Harry Potter and the Walkabout
Length: 6+ Hours
Level: Introductory (non-majors)
Author: Ross, Dorry
“Most first year students are unfamiliar with all the opportunities and facilities that are available to them on a college campus. This staged-assignment problem is designed make students familiar with some of the academic, cultural, and extracurricular activities and events on their campus. In addition, the students taste two kinds of group work, do a simple character analysis, evaluate campus sites based on their character analysis, do several writing-to-learn activities, write two informal papers, give an oral presentation, and write a paper that sets up a walking tour of the campus based on the needs of one of three characters that could come from a number of novels or movies. Finally, students often fail to grasp the idea of writing for a specific audience with a specific purpose in mind. Instead, they write for their professor, thereby missing the opportunity to learn how to reach a specific audience. With this assignment, students must write for a particular audience and purpose that cannot be confused with the teacher as audience. I chose to use the three main characters from Harry Potter series: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley.
N.B. The assignment would work well in a composition class, as part of a first-year experience program, or in other situations that orient new students to campus life.”