These project ideas can easily be modified for any Harry Potter book. Got a project idea? Submit it here!My fourth graders have been creating Hogwarts yearbooks. They have divided the books into sections featuring pictures of each of the house's members, faculty, and activities such as Quidditch and the Halloween feast. They created the covers for their yearbooks using tag board.
Perry W. Rogers, Pueblo West, CO, Fourth Grade (www.scholastic.com)
In my eighth grade communications class, students worked together in their "houses" to create flags, wizard cards, and advertisements. We ended the unit by writing a persuasive essay on the many school districts that have unfortunately banned the book. With the second book, each student is assigned a story element (colors, numbers, names, racism, conflict, etc.) to follow throughout the novel. This allows students to actively participate in group discussions.
Angie Miller, Crouse, NC, Eighth Grade (www.scholastic.com)
My students have been working on Harry Potter art projects both in pairs and individually. These projects have been useful for working on reading skills, recalling facts and details, learning about sequential order, and oral presentation skills.
Trading cards: Students draw pictures of characters, scenes, or events and record
information about them on the back. When they are finished, they decide which order
the characters, scenes, or events were introduced and present them in that order.
Maps: Students work in groups to design a map of Harry's home on Privet Drive, of
Hogwarts, the Forbidden Forest, or Diagon Alley. The maps are bulletin-board-sized,
large enough for all to see from across the room. Each group has to read carefully and look for details in order to re-create the imaginary space.
Dioramas: Our last project is dioramas, one on each chapter of the book. Students use them in their oral presentations. As part of their presentations they ask quiz
questions that the scenes in the dioramas help to answer.
Ida S. Gutierrez, La Feria, TX, Fifth Grade (www.scholastic.com)
I have recently started a new project with my kids. You take two pieces of paper (tagboard is preferable), fold them in half, then you glue one side of each paper together, forming a wall between the two other halves. It looks something like this __/\__. This creates a two-sided diorama. On one side of the page you put a scene from the beginning of the book and on the other side a scene from later in the book. For example, the first scene could be Harry arriving at the Dursleys', the second could be Harry arriving at Hogwarts.
Julianne Raney, Indianapolis, Indiana, Sixth Grade (www.scholastic.com)
The Harry Potter books do not have illustrations of the wizard characters. Set up a picture frame on a duplicating master and have the kids draw a portrait of one of the wizards such as Hagrid, Professor Dumbledore, Professor Snape, or the infamous Voldemort. Hang the portraits and make a Portrait Gallery.
Ann Martha, Philadelphia, PA, Sixth Grade (www.scholastic.com)
Students work in small groups to generate a "menu with prices" for each of several stores described from reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Students develop a shopping list, then are given a card describing how much money was sent from home, and how much can be earned from chores at Hogwarts. A budget is drawn up, then a shopping trip happens. (Students must measure many body parts before shopping at the Wizard's clothing supply shop.)
Jan Caimi, Chesterfield, MO, Third Grade (www.scholastic.com)
House Cup Awards
Motivate students in academics and behavior by initiating a "house cup" as Hogwarts School did with Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Divide the class into four groups and let each decide on a house name. Invite them to design a crest to symbolize their house. Set aside bulletin board or wall space to display the crests. Award points for academic achievement and positive behavior and post them next to the crests. Periodically, award the "House Cup" (a paper trophy) to the group with the most points.
Janet Worthington-Samo, St. Clement School, Johnstown, PA (scholastic.com)
Reader's Treasure Hunt
Challenge students to create literary treasure hunts that send classmates back to the novels to find details. Divide students into several small groups. Give each group ten index cards and a small treasure — something shareable such as jellybeans. Encourage each group to follow these steps to create their treasure hunt:
* Hide their treasure somewhere in the classroom.
* Write each letter in the name of the hiding spot on a different index card.
* On the flip side of each card, write a question about an event or detail from the book. I Include the page number.
* Place cards in a stack with the questions face up and exchange them with another
group. Each group works together to answer a set of questions. Then they
unscramble the letters to name the spot where the treasure is hidden! Use this
game to enhance the children's reading experience of any book.
Adapted from an idea by Judy Wetzel, Woodburn School, Falls Church VA (scholastic)
Dear Harry Letters
Set up an "Owl Post" in your classroom to help children understand characters and practice letter writing. Decorate a box with pictures of owls that kids draw, and cut a slit in the lid. Label it "Owl Post." Invite each student to write a letter to a character. Encourage them to ask questions that invite a response. Mail the letters at the "Owl Post" and deliver them to students at random. Ask them to respond to letters written by their classmates "in character." Display the letters in pairs on a bulletin board labeled "Special Delivery from the Owl Post."
Bob Krech, Dutch Neck School, Princeton Junction, NJ (scholastic.com)
Map the Setting
Working in groups, your class can design maps to correspond to the settings in the books — such as Harry's Muggle home on Privet Drive, Hogwarts school, or Diagon Alley. Use Harry's "marauder's map" as your example. Using the map helped Harry to know what was happening all around Hogwarts. These large and colorful maps will grow in detail as your students read and add what they they have learned.
Ida S. Gutierrez, La Feria, TX (scholastic.com)
Sorting Hat Bulletin Board
Help children track the events, characters, and settings of the Harry Potter books by using sorting hats! Create an outline with your students on a colorful sorting hat bulletin board. Write chapter numbers on the hat shapes. After reading a chapter, work together with children to record three or more significant events on star or moon shapes (or index cards). Staple the shapes to the chapter hat. Use the shape timelines to help children review previous readings and follow the plot.
Wendy Weiner, The Parkview School, Milwaukee, WI (scholastic.com)
Fun activity sheets to use with the books:
Create your own Hogwarts crest
Fill in your own Remembral
Draw your own bogart
Write your own Daily Prophet
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