Thornton teacher creates ‘Harry Potter’ themed curriculum

THORNTON, Colo. -- Teachers are always coming up with new ways to keep their students engaged. One educator at an Adams 12 Five Star school took a chance when she created a new curriculum centered around "Harry Potter."

“I knew as a teacher that something that I needed to improve upon is teaching genetics," said 7th-grade science teacher Cyndi Colston.

Colston used the "Harry Potter" series to get students excited about genetics.

“They were so into it, I just kept thinking, 'I wonder if I can do more and more with this,'" said Colston.

What started as a basic idea blossomed into an entire curriculum. Her classroom is now a hybrid between science class and "Harry Potter" World. Colston uses the traits in the series to break down the science behind genetics.

“For example, Hermione is a wizard, but her parents are muggles, so our big question on day three is to figure out what’s going on with Hermione,” Colston said.

“The growth that students go through from start to finish... their genetics knowledge is insane," said another teacher, Elizabeth Lockwood. “I wouldn’t feel good about myself teaching it any other way.”

Other teachers have adopted the curriculum. Students are also raving about it.

“It’s honestly a life changer and it helps so much. And it’s going to stick with us forever and it’s something that we’re going to remember," said student Aurora Reid.

"It’s the most engaging thing that I do all year long, and it's truly one of the most rewarding things too," Colston said.

Colston wants to get the "Harry Potter" genetics curriculum published and into more schools.

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