HPEF presents Infinitus 2010, a Harry Potter conference            TEXT  MENU

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July 15-18, 2010
Orlando, Florida

Less Umbridge, More Lupin: Using HP in the Classroom
Susan Shirley, Melody Sutton, Travis Prinzi

As states and districts increasingly rely on standardized testing to measure student progress, many educators feel pressure to get back to basics using Ministry-approved anthologies and textbooks. While these traditional materials have value, we encourage teachers to bring their passion for Potter to school. John Granger calls Harry Potter “the shared text of a generation.” We will show you how to harness students' love of all things Harry to teach basic skills and higher-order thinking.
Use the Potter series as reading textbooks. Students who have already read some or all of the series become engaged in thoughtful re-reading and group discussions. As new Potter readers experience the story for the first time, you are exposing them to great literature that they actually love. These stories attract students to reading and provide a solid foundation for future study of mythology and classic literature. The Potter books serve as excellent texts for learning about plot, character, theme, foreshadowing, symbolism, and cause & effect.  Use Rowling's work as mentor texts in writing lessons. Careful readers can learn how an author creates effective foreshadowing, suspense, leads, endings, description, and character development. Even studying grammar becomes more engaging when sample sentences feature Luna or Hagrid. Once you have established a shared text for the class, you and your students will be able to make connections across the curriculum. Use students' knowledge of Latin-based spells from the Wizarding world to develop word parsing skills and content area vocabulary. Guide students in making connections between the Potter books and Muggle history.

Wizard rock is the ultimate response to literature, as it celebrates and enhances our love for Rowling's books and characters. Wrockers and their fans make personal connections with the stories, quoting canon and often adding new material to flesh out a character's experience. The presenters will share a list of Wizard rock songs recommended for use in classrooms with upper elementary students, to accompany study of each book in the series. Workshops attendees are encouraged to share their own experiences and ideas for using Harry Potter in the classroom.
Susan Shirley and Melody Sutton are proud members of the House of Ravenclaw with a combined 16 years of teaching experience in elementary and middle school. They daily share their passion for the written word with students via Harry Potter and other great literature. They believe in the infinite possibilities of our youth and, not possessing Snape's steely self-control, would never have passed the High Inquisitor's inspection.

Travis Prinzi is a popular author and speaker on the intersection of fantasy and politics, myth and culture in Joanne Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.  Prinzi, author of Harry Potter & Imagination: The Way Between Two Worlds, appears on The Leaky Cauldron’s PotterCast as a “Potter Pundit.” He has been a featured speaker and led panel discussions at five Harry Potter conferences and has lectured on everything from Harry Potter to religion to education to hit TV shows like The Office at university campuses and libraries in the United States and Canada. He collects and edits the best in Harry Potter scholarship each year for Zossima Press, Hog’s Head Conversations: Essays on Harry Potter, the first volume of which was published in July 2009. PubCasts from The Hog’s Head feature Travis’ reflections on everything ‘Harry Potter’ as well as discussions with the best and brightest of Fandom. Travis holds graduate degrees in education and theology from the University of Rochester and Northeastern Seminary. He lives in Rochester, NY with his wife Tricia, daughter Sophia, and their dog, Moses.
Formal Programming