Sunday, February 08, 2004

Harry Potter FanFic Helps Kids Learn to Write

I wasn't going to blog today (really, I wasn't!), but then I saw this on Boing Boing Blog: Why Heather Can Write.

Through online discussions of fan writing, the teen writers develop a vocabulary for talking about writing and they learn strategies for rewriting and improving their own work. When they talk about the books themselves, the teens make comparisons with other literary works or draw connections with philosophical and theological traditions; they debate gender stereotyping in the female characters; they cite interviews with the writer or read critiques of the works; they use analytic concepts they probably wouldn't encounter until they reached the advanced undergraduate classroom.

It's a good thing I have to go meet with my mentee (it's easier to get grading done in a cafe), or I'd probably spend the rest of the day reading the fan-fic sites, responding here, and thinking about how this could interface with the classroom (if it could). I'm not going to. Instead, I'm going to let you all read the article and ponder it for yourselves!

I highly recommend that you take a look at The Daily Prophet, Heather's on-line Hogwarts newspaper. She's starting to franchise the paper - letting other kids become professors (editors) of their own branches of the paper - so that more kids can participate.

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