Learn At Home With A Harry Potter Vocabulary Challenge For Kids

With schools closed across the country, plenty of newly homeschooling parents are taking advantage of the chance to read more with their kids. That means the Harry Potter books and movies are both seeing a lot more usage this month.

Whether you’re a reading family or a movie-watching family or maybe doing a bit of both, here’s a twist on our Disney Movie Word Challenge to engage your children and boost their vocabulary at the same time! Minerva McGonagall and Albus Dumbledore would definitely approve.

First, the instructions:

  1. Before starting each book or movie, go over the word list for the specific movie with your child.
  2. Ask your child if they remember the word or if it sounds new to them.
  3. Ask them to use it in a sentence about the book or movie.
  4. Once they understand, enter the world of Harry Potter! Tell them to jump up, do a little dance, or wiggle around when they hear the word and then tell you the definition.
  5. If you can catch that moment on video, share it to social media! Be sure to tag @dictionarycom and use the hashtag #DictionaryMovieWordChallenge or #DictionaryBookWordChallenge.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

sorcerer: a person who practices magic; a wizard

dumbledore: in addition to the name of the Hogwarts headmaster, this is also a British word for a bumblebee

Draco: a constellation which is also known as the Dragon

Minerva: Like Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall’s name also doubles as a word; Minerva means wise woman

potter: a person who makes pottery

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

chamber: a room

basilisk: a mythical serpent-like creature, said to kill by its breath or look

muggle: a nonmagical person

petrified: paralyzed with horror, astonishment or other strong emotions

riddle: a puzzling question, thing or person

More from Dictionary.com: The Meanings Behind “Harry Potter” Spells

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Sirius: in astronomy, Sirius is known as the Dog Star, the brightest-appearing star in the sky

expecto patronum: “I await a patron”; a patron is defined as a protector

hippogriff: a fictitious creature that is half horse, half griffin

quidditch: a game in which players fly on broomsticks

divination: the practice of foretelling the future

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

goblet: a drinking glass with a base and stem

Hufflepuff: one of the four houses of Hogwarts; Hufflepuffs are patient, hard-working and fair.

granger: a farmer

crouch: to bend close to the ground

avada kedavra: origin of abracadabra, means let the things be destroyed

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

phoenix: a mythical bird that rises from its own ashes

apparition: a supernatural appearance of a person or thing, especially a ghost

luna: a goddess personifying the moon

pansy: a violet

Lucius: from a Latin word meaning “light”

More From Dictionary.com: Learn At Home Activity: Play ’80s Movie Word Bingo With The Kids

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

hagrid: afflicted with worry or dread; tormented

horcrux: object created by dark magic

marauder: someone who roams around in quest of plunder

felix: from a latin word meaning “happy, lucky”

gaunt: extremely thin and bony

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Bellatrix: a blue-white star in the constellation Orion

skeeter: mosquito

diadem: crown

bard: a poet

resurrection: the act of rising from the dead

Need more resources for learning at home with your kids? Get updates every time we add another learning activity by signing up for the Dictionary.com Parent Portal email

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