lemonade learning Harry Potter
Novel Study

Custom Search

This is an overview designed to get you started.
For additional activities, see the Lemonade Wizard page.

Back to the Top

The Harry Potter books appeal to a wide age range. The first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is appropriate for students in grades 4-6, while the later books would suit students slightly older.

The questions become progressively more challenging or involved moving down the page. The main focus here will be on book 1 and the overall series.

 The Basics   Challenging Questions   Challenging Writing Activities   Taking it a Step Further   For the Whole Series   External Links   Internal Links 

The Basics

Make a title page for your work that includes your own name, the author's name, the publication city and year of the book, the book title, the date of the project, etc. Be sure to make your artwork interesting and unique.

Make a chart of the most important characters in the book, and another with the secondary characters. Beside their names, make columns for their personal details. You might include some of the following categories: School House, Age, Relationship to Harry, Favourite Thing To Do, Best Friend etc.

In your own words, summarize the story in a page or less.

Describe the similarities and differences between life as a wizard and life as a muggle.

Compare the details from the book with those in the movie. What parts are different? Why do you think that is?

Part of the magic of the Harry Potter books lies in the details, depth of characterization and the subplots. Choose one of these and explain the contributions it makes to the overall story. For example, in what ways does J. K. Rowling use Norbert in book 1? You could explain how Norbert shows Hagrid's relationship with magical (and dangerous) creatures, the way he is quick to trust strangers, especially when there are wild creatures involved, how Draco Malfoy is quick to report him, how it introduces dragons into the story early on in the series, and how it gives an excuse to introduce Charlie Weasley into the story.

What If

If you could make up your own spell, what would it be and what would it do?

Create your own potion recipe and instructions. What does your potion do to the person who drinks it?

Draw, paint or sculpt your own magical creature. What is its name? Where is it found? What different qualities does it posses which make it unique? Would it make a good pet? Create your own myth surrounding your creature.

Challenging Questions

Why do you think Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia agreed to take care of Harry?

Do you think that Hagrid is reliable? Discuss.

Why do you think wizard training starts so late?

Why would muggle clothing seem odd to wizards?

What would you see if you looked into the Mirror of Erised? What do you think (Hermione, Hagrid, Snape, Draco, Filch, Professor McGonagall, Neville) would see?

In what ways would having the Philosopher's stone improve your life? In what ways would it make your life worse?

What is a bezoar used for, and where would you find one?

Do you think the wizarding world could benefit from muggle inventions?

Do you think Luna is crazy, wise, or a little of each? Use examples to support your answer.

What do you think the future relations between wizards and house elves will look like? What changes will happen, and how will they come about?

What do you think the future relations between wizards and goblins will look like? What changes will happen, and how will they come about?

Do you think that in the future of the Harry Potter world, the secrecy that wizards keep from muggles would be maintained? Discuss.

Which of the three hallows do you think would be the most useful? Support your answer.

Challenging Writing Activities

Write a newspaper article from a wizard's point of view describing a muggle item not commonly seen or used in the wizarding world.

Create a limerick that Peeves might use.

Choose a secondary character and write a short biography about them based on their life either before or after Harry's time at Hogwarts.

Where would Professor Snape (Trelawney, McGonagall, Sprout, Flitwick) go for a holiday, and why? Write a postcard from him to your choice of professor.

Write a journal entry from Hermione's point of view.
Some suggestions: the day she receives her acceptance letter to Hogwarts; the day she arrives at Hogwarts; the day she overhears Ron complaining about her; the day before final exams

Write a journal entry from Professor Dumbledore's point of view.

How do you think owning the Philosopher's Stone would affect your daily life? Consider your friendships, career(s), hobbies, family, etc.

Create a wizarding job description, such as a teaching job at Hogwarts, a banking job at Gringotts, a post at the Ministry of Magic, a job as a dragon trainer, an apprentice wandmaker, a night bus driver, an apprentice broom maker, or any other wizarding job you choose. Post it in a public place, then have students create a wizard's resume and cover letter to apply for one of the jobs.

Taking it a Step Further

What do you think a wizard exam would look like for potions, transfiguration, charms, etc.? Create your own exams, then see if the muggles around you can pass a wizarding exam.

Set up an owl mail station in your classroom, and encourage the students to use it to share personal as well as class-wide news. You can take this a step further with pen pals or email friends.

Choose a magical creature and research its mythology. In what ways do different authors describe the same creature? Draw or model your creature as well. Would it make a good pet? Why or why not?

Although it seems silly to us now, the study of alchemy in the middle ages was highly regarded and practiced by many scientists. What sciences were born from this? Choose a scientist from the middle ages, and explain how alchemy may have caused him or her to make scientific discoveries.

If Nicholas Flammel has been alive for over 600 years, what are the most significant changes in the world that he might have experienced within his lifetime? Make a timeline to show the most significant events and changes.

Create a diorama of one of the places found in the series. Consider Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, the Muggle world, the homes of various characters as well as places within Hogwarts.

Writing Challenges Based on the Entire Series

Choose one of the following and discuss its significance throughout the series:
- hands
- jewellery
- socks
- the colour green
- mirrors
- predictions and prophesies

What effect did hearing the prophesy have on Harry's actions? Discuss.

Discuss the role that personal choice has in the series using two different characters for contrast.

Was Sybil Trelawney a fraud? Discuss.

What do you think happened to number 12 Grimmauld Place after the series?

What long-term effect, if any, do you think the events in the books would have on the following:
- House Elves
- Giants
- Goblins
- Centaurs
- Squibs

Compare this story with another "hero's quest" story. Contrast the different ways the authors approach various common elements (being chosen, prophesy, fate, rule of three, period of reflection, personal choice, journey, final battle, magical artifacts, magic spells, etc.).

External Links

Mugglenet includes master lists of spells and potions from the books; essays about various aspects of the books, and interviews with J.K. Rowling

The Ontario Curriculum online

The Leaky Cauldron features interesting HP-themed crafts and recipes as well as interviews and essays

The Harry Potter Lexicon list of spells, charms, potions, creatures, etc., with links to French and Spanish resources

J. K. Rowling's official website a bit tricky to navigate

Pottermore Interactive Online Experience

Harry Potter Paper Dolls

3-D Paper Snitch Model

3-D Paper Model Of Harry Potter

Internal Links

More Harry Potter Activities

Harry Potter Recipes

Harry Potter Crafts

Harry Potter Themed Games

Plant (Herbology) Experiments and Crafts

Curriculum-Based Party Plans

Science and Craft Concoctions

Strange Science

Advanced Science Experiments

Lemonade Writing Page

Lemonade Book Picks

Halloween Activity Index

Kid-Friendly Recipes

Gift Ideas Kids Can Make