides changes the angle of the yarn to the tube. The yarn, working as a lever, pushes the dragon up. When you change the angle of the yarn so it’s back to the center, the dragon slides back down with the help of gravity.
empty cardboard roll (4-6 inches long)
Decide what color you want your dragon to be. We chose green, but your child can make their cardboard tube dragon whatever color they choose. They can even make it multi-colored.
Measure the length of your cardboard tube and cut a strip of construction paper that wide so it will cover the tube. Glue this around the tube. You could also use clear tape to hold it in place.
Fold a piece of construction paper in half and draw a wing shape on the paper, with the folded edge being where the wing would meet the dragon’s body. Cut out the wing shape so that when you unfold it, you have 2 wings that are connected.
Glue the wings to the cardboard tube.
Use construction paper to create a tail and a head for the dragon. For our head we cut a piece that looks a bit like an acorn with 2 small horns. Your child may choose to just cut a circle shape or get even more creative.
Attach the wiggly eyes to the head and use markers to complete the dragon’s face.
Glue the tail and head to the cardboard tube.
Let the glue dry completely before doing the next part.
Cut 4-5 feet of yarn and hang it over a doorknob or from a hook so an equal amount hangs on both sides.
Thread the loose ends of the yarn through the top of the tube so they stick out the bottom.
To make the dragon fly, hold the two ends of the yarn, one in each hand, and pull your hands apart to separate the yarn.
As you move your hands apart, the dragon will fly to the top of the yarn. When you bring your hands back together, the dragon will slide back down.
Make Your Own Dragon Egg!
Hot Glue Guns and Glue Sticks
Plastic Easter Eggs or Foam Eggs
Paint (Metallic Fast Drying looks/works best)
Nail Polish (Optional)
Mod Podge (Optional)
Table coverings, paint pans, etc.
Step One: Pick an egg, if using Easter eggs try to find one that is closest to the color you want to paint the egg.
Step Two: Use hot glue to make a design. Since it is hot glue, if you make a mistake you can take off the glue if it dries. You can also glue the egg shut if you want to.
Step Three: Paint that egg. Roll up your sleeves because this could be messy! The hard part is: you have to make sure to use fast drying paint. Metallic makes the eggs look the best. Do not cover the egg with lots of paint. One solid layer will do the job. You can do it with nail polish, but be aware you have to have thick nail polish and that it will smell like nail polish! It's up to you, though!
Note: You'll want to wait for your paint to dry completely before going on to the next steps.
Step Four: Paint with glitter paint. This makes it have more of a shimmer.
Step Five (Optional): Seal your eggs with a layer of mod podge.
Upcoming S.T.E.A.M. challenges: There's only one module left!
In Module 8: We'll Be Playing Wizard’s Chess with Moving Pieces Using Stop Motion Animation and we're having fun with Math in "Harry Potter and the Dichotomous Keys" Using Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.
Complete a Digital Escape Room as the Final Challenge!
Knowing that dragons are illegal... and that they grow to be fairly large (and potentially destructive): Why do you think Hagrid thought he could keep one as a pet? The Forbidden Forest is pretty big and (from what we see later on) is home to a great many creatures. So, it's possible he thought the dragon could hide out there. But it looks like he maybe just didn't think things all the way through or consider all the consequences. Have you ever done that? Rushed into something without thinking because you were excited? How did that turn out?
What do you think of Hagrid so far? It's clear to me that he's a very caring, loving guy... and he has the best of intentions. He also tries to see the best in people, which is another admirable quality. But do you think it sometimes blinds him? Maybe Hagrid doesn't suspect Professor Snape because he wants to believe that there's good in him so badly? What are your thoughts?
Harry is horrified that he's just lost Gryffindor 150 points. Strangely... the same amount of points that a Golden Snitch is worth in a Quidditch match! He's so embarrassed that he actually considers resigning from the Quidditch team. But Oliver Wood convinces him not to. Have you ever done something you feel guilty about? How did that feel? Do you do something to try to make up for it?
Just as Harry has resolved not to get into any more trouble (and hurt Gryffindor's chances of winning the House Cup even more than he already has)... he overhears who he thinks is Professor Snape and Quirrell arguing again. Only this time, Quirrell seems to cave and to give in to the other's demands. But still, Harry doesn't have all the details. So, he can't prove anything. And his suspicions about Snape have been dismissed before by Hagrid and other teachers... Even after talking with his friends (who do believe that Snape is up to no good), Harry's struggling to come up with a plan. Do you think he's doing enough right now to alert the other teachers? To ask for help? Or is it better to wait and get more information?
Do you think maybe Harry's upbringing has anything to do with his distrust in authority figures? TVernon and Petunia Dursley (his primary authority figures growing up) were never very supportive or helpful. They actually lied to him (about his parents and about his powers). They are - without a doubt - bad examples of adults/parents. At Hogwarts, though... Harry is surrounded by several very kind and caring adults. He does share some of his fears and suspicions with them. However, he is starting to think they don't take him seriously. Do you think he should have more faith in them? Why does he think he has to do everything on his own? And why do you think Ron and Hermione go along with it? Do they just want to be good friends? Or are they seeing things the adults aren't seeing? Sometimes: the answer is "because otherwise we wouldn't have a story or any conflict to drive the story." What are your thoughts? Is this all just to set Harry up as the hero of the story?
Draco ends up serving detention with Harry and friends. It's clear from the start that he thinks working off his time in the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid is beneath him. He again threatens to tell his father that he's being treated unfairly (or, that he's being treated like a "servant"). The thing is: he's being treated no differently than any other student serving detention. So, why does he think the shouldn't have to do what other students have to do? Does he think the same rules (or punishments) the other students have to follow just don't apply to him? Why is that? And what does this tell us about his character?
In the Forest, Harry encounters Voldemort. As readers, we've heard a lot about the dark wizard and so has Harry. But I don't think any of that prepared us for what Harry saw. Not only is Voldemort bad but he's grotesque... and willing to do whatever it takes to win. Harry realizes that he's in real danger now and there's a very real possibility that Voldemort might come back. Thankfully, Firenze (a kind and brave centaur), scares the specter away and brings Harry safely back to Hagrid. In storytelling, this is called the "rising action." In other words: things are starting to look bad for the heroes. But we haven't quite reached the final showdown or obstacle or what's called the "climax" of the story. That's coming up next time! Do you think this scene spurs Harry into action? Perhaps he wouldn't have taken any big risks before but... after seeing what he sees... he might be starting to think that he has no choice but to act. Have you ever witnessed something so bad that you had to speak out or do something to make things better?
If you want to share your thoughts with your professor:
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/