Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Will Pottermania fade in the Twilight era?

Look for news of midnight screenings or other opening day promotions in your area.
The hot new film is among an array of mid-July attractions, indoors and outside. Find an article, listing or ad on at least one other way to have fun locally.
Some papers invite Potter fans to share opinions about the film in print or online, or have forums for any topic. Find discussion areas where you could send comments.

Coming Wednesday to a theater nearby: You-know-who and The Half-Blood Prince. Yes, as sure as wizards wear green capes and purple robes, Harry Potter is back in movie houses with the sixth fantasy-adventure film based on mega-hit novels by J. K. Rowling. This time, Death Eaters wreak havoc in both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is a darker, less-protected haven. Amid battle preparations, Harry's long friendship with red-haired Ginny Weasley grows into something deeper.

Careful readers with good memories will see a number of changes from the book, including different scenes at the end. We'll keep mum about details to let you be surprised.

Speaking of an unwanted surprise, the Warner Brothers studio hopes the audience size isn't cut by shifting tastes among young readers since Potter mania began with the first book in 1997. "It will be interesting to see how the movie's brand of innocent romance plays with young audiences smitten by the neo-goth sexiness of Twilight," Entertainment Weekly says in this week's cover story. "Even Potter star Emma Watson read all four Twilight books after a friend turned her onto the series last year."

Just as with the release of each new book in the internationally huge series, this week's opening is clearly a Big Deal. Advance tickets are available -- with many theaters sold out -- and some showings are set for midnight Tuesday, a fitting hour for wizards and also the soonest Warner's policy permits.
This is the last Potter film set within Hogwarts School. Though Rowling wrote seven Potter books, two more films are ahead because Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be split into two feature-length movies to extend the -- yes -- magic.

Actress says: "My world is still all about Harry Potter," she says. "I really can't see anything beyond it." -- Emma Watson, who's heading to college

Reviewer writes: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a tour-de-force that combines style and substance, special effects and heart and most importantly great performances from all of the actors young and not-so-young." -- Paul Dergarabedian,

IMAX version: The new film's 3-D release hits IMAX theaters in two weeks, delayed until July 29 because Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was booked onto those big screens first.

Front Page Talking Points is written by Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2014
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