Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
By J. K. Rowling. Illustrations by Mary Grandpre'. 
Arthur A. Levine Books, Scholastic Press, 1997
Activities 2000 Nancy Polette

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Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to catch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley, a great big swollen spoiled bully. 
Harry's room is in a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger. The letter is an invitation to an incredible place that Harry will find unforgettable. For it is at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that Harry finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him if he can survive the encounter.
Questions to Think About: 
  1. Cite specific instances where the author blends the real world with Harry's fantasy world. Why do you think she places the characters in two very different worlds? 
  2. While Professor Snape did not turn out to be the villain of the story, what incidents led you to believe that he was? Why do you think the author kept pointing the finger of suspicion at him? 
  3. What abilities did Harry have that allowed him to become the star of the Quidditch team? Do you think the author is saying that everyone has special abilities to enable them to star at something? Why or why not? 
  4. Was it the cloak of invisibility, Harry's magic powers or Harry's determination not to give up that saved the stone? Why do you think so? 
  5. What role did Hagrid's dragon play in the story?
  6. What lessons about life did Harry learn outside the classrooms at Hogwarts?
Mind Pictures 
The author uses descriptive words to create the mind picture she wants the reader to see. 

Use the most descriptive words possible to create a mind picture for your reader. More than one word can go on a line.

The long hallway was as dark as __________________. Professor Snape crept cautiously along the corridor reaching out to find his way with hands that were ________________. A faint light from the very end of the hall cast shadows of ________________________before him. Professor Snape stopped, afraid of what he would find around the corner. Slowly, slowly he stretched his ________________________________neck until his eyes locked in horror on a ____________________ It was guarding the door that led to the room where the Sorcerer's Stone lay. The creature sensed a foreign presence and let out an eerie ______________________that made the hairs on the Professor's neck stand on end. And then the creature saw Snape! With a terrible ___________the creature _________________________. Snape reacted quickly and ______________ ______________________leaving the monster ________________________ __________________________and the stone untouched.

Magic Poetry
Choose one of the magic items Harry learned to use at the school. You might choose a broomstick, a magic wand, a cauldron, a cloak of invisibility, or a mirror that tells the future. Write about the item using the pattern that follows.

 _______________________________________________(Name the item.) They call me _________________________________________________ 
The colors that surround me are___________________________________ 
And remind one of ____________________________________________
As an employee at Hogwarts I ___________________________________ 
My garments are __________________________ and ________________
My energy source is ___________________________________________
 I am related to _______________________________________________ 
I vacation at __________________________________________________ 
And without my services ________________________________________ 
Hogwarts' students would_______________________________________

A Game of Words 
The author creates many unusual situations in this novel from riding on firebolts, which are high performance broomsticks, to meeting Parslemouths, wizards who can talk to snakes. 

In order to create new characters, places and objects, the author must also create new words. You, too, can be creative by playing with words in a different way. Look at the words that follow. Choose two and combine them to make a new compound word. Then tell how a wizard would use this new thing. Create an illustrated dictionary of at least ten words.

bridge foot  break wind  cast broad 
 box  mail  man porch  sun work
home water rain book note fish
cat pick tooth light flash leader
cheer time supper board card  sty
pig sauce apple worm meal  

Example: Combine foot and pick to make the new word footpick. When a wizard wants to dig up his gold he says magic words to turn his foot into a pick and starts digging.

Singing the Story
Fill in the missing words and sing to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean."

There once was a young boy named (1)H__________________
His Uncle and Aunt were so mean,
They gave him a spider-filled (2) c ________________________
Where he was not heard and not seen.

Harry, Harry
There are many things that you do not know,
Harry, Harry
Just wait and your knowledge will grow.

A wise owl delivered a (3) m________________________________
That Harry should go to a school,
To learn how to be a great (4) w____________________________
So no one would think him a fool.

Then Harry learned how to play (5) Q__________________________
On broomsticks made of shining wood,
But bad things were happening at (6) H___________________________
A professor was up to no good.

To save the (7) s________________________ Harry intended
For he was a boy of strong will,
Defeating the forces of (8) e________________________________
He used all of his wizard's skill.

The bad person was a professor
Who pretended to be Harry's friend,
But good will triumph over evil, 
And so this tale comes to an end.

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