Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Harry Potter Alive and Well In the Sorcerers Stone

Barbara Nedza


Want to make learning about an author's purpose more interesting and fun? In this activity the children brainstorm an author's purpose, and then they use their own imagination to draw pictures that illustrate what the purpose is.


The student identifies and discusses the author's purpose in text.


-One copy of HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE by J.K. Rowling.Scholastic Press.USA.1996
-A small display table (a student's table would be fine)
-Enough material to cover the table (preferably soft and dark)
-One small box (shoe box would be fine)
-One can of spray paint (hot pink if available)
-One river rock approximately eight inches in size
-Teacher's chart paper for writing down the children's brainstorming
-Large marker to write on the chart paper with
-A copy of the worksheet for each child (see attached file)
-A variety of fine tipped colored markers for the children
-Colored pencils for the children
-Pencils for each child
-Background information on J.K. Rowling. See weblinks.
-An enlarged version of the student's worksheet


1. Introduce the book to the children.
2. Read the introduction on the back of the book, or read the information that you find on the inside flaps of the dust cover of the book to the class.
3. Discuss things that the children may already know about the author.
4. Read aloud to the class the book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, two chapters each day for three week prior to this activity.
5. Spray paint an eight-inch river rock hot pink.
6. Get enough soft dark material to cover the small display table.
7. Set up stone display before the children come into the classroom.
8. Duplicate a class set of student worksheets.
9. Hang a sheet of chart paper in a convenient place to write on, and for the children to be able to see easily.
10. Have the markers and colored pencils ready for the children to use.
11. Prepare a large version of the student's worksheet to put examples on.


1. This activity begins after the book has been read to the children.

2. On the day after you have finished reading the book, and before the children arrive for class, place a shoe box in the middle of a display table. Cover the table and the shoe box with the soft, dark material. Once you have covered the table, place the eight-inch river rock on the box in the center of the table.

3. Inform the students that today we are investigating the author's purpose in his or her writing. Explain that since they have just finished listening to the book HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, they will be discussing the author's purpose in that particular book. Inform the students that following the class discussion of the author's purpose, they will draw three different pictures of events in the book that illustrate their idea of the author's purpose. They will be expected to make an oral presentation in front of the class where they will present their ideas and illustrations to the class.

4. Ask the children if they know who wrote the book.

5. If the children do or do not remember the author's name, write her name, J.K. Rowling, on the chart paper.

6. Ask the children what they remember about the author from their previous discussion before the book was read to the class. Discuss any additional information that the children may have gained over the period of time that the book was being read in class, and then give the children some further background information on J.K. Rowling. See attachment for suggested questions. Use the websites to find further information out about Ms. Rowling.

7. Ask the children why they think J.K. Rowling wrote the book. On the chart paper, write down all the children's answers.

8. Explain that a writer often has other reasons for writing that may not be obvious at first One such example would be the book, THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH. Our first thought about the author's purpose is that he/she wants the story to entertain the reader. But, with just a little more thinking, we also see that the author wants to inform the reader about a greedy, selfish child, and what the consequences can be if one is greedy and selfish.

9. Using the questions in the attachment and others that you create, help the children to be think beyond their first reasons and ideas about the author's purpose.

10. As the children answer the questions add these additional answers on to the chart paper.

11. Explain to the children that they are now going to write/draw their own illustration in which they share their idea of why J.K. Rowling wrote the book, Harry Potter, and Sorcerer's Stone. In the center of the student's paper, have the children write a word or short phrase to describe what they believe the author's purpose is in this book. The first example of the author's purpose would be to entertain the reader. As a class brainstorm three events from the story that entertained them. A second example of the author's purpose would be to scare the reader. Once again, brainstorm three times when the author created a scary event. Using an enlarged version of the student's work sheet draw a simple picture to illustrate the event.

12. Remind the children that on the worksheet they will need to show (3) different events from the story, that illustrate their idea of the author's purpose.

13. Using the enclosed rubric, evaluate the students on whether their illustrations depict the author's purpose that they have chosen and they followed the criteria for an oral presentation.


Using the attached rubric assess a child's illustrations that should depict (3) different events from the book that identify the author's purpose for writing. In addition to the pictures. he/she will orally explain how each of the illustrations reflects the author's purpose. For an example, if the child decides that the author's purpose is to entertain the reader, then in his/her illustrations there should be three different events from the story that they found entertaining. One such picture might be the letters pouring down into the kitchen, this was amusing and scary. Both of these are entertaining to the reader. Another picture might be when Harry was in the wand shop. The children might find it amazing and interesting to be in a wizarding shop. They might find it interesting to find out just how a wizard went about buying a wand. Once again they are being entertained by the author. In their oral presentation the child should use words such as liked, enjoyed, was intrigued, and surprised. All of these words would be examples of how the author entertained the reader.

Web Links

Web supplement for Harry Potter Alive and Well In the Sorcerers Stone
Meet J.K. Rowling

Web supplement for Harry Potter Alive and Well In the Sorcerers Stone Presents Harry Potter

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.