Teaching Harry Potter with Thinking Maps

This spring I did Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as a read-aloud with a group of second and third graders.  I also taught Harry Potter last year, but this year I had the added bonus of thinking maps, which I also used with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  I LOVE using thinking maps as anchor charts and visual cues with read aloud's.  They allow students to access higher level texts without getting confused or frustrated. As with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, we used circle maps to keep track of character traits: 

(click image to see larger)

I would point to the character who was speaking to help students understand the dialogue. The circle maps also led to some interesting connections.  One of the students asked, "Why do so many people hate Harry?" which I'd never really thought about before! We did have "hates Harry" written on Aunt Petunia's, Uncle Vernon's, Dudley's, Malfoy's, and Draco's circle maps! 

We also used a flow map for different chapters and events, rather than for the whole book, as I did with LWW.  I had a photo of the one we did for Diagon Alley, but I think it must be on my now-turned-in school computer. 

I also did a "word collector" with new words we came across. A word collector isn't strictly a thinking map (I got the idea from the Daily 5), but it worked well with this book.  The kids were always asking me to add words! Seeing them everyday (and not just once and forgetting about them) increased their actual usage of the words... they particularly liked "revolting"! 

The day before we got to the sorting ceremony in the book, I had the kids take a little quiz to figure out what house they should be in.  Then, as I was reading the sorting ceremony part, I called up the students as if they were characters in the book and had them try on the wizard hat to find out what house they would be in.  They LOVED it and couldn't believe their names were in the book! (ha) I also made up little certificates to give them:

I'd love to offer the certificates as a freebie, but the crest images aren't mine.  Maybe it'll be a summer project to come up with non-copyrighted crests!

Sadly I must admit that I didn't finish the whole book with this group. We got to Chapter 10 and then I recommended they check the book out from the library and ask a parent or sibling to read it to them! 

Have you done Harry Potter as a read aloud? What was your experience like?
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