Page in Japanese

The Harry Potter Game

Author = Bridget McNamara
Level = Kids to Adults
Target_English = Verbs
big_small = Big groups

( If you don't have much preparation time, instead of rolled up newspapers, you can also just have the Voldemorts hold up their hands and use their finger as a wand. As Bridget suggested, getting the caught Harry Potters to shout out "Help me Harry" ( or even just "Help, Help") works really well! - Richard)

The Harry Potter Game is based on Candlesticks or Stuck in the Mud.
When I did this game with my students, I taught them the question/answer set of "What are you doing?" "I'm dancing/jumping/cooking/playing soccer etc", but other teachers who have played the Harry Potter Game said it worked with animal or action vocab too.

(Perhaps in a previous class) teach the vocab (try the Warm Up Game) . Get them motivated, by saying we're gonna play the Harry Potter Game!

1. On the day, roll newspaper into wands and go outside.
2. Divide the class, give wands to 1/3 and they become Voldemort (sorry for mentioning his name).
3. The remaining wandless 2/3s are Harry Potter.
4. Give the Harry Potters a 10-second head start then let the Voldemorts loose.
5. When a Voldemort catches a Harry Potter, they wave their wand and shout an instruction at Harry eg jump/dance. Harry Potter then has to do that action in the same spot until they are saved.
5. The spell is broken when a FREE Harry Potter comes along and asks "What are you doing?" and the caught Harry Potter replies "I'm jumping/dancing". With that complete, Harry Potter is now free and the world is okay again!

We swapped over the Voldemorts and Harrys several times within a lesson and the kids do get quite tired, but they love it and request it often!

You can extend the target vocab by teaching them wand, wizard etc, plus I also taught the captured Harrys to call out 'Help me Harry' to draw attention to themselves.

But be warned if you play with kids you will become a target for the entire Voldemort population, and will find yourself either jumping or spinning for the entire lesson. But I guess at least you'll burn off lunch that day! 

Written by Bridget McNamara

Harry Potter Game in Video

Here's a video of the Harry Potter game using "How are you?".
There are a couple of things to point out here. The first major one is that when the teacher asks quite a few of the kids, they just go "eh?" which tends to suggest they haven't been using the English when they were playing with their friends. So make sure you use the song, or whatever methods you use, to make sure the kids know what they are supposed to be saying!

Also when teaching questions and sentences, try not to split the words up into "how - are - you?", try to keep the sentence flowing like you would normally say it, because that's the English the kids will hear in real life!

Readers' Comments

This game is great and works well for a lot of age groups. It also gets you outside on sunny days!!!  Another way to play the game is when Voldemort catches a Harry Potter and gives a command ( i.e. swimming,  studying) the `frozen` Harry Potter mimes the action as before. This time though, the rescuing Harry Potters have to ask "Are you ________ing" and guess correct to "un freeze" Harry. It can work on any level. Using the hungry ,sad, cold, hot, happy, great, good, OK, is also fun. Since Narnia will get here soon you can even re-name it to some of the characters in that. Good luck   


Readers' Comments

I really enjoyed using the Harry Potter Game with my second year students! Since they're a little too young for the Harry Potter craze, I changed the name to "Pika Pika Go!" and named the two teams "Pikachu" and "Team Rocket". We used it to practice action vocab, very simple. Team rocket said a vocab word, i.e. 'dance', and Pikachu had to dance until another Pikachu touched them and said the word again. I taught them "Help me!" and "Let's get Pikachu!" and it worked out really well!


Readers' Comments

I am so psyched to try this in my 106-kid-strong 3rd grade class.
Great site!


Readers' Comments



Readers' Comments

I just tried the Harry Potter game with "I want to".  I enjoyed it, but heard the kids getting the sentences wrong on occasion.  After the first round, I added a new character to the mix and proclaimed myself Dumbledor.  He was immune to Voldemort and could use his wand on him.  I found this helped me to stop and take the time to help the Harrys with the grammar.  This way I did not have to worry about a Voldemort hitting me or the student, and the student could take his or her time getting the sentence correct.  It also helped the Voldemorts get some practice with the vocab.  I forced myself to walk to still let the game be focused on the kids, though. - David

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