One of my favorite lessons during the Harry Potter Club was writing a Harry Potter-themed version of The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown. This book’s structure is PERFECT for having students write about the main idea of a topic. I love introducing this structure at the beginning of the year, and then returning to it again and again, especially in the content areas, as a way to have students share their knowledge of a topic.
For the lesson, we listened to a read aloud of the book for inspiration. After the read aloud, I asked, “What did you notice?” They named all sorts of things: it was repetitive, it used everyday objects, every section started with “The important thing about X is Y.”, every section ended with “But the important thing about X is Y.”, and more.
I then told them we were going to do a Harry Potter-themed version. To prime them, we did a shared writing of one section to introduce our book:
The important thing about the wizarding world is that it is magical. It is full of witches and wizards casting spells, both good and bad. There are fantastic beasts like hippogriffs and mandrakes. But the important thing about the wizarding world is that it is magical.
Finally, we listed lots of everyday magical people, places, and things that they could pick for their sections. They also had their Harry Potter-themed alphaboxes for more magical words.
Here are some of their published pieces:
The important thing about wands is that they are magical. You can lift stuff without touching them. You can grant death spells. Wands can be black or brown. But the important thing about a wand is that it is magical.
The important thing about Fluffy is that he’s a three-headed dog. He guards a special place. Fluffy is fluffy like a cotton ball. Fluffy is also fierce. But the most important thing about Fluffy is that he’s a three-headed dog.
The important thing about James Potter is he was Harry Potter’s father. He was killed by Voldemort. His wife was Lily Potter, and he was a good Quidditch player. But the important thing about James Potter is he was Harry Potter’s father.
-James the Elder
The important thing about a witch or wizard is that they can cast spells. They learn all about the wizarding world. They go to Hogwarts for school. But the important thing about a witch or wizard is that they can cast spells.
What would your important thing about Harry Potter be? Follow the pattern, share your version in the comments, and I’ll add yours to our library! Happy writing, wizards!