Welcome to Hogwarts!

This week, I got to experiment some pirate teaching! My 7th and 8th graders walked into my class thinking they would meet their French teacher. Instead, they met this strange character:


If you are wondering what in the world is going on here, you probably need to read how I came up with a Harry Potter theme for a Positive Behavior Support (PBS) lesson plan, using “Teach Like A Pirate” techniques. Actually that post talks about the creative process and is even more exciting than this one 🙂

I decided I was not going to be Dumbledore after all. My costume was pretty cheap (as you can see), so I introduced myself as Fumbledore, a distant cousin of Dumbledore.

So, how did this lesson go? My 8th graders, who knew me from the previous year, took it as one big joke, and while they complied, I could tell they were not completely into it. However, with my 7th graders, who had never even met me, it was a big hit! They got into it right away, cheering each time a student was sorted into a house, producing work that actually related to the Harry Potter theme, and being very engaged. This one boy had a gigantic smile on his face the entire time. That one girl walked up to me to tell me how cool I was. They were still talking about Fumbledore a few days later,

For the record, I did not do this lesson in the target language because this was part of a school wide initiative on PBS, so my lesson plan was designed in English and performed by other teachers as well (though only one other teacher chose to embrace the Harry Potter theme, go Latin Teacher!).

Jeanette B if you are reading this, watch out: as soon as one house is full, announce that it is full and sort the kids in the remaining three houses. I did not do this with the first class and I created some confusion/frustration.


  1. Thank you for daring to be different and for engaging students from day one!

    With appreciation from a retired middle school French teacher.

  2. 2nd year of Hogwarts to collectively set our expectations of each other was a success yesterday in French One! Thanks, Cecile, for your quick response. Now I’m trying to come up with a parallel team building activity with French 2 (cause I did Hogwarts with them last year). The theme will be students as the team and me as their learning coach. I plan to wear coach attire along with my new Québec flag cap. I’m looking for a simple activity to do with them that illustrates the importance of positive and collaborative communication. Ideas?

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