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Astronomy, Astrology & Greek Mythology in the Wizard World

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Lauren James
Star Educator
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(3,142)
Study the connection between Harry Potter characters and literature, and their relationship with astronomy, astrology, and Greek mythology. Also includes literary devices such as symbolism, foreshadowing, allusion, and historical context.

Class experience

US Grade 4 - 7
6 lessons//6 Weeks
 Week 1
Lesson 1
Astronomy vs. Astrology
In our first session, we will analyze two Harry Potter professors and the subjects they teach at Hogwarts. Our first character case study will be Professor Aurora Sinistra and her Astronomy Class. She teaches a core class at Hogwarts, and yet this professor and the contents of her class are somewhat of a mystery. Second, we'll study Professor Trelawney and her Divination Class. She also teaches about the stars and planets, just like Professor Sinistra, but instead of calling in astronomy, she ca
 Week 2
Lesson 2
Planets
This week will be a literary analysis of the incorporation of the planets in the Harry Potter books. Are these examples of astronomy, or astrology? How does J.K. Rowling incorporate allusion and the historical context of the planets in both astrology and astronomy into her works? We'll also introduce the subtle - but important - connection J.K. Rowling makes with Greek mythology, and this mythology's inseparable ties to astronomy and astrology.
 Week 3
Lesson 3
The Moon
The moon has a great deal of symbolic value in the Harry Potter series. We'll discuss how J.K. Rowling incorporated a history of superstitions and beliefs about Earth's moon as the backdrop for many Harry Potter events. We'll examine what professors Sinistra and Trelawny teach about the moon. This week also includes a character study of Luna Lovegood and her relationship to her namesake (Luna, the Roman goddess of the moon).
 Week 4
Lesson 4
More Mythology
Our understanding and appreciation of the depth of Rowling's characters will be enhanced by our analysis of their names. For instance, Minerva McGonagall, Quirinus Quirrell, and Remus Lupin are all named after characters from Greek and Roman mythology - and the similarities to their Greek and Roman namesakes cannot be a coincidence!
 Week 5
Lesson 5
Stars and Constellations, Part 1
We'll focus heavily on J.K. Rowling's use of the star and constellation names as a means to incorporate allusion and symbolism into her works. For instance, we'll discuss Sirius Black's connection to the star Sirius (the dog star). We'll also examine why Rowling chose to use the names of specific stars (those named after pureblood characters in Greek and Roman mythology) as names on the Black Family tree, in order to further emphasize the "Pureblood Pride" that the Black family valued highly.
 Week 6
Lesson 6
Stars and Constellations, Part 2
In the final class, we will conclude our exploration of the night sky. This includes discussion of the literary device known as "foreshadowing" in J.K. Rowling's books. For example, Sirius' younger Regulus - why was he named after a star in a lion constellation (the mascot for Gryffindor) when he comes from a Slytherin family? Answer: because J.K. Rowling was using his name as foreshadowing! We'll also look at how Rowling used foreshadowing in the story of Remus Lupin and Delphini Diggory.

I am a certified science teacher in the state of Arizona, with more than a decade of experience teaching children. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Space Science. My classes are offered in a lecture format, so your child can participate to his or her comfort level.
For the extension activities, you may want to print out the worksheets. For lecture 3 and 4, you will be asked to construct your own star wheel - this requires a printer, two sheets of cardstock (although regular paper will work okay), scissors, and staples or tape.
While I do make sure to encourage students to respect all persons' belief systems, if you or your child are believers in the reliability of fortune telling or horoscopes, this is not the right class for you. The first two weeks talk very heavily about how astrology is not supported by any known scientific evidence, and instead emerged from the religious beliefs of the Greeks and the Romans. Students are encouraged to hone their ability to recognize the difference between science and belief (while acknowledging that ALL of us utilize both practices in our lives, and both are considered to be acceptable and respectable in our culture). 
Outschool is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., owner of the Harry Potter® mark and related Harry Potter marks.
Star Educator
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(3,142)
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💰 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐬 💰
I offer a "pay what you can afford" discount for all flex classes. After you enroll, send me a message from the section you signed up for. I can then apply a partial refund to match the amount you need; it can be any amount! 

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Self-Paced Class

$12

weekly or $68 for all content
6 pre-recorded lessons
6 weeks of teacher feedback
Choose your start date
1 year of access to the content

Completed by 635 learners
Ages: 9-14

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