Hogwarts for Muggles: The Ministry of Magic



Civic education and understanding of government function is necessary not only in the wizard world of Harry Potter, but also in the Muggle world. In this class, I’ll use the structure of Hogwarts to teach learners the basic structure and function of government in a fun way.



Meets for 40 minutes once per week for 6 weeks.

“Civic education is critical,” says Marcie Taylor-Thoma, vice chairperson of the Maryland Commission for Civic Literacy, which was created in 1997 to promote civic education by developing programs to educate students and by preparing resources to assist civics educators. “We believe people really need to be involved in their communities rather than be apathetic,” says Taylor-Thoma. “There’s a tie in to participation that comes from learning about civics at a young age and through higher education. Successful people are those who understand how government works and what it means to be a citizen.”

During this course, I will use a combination of videos, slideshows, handouts, and oral presentation to help learners gain a solid understanding of the topics below. We have a topic question which will be answered during class. Each class, except the last, will require a short writing exercise completed during class (time permitting) related to the topic question. Learners will share their writing with the class; I can read for those who would prefer.


Anticipated Course Outline

Weekly Topic Questions:
Week 1: What was life like before the Declaration of Independence? What would Hogwarts be like without structure?
• Discussion of why the U.S. was formed and what the early days were like
• Introduction to the Hogwarts administration structure and each position’s function
• Related writing exercise
Week 2: What is a government, what is the basic structure of your country’s government, and how is this similar to or different from the administration structure of Hogwarts?
• Introduction to the U.S. government structure and each position’s function
• Introduction to the Declaration of Independence
• Related writing exercise
Week 2: What is a Constitution?
• Philadelphia Convention
• Benefits of a Constitution
• Related writing exercise
Week 3: How does the Constitution limit our government?
• Introduction to the branches of government
• Comparison to administration structure of Hogwarts
• Related writing exercise
Week 4: How does the Constitution protect our rights?
• Bill of Rights
• Discussion: What might a Hogwarts Bill of Rights look like?
• Related writing exercise
Week 5: What is a good citizen?
• Roles of good citizens and how to promote the common good
• Compare and contrast with roles of good citizens at Hogwarts
• Related writing exercise
Week 6:
• Comprehensive Review and preparation for O.W.L. exam to be taken during class, time permitting.


Mon Nov 5, 1pm – 1:40pm Eastern
Mon Nov 12, 1pm – 1:40pm Eastern
Mon Nov 19, 1pm – 1:40pm Eastern
Mon Dec 3, 1pm – 1:40pm Eastern
Mon Dec 10, 1pm – 1:40pm Eastern
Mon Dec 17, 1pm – 1:40pm Eastern