Advertisement

HomeAcademics & ActivitiesLearning Activities

Reading wizards

What's better than reading Harry Potter? Visiting the magical world of Hogwarts with a group of friends.

By Valle Dwight

It’s no accident that the Harry Potter series has fans of all ages and interests — the stories feature drama, friendship, danger, and ultimate triumph. But if you can’t get your kids to read it, it may as well be Crime and Punishment. A book group can help even reluctant readers partake in the pleasures of reading this addictive series.

The project: Start a wizardly reading group

Get ready: Convene your club

  • Your child begins by calling or emailing a few friends. Invite those friends to ask another friend until you have the group size you want.
  • Set up an initial meeting at your house.
  • Allow the kids to participate in setting the rules: How often and where will you meet? How much reading will members be expected to do? What’s the group’s name?

Make it happen: It’s more than just reading

To keep the group engaged and coming back, make sure you include some Potter-inspired activities after each discussion. Ideas to get you started:

  • Divide the book group into teams (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin if you have enough kids, otherwise stick with rivals Gryffindor and Slytherin) and challenge them to win points by answering questions about the book.
  • Play a game of Quidditch, using broomsticks and some goals. The kids can write down the rules based on what they’ve read in the book. They take the roles of the Seeker, Chasers, Beaters, and Goalies. There’s no need to follow the rules to the letter — if the kids want to make up their own version, that’s fine.
  • Encourage the kids write a student handbook for Hogwarts, detailing the traditions, rules, and any other must-know information.
  • Make up a book-related crossword puzzle for the kids to solve. Search the web for a “free crossword puzzle maker” for sites that will create one for you.
  • Organize a quiz show in which the kids compete to answer questions from the book.

Valle Dwight is a reporter, writer, and mother of two school-aged boys. She has written for many magazines, including FamilyFun, Wondertime, and Working Mother.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

02/3/2010:
"I love this idea & this article gives excellent instructions on how to do it. I grew up in the city where there is a definite learning gap. Parents would do well to follow this model & you don't have to buy a book to get useful tips. "
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT