The educators at Stambaugh Middle School (Auburndale, FL) are taking some lessons from Hogwarts.
They’ve created a book group around the Harry Potter books that not only introduces the joy of reading to students, but also helps them improve reading comprehension, writing skills, and even civic responsibility.
It’s no wonder that the books are seeing a resurgence in popularity. Of course, we all know the last two movies of the final book are about to bow at the cineplex, but it’s been thirteen years since the first publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. That’s an entire generation of readers who were too young for Pottermania, but are certainly ready for the second onslaught.
The students, of all reading levels, participate in crafts, dramatic readings, discussions, and movie viewing. There’s even a prize of a visit to a Harry Potter attraction at a local theme park in Orlando for the students who read all seven books and do well on quizzes that focus on reading comprehension.
But what I found most heartening is the desire of the staff and administration to get the students to understand that reading is enjoyable. “The key is to get them engaged,” said principal Robert Hartley. Next thing you know, “you’re teaching them, and they don’t even know it,” said media specialist Danielle DeConcilio.
Go here to read more about Stambaugh’s reading group program.