Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
By J. K. Rowling. Illustrations by Mary Grandpre'. 
Arthur A. Levine Books, Scholastic Press, 1998
Activities 2000 Nancy Polette

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Harry's aunt and uncle, the Dursleys, were so mean and hideous that summer that all he wanted to do was get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. Harry does return to school where fresh torments and horrors arise. 

The reader is introduced to a stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and commiserates with Harry who tries to dodge the unwanted attentions of his best friend, Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins and someone or something begins turning Hogwarts' students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects, Harry Potter himself?

Questions to Think About: 
  1. Is superior skill or superior equipment most important in winning a game? Why? 
  2. Why did Hogwarts students believe Harry was turning people to stone? 
  3. At the time Dumbledore was fired, did he know Harry was in the room? Explain your answer.
  4. Suppose Moaning Myrtle had not been a character in the story. How would the story change? 
  5. Create a quote from Harry Potter about success.
Alliterative Titles 
Most of the titles in the bookstore have words that begin with the same letter. Examples are Break with a Banshee, Gadding with Ghouls and Holidays with Hags

Suppose the bookstore had a biography section featuring some of the characters in this book. What alliterative title would you give for each?

  1. Parselmouth, a person who can talk to snakes.
  2. Aragog, a blind spider the size of a small elephant.
  3. Dobby, a small house elf.
  4. Cornish Pixie, an eight inch high electric blue man.
Exercising Your Imagination 
The author, J. K. Rowling uses her imagination to create unusual characters and objects. 
Pepperup Lotion
is a cure for colds. 
is a correspondence course in beginning magic. 
A Howler
is a letter that screams at the recipient. 

Here are exercises to help stretch your imagination. 

Name many items that are: 

  1. As important as the written word.
  2. As useless as eyeglasses without lenses.
  3. As complex as the human mind.
  4. As intricate as a spider web.
  5. As obese as a whale. 
  6. As insignificant as a grain of sand.
Your Reaction

Give your reaction to the characters and plot of the novel by completing the patterns below.

1. Complete for your favorite character 

First name____________________________________ 
Four traits________, ___________, __________, _________ 
Related to____________________________________________________
Cares deeply about_____________________________________________ 
Who needs___________________________________________________ 
Who fears___________________________________________________ 
Who would like to see_________________________________________

2. Describe one incident from the novel using the Fortunately/Unfortunately pattern.
FORTUNATELY _____________________________________________
UNFORTUNATELY __________________________________________

Use the pattern to write a chant about another character

Harry Potter was a child who drove his Aunt and Uncle wild 
They're afraid of all his spells "Don't use magic," Uncle yells.
Harry went to Hogwart's School, tried to follow every rule
Those who dare to walk alone find they might be turned to stone.
Who was guilty? Who was scary? Students turned their eyes on Harry
But before the term was done Harry found the evil one.
Found the Chamber and a snake, Voldemort's life he would take
Though the dangers faced were many, Harry rescued Ron and Ginny .
Strength and courage Harry had, Voldemort was very bad
Hogwarts has a hero bold his brave deed for years be told.