Novel Study: Why I choose Harry Potter with my French Immersion Students

Updated: Nov 6

I know what you are thinking... really? A French Harry Potter Novel Study? Isn't it too complicated for my French Immersion students to understand? The answer is no. I choose Harry Potter as a novel study for my French Immersion Students and here's why.

Actually before the why, I want to be clear. This is not an individual Novel Study. It's actually a "Listening" activity where I read Harry Potter and my French Immersion students listen and then answer questions about the book.

French Immersion Harry Potter Novel Study

Why do I choose Harry Potter as a listening novel study?

1) Most kids already know about Harry Potter. It's not completely new to them, so makes it relevant. Some have seen the movies, and others have read them. Therefore, these new "terms" aren't so foreign to them. If they are new to them, other students are fantastic at explaining everything, which also helps their speaking skills.

2) It's so easy to get a visual of the book since it's already been made into a movie. I simply purchase the FRENCH movie and it gives a perfect visual to go with each chapter. More specifically, after reading aloud 2 chapters, we watch those chapters in the movie. We then compare the book to the movie - similarities, differences, etc.

3) Harry Potter is their age, they feel like they can easily connect to them. I've especially seen boys take to this novel if they've never yet read it, and actually, go ahead and read the next 6 novels. What more can you ask for?

4) I've experimented with this novel study in Grades 4 and 6, and have had success in both grades. Therefore, it's easily transferable if you change grade levels.

5) At the end of the novel study, I get to do an awesome Harry Potter Classroom Transformation (details coming soon), where students are immersed in their very own Hogwarts, covering multiple learning expectations.

Now, to be clear, I often chose to read the first Harry Potter novel in Grade 4, but by Grade 6, I read the second novel. How can I go ahead and read the second novel in grade 6? Well, we actually have a great day introducing Harry Potter with the first movie before we start the novel. We have an awesome camping day, where they bring sleeping bags, and snacks, and we watch the movie. This gets them REALLY REALLY excited to start our novel study.

What can be found in the harry potter novel study?

One of my favourite parts about this novel study is it covers multiple listening expectations in the FSL curriculum.

1) I can grade their actual listening skills. Are they listening while I read? Are they paying attention? Are they taking part in our quick summaries after each chapter (each day, before I start reading, students share what happened in our reading on the previous day - perfect for summarizing)?

2) I can grade their listening skills through the questions that go with the novel study. I read 2 chapters per week. On Fridays, we watch the same chapters in the movie, and then they go ahead and answer the questions aligning with those 2 chapters. Here is an example:

Harry Potter Novel Study - French Immersion comprehension Questions

Novel study - Why I choose Harry Potter? Classroom Tansformation

As you can see, there are multiple reasons for choosing Harry Potter as a novel study for your French Immersion students. Here is a sneak peek at what my classroom looks like when it transforms into Hogwarts (but more to come on that later)!

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