Letter To Your Parents

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dear Parents,


Your student is about to embark on a Harry Potter adventure in freshman English.  Within the next few days, we will begin reading J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book in the Harry Potter series.  These coming-of-age novels, including this first one, capture the maturation of an orphan who begins life with a neglectful aunt and uncle but learns on his eleventh birthday that he is actually a wizard eligible to attend Hogwarts, a school of magic.  While in attendance at this school, Harry discovers the truth about his parents’ deaths, the cause they died for so Harry could live and the destiny he must fulfill as a result.  Through these trials toward self-discovery, Harry learns to value love, family, friendship and the need for others in order to achieve his future success.


To engage your student in the reading of this novel, our class will maintain a Web site based on the Harry Potter series.  Throughout the study of this first book, your student will be expected to complete various assignments.  The completion of these assignments will earn your student so many points toward a collective group score (each student will be placed in a group before the start of the novel).  The group with the most points at the end of the book will receive a small prize and will be featured on the class Web site.  On this Web site, students also will be able to look up reading homework and other assignments.  If you are okay with your child participating in these online group activities and being featured on this Web site, please sign below and have your student return the bottom portion of this letter to me.  Please feel free to contact me via e-mail or phone with any questions, comments or concerns.  Also, please check out the Web site at the following address:




In addition to this, the first assignment your student will be asked to complete before we begin reading this novel is an e-mail to you.  These e-mails will describe what family means to each of the students and will rely on fond memories and experiences to illustrate their points.  The students also will be asked to examine what life would be like without family.  Once the students have written their e-mails, they will go through a peer editing activity.  Then your student’s final copy will be e-mailed to you.  You are encouraged to respond to your child’s letter.  While I will be reading your child’s e-mail to improve writing and communication skills, your e-mail to your child will remain private.  This assignment should help your child draw on personal connections in order to relate to Harry Potter’s situation and the predominate themes of love, family and friendship in the series.  This assignment also will help your student build effective communication and technology skills.  A sample e-mail I have written to my parents, the assignment sheet, the rubric and the peer edit hand-out are all featured on the Web site, if you are interested in more information about this project.






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My child, __________________________________, has my permission to participate in the Harry Potter online activities, may access the Web site at school and at home, and may be featured on the Harry Potter class Web site. 


Signature________________________________________________________________     Date: __________________________________________