Harry Potter woven into Cape Breton students' learning
Legendary boy wizard spells educational success for Riverside Elementary
A Nova Scotia teacher says adapting her Grade 4 curriculum around Harry Potter has spelled success for her young students.
Ruth Clarke teaches at Riverside Elementary School in Albert Bridge in Cape Breton. She reads the J.K. Rowling books about the young magician to her students and weaves his sorcery throughout the classes.
"The children are able to relate to Harry Potter, to want to put themselves in Harry's spot, and to go on the wonderful adventures that Harry goes on," she said.
Her students write biographies of the characters, imagine different endings for the books and make mirrors and wands.
Clarke's classroom looks like a setting from one of the books. A giant mural of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry graces one wall and students sit in groups named for the houses in the school.
Students say learning through Potter fires their imaginations and makes school fun, while Clarke says it brings magic to the classroom.
"We live in a place where children spend a pile of time in front of a screen. A video game has been developed and it follows a certain path … but somebody else has decided what course that's going to take," she said.
"With Harry Potter, we can let our imaginations go. I think we all need a little bit of magic."