Wednesday December 22, 2004
It has been revealed that the sixth installment of the Harry Potter mega-selling series will hit the streets on July 16 next year. Author J.K. Rowling made the announcement a little early she had intended to break the news on Xmas Day. The book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be published on the same day in Britain, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa all. It is rumored that it will be slightly shorter than the last book, but readers are promised a classic account of teenage wizardry. A publishing executive said “J.K. Rowling has written a brilliant story that will dazzle her fans in a marvelous book that takes the series to yet greater heights.”
Potter is huge business. The fifth book, The Order of the Phoenix, sold an incredible five million copies on its first day of publication. J.K. Rowling does seem to have magical powers when it comes to storytelling. All five books have sold 265 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 62 languages, making it a truly global phenomenon. The three Hollywood movies of Harry’s adventures have netted $2.6 billion at the box office, with plans for three more films. Harry has also made J.K. Rowling the richest author ever, and the first writer to make $1 billion from her books. Of the latest, she hopes “you feel that it was worth the wait when you finally read it!”
Fans can already place their orders and be assured they are among the first to receive their books. Amazon is now taking pre-orders for the book to be delivered on July 16, at a huge saving. The official price will be $29.99, but Amazon’s price is $17.99 40% off. The book is already No. 1 on bestseller lists. Sales from the last Harry Potter book earned more than most Hollywood movies in its first week of release. Steve Riggio, CEO of Barnes & Noble, said “We expect this penultimate book in the series to make publishing history once again. We've already collected 500,000 e-mail requests from our customers.” The year 2005 is already set for another round of Pottermania.
POSSIBLE WARM UPS / COOL DOWNS
1. CHAT: Talk in pairs or groups about books / books written in English / Harry Potter / J.K. Rowling / book pre-orders / Potter movies / Potter paraphernalia …
2. MY FAVE READS: Students write down three of their all-time favorite books. Tell these to their partner and the reasons why they like them.
3. MY COUNTRY: Talk about the most popular literary characters in your country. Perhaps the teacher could have students from the same country give mini-presentations to the class explaining a character.
4. POTTER BRAINSTORM: Brainstorm facts from students about Harry Potter. Students talk together about these facts.
5. POTTER MADNESS: Students pretend they are manufacturers. What ideas can they come up with for Xmas toys and merchandize. They talk in pairs. Teacher asks for ideas and writes them on the board. Students then discuss which will sell. Each student tells the teacher which idea they would buy this will decide the winning idea
6. 2-MINUTE DEBATES: Students face each other in pairs and engage in the following (for-fun) 2-minute debates. Students A are assigned the first argument, students B the second. Rotate pairs to ensure a lively pace and noise level is kept:
1. WORD SEARCH: Students look in their dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … of the words ‘mega’, ‘magic’ and ‘movie’.
2. HEADLINE: Put the article headline on the board for students to talk about / predict /speculate. Pairs / groups formulate and present their own guesses as to the contents of the report.
3. TRUE / FALSE: Students look at the headline and predict whether they believe the following statements are true or false:
(a) The fifth installment in the Harry Potter series is coming. T / F
4. SYNONYM MATCH: Students match the following synonyms from the article:
5. PHRASE MATCH: Students match the following phrases based on the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):
WHILE READING ACTIVITIES
1. GAP-FILL: Put the missing words under each paragraph into the gaps.
Harry Potter 6 announced
2. TRUE/FALSE: Students check their answers to the T/F exercise.
3. PHRASE MATCH: Students check their answers to the phrase match exercise.
4. QUESTIONS: Students make notes for questions they would like to ask the class about the article.
5. VOCABULARY: Students circle any words they do not understand. In groups pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find the meanings.
POST READING IDEAS
1. GAP-FILL: Check the answers to the gap-fill exercise.
2. QUESTIONS: Students ask the discussion questions they thought of above to their partner / group / class. Pool the questions for all students to share.
3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.
4. STUDENT-GENERATED POTTER SURVEY: Pairs/Groups write down 3 questions based on the article. Conduct their surveys alone. Report back to partners to compare answers. Report to other groups / the whole class. Back in pairs students discuss their findings.
5. POTTER DISCUSSION: Students ask each other the following questions based on the article:
(a) Which Harry Potter books have you read (if any)?
6. MAGICAL POWERS: Write the following magical powers on the board, and brainstorm others from students. In pairs, students discuss the relative merits of having each power:
7. POTTER QUIZ: If your students are particularly familiar with the Harry Potter books and movies, have different groups write questions for a Potter Quiz. Conduct the quiz in teams.
8. POTTER #7: In pairs / groups, have students come up with the story for the final boo k in the series. Find a partner and recount your version of the final book. Each group could make a presentation and a vote taken on the best story
1. VOCAB EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or the Google search field to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on Harry Potter. Share your findings with your class next lesson.
3. A DAY IN MY LIFE: Imagine you are Harry potter. Write your diary entry for one day in your life.
4. POTTER #7: You are J.K. Rowling. Write a brief synopsis of the final book in the Harry Potter series.
TRUE / FALSE:
(a) The fifth installment in the Harry Potter series is coming. F
Copyright © 2004 by Sean Banville