3-12, Books, Education, Reading, Videos, Websites

J.K. Rowling and Pottermore

image from: www.pottermore.com

Yesterday, my students and I, along with classrooms around the world, got the opportunity to view a live interview with J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books.  If you missed this webcast, there is a recording of the nearly 50 minute presentation available here.

Unsurprisingly, Rowling was delightful and inspirational during the interview.  Having no idea what topics would be covered, I knew I would have to “wing” it in our follow-up discussion.  I should not have been nervous, however, as the questions and responses gave me plenty of fodder for our classroom dialogue afterwards.  For example, Rowling was asked what she considered to be the most admirable quality in a person, and she answered, “Bravery”, which easily connected to our topic of the character traits of heroes.

Along with the webcast, which was sponsored by Scholastic, you might also want to take a look at Scholastic’s resources for a Harry Potter Reading Club.

And, if you want a really immersive reading experience, then you will thoroughly enjoy Pottermore, the website launched by Rowling and friends that allows the user to get involved in the virtual world of Harry Potter, from purchasing school supplies to getting sorted into one of Hogwarts’ four houses, to many adventures beyond.  Oh, and if you have children, they would probably enjoy it, too 😉

Independent Study, K-5, Research, Social Studies, Teaching Tools, Videos, Websites

Scholastic’s The First Thanksgiving

UPDATE 11/2/2020: Here is a link to over 45 Thanksgiving activities you can use in your classroom.

Give your students a virtual field trip to the First Thanksgiving by visiting this in-depth resource from Scholastic.  Students can read letters from pilgrims, view videos with “Miles Standish” and other pilgrims, and take a field trip to Plimouth.  There are lots of resources and free printables for teachers as well.  This is a great way for the students to immerse themselves in history instead of relying on social studies textbooks.

Books, Independent Study, K-5, Language Arts, Reading, Teaching Tools


This idea is one of several provided in an article on Scholastic.com entitled Making Connections/Self-Monitoring: A Differentiated Learning Centers Unit Plan.  You may want to check out the entire unit.  Or, if you have less time, be sure to visit this section, which gives you suggestions for using the above reproducible to encourage your students to make connections to the text they are reading.  The students could use this independently or in a game format in pairs.  This lesson is excerpted from Differentiated Literacy Centers by Margo Southall.