Last Updated on September 25, 2022 by Laura
A couple of weeks before Halloween, our school library was transformed into Hogwarts as our whole school celebrated Harry Potter Week! Over the past couple of years, I’ve teamed up with the music and physical education teachers in my building to integrate our subject areas around a theme for a week or so. Our Harry Potter Week has been our most exciting so far!
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Collaborating With Other Specialists
I’m very fortunate to work with creative, enthusiastic, open minded colleagues! In the past we have worked together to facilitate integrated units on Irish Culture, Native American Culture, and the Winter Olympics. You can read an overview of our experiences in the article I wrote for the Library Learners blog: Collaborate With Your Specials Team.
For Harry Potter Week, students were assigned houses, learned to play Quidditch, and had “broomstick races” in physical education classes. In music classes, students chanted rhythms, learned to waltz, and even learned an original song composed by our talented music teacher!
On the Friday before our Harry Potter Week, I hand delivered these Platform 9 3/4 tickets and a Hogwarts letter to each classroom. I found a Harry Potter Freebie Pack from Martina Cahill on Teachers Pay Teachers that contains an editable letter, the tickets, and more! I wore my Harry Potter glasses with an old black cape over my Hufflepuff shirt, and even carried my wand in my back pocket as I made my deliveries. All of this created quite a stir among the students and teachers. One teacher emailed to tell me she’s waited all her life for her Hogwart’s letter!!
I created a “Welcome to Hogwarts” bulletin board to great the students as they walked into the library. I decorated the doors with directional signs of places from the books. I came in on the weekend to decorate so students and staff members would be surprised on Monday morning.
This Enchanted Forest photo backdrop was perfect to use for Harry Potter Week as well as my Enchanted Forest Book Fair! It was great for storytelling with our youngest students and the kids had fun taking photos in front of it during the book fair.
We found lots of ideas for our Harry Potter Week decorations on Pinterest. In the library, we transformed our space into “Hogwarts,” and familiar places from the book. My assistant is an artist and she created this amazing gigantic sorting hat!
We also decorated with floating candles (hot glue fishing line to battery operated candles & hang from the ceiling), house signs, Platform 9 3/4 and more! I purchased a roll of this brick paper (intended for photo backgrounds) from Amazon and I found the Platform 9 3/4 sign free online. We covered our 2 closet doors this way.
Since our library is in the center of 10 classrooms, this Harry Potter Week transformation created a lot of excitement beginning Monday morning!
Harry Potter Week Lessons
In library classes, 3rd – 5th graders completed a STEM challenge involving a golden snitch, and K-2 students tried invisible ink writing. I read a short summary of The Sorcerer’s Stone to K-2 classes, since many of them haven’t had the chance to read the books or watch the movies.
For some extra activities during checkout time, students could take the Harry Potter Sorting Hat Quiz, play Harry Potter “Would You Rather” Jenga, or color their house crest and reflect on the qualities that make them part of that house.
The Best Part of Harry Potter Week
By collaborating with my colleagues on this school wide theme, we created an excitement around reading the Harry Potter books. The conversations overheard in the faculty lounge and the lunch room were around details from the stories. It has been more than 20 years since The Sorcerer’s Stone was first published! Although most of our students and staff were familiar with Harry, there were some that hadn’t read the books or watched the movies yet. The whole experience reignited an interest in the books for everyone!
Let me help you with YOUR Harry Potter Week!
I’ve scoured Pinterest for all ideas for Harry Potter decor and have lots of great pins – check out my Harry Potter Pinterest Board!
No matter how you make it happen, I hope you will share your Harry Potter week stories with me! Be sure to comment below to share with all of us how this fun and engaging theme is helping you make your library the center of your school!
Be well and have fun!
I LOVE this blog post! I am currently a classroom teacher, but I am studying to be a Teacher-Librarian and am looking for ways to engage the students and school community as a beginner TL. I am also Harry Potter obsessed. I always read The Philosopher’s Stone to my classes, sort them into houses, and teach them to play Quidditch.
I love this idea of getting the whole school involved in a theme! I’ve seen libraries run a Literacy week, but I really like the idea of having one theme.
You have so many wonderful ideas and resources to use.
How long did it take you to plan and organize this event?
Do you use it every year or every couple of years or just once?
Had you done events like this before with a different theme?
Did you have to convince your staff to participate or did you have support pretty easily?
Thank you so much!
Hi Lisa! We planned ahead for Harry Potter Week – we probably started talking about it at least a month ahead of time. We have only done it once, but hope to alternate years because it was so popular. We have also done a Native American Week, Winter Olympics Week, Irish Culture Week. I’ve got a blog post about the Native American and Irish weeks. We’ve done some mini collaborations around Cinco de Mayo and Star Wars too! Best wishes on your classes – you’ll love the library!
Kim Patton says
What grades did you do this with? I am in a K-6 building. Our 4th grade teachers usually read Harry Potter as a read aloud each year, but we always have 1-2 families that don’t allow their student to listen, so as much as I would love this theme, I’m not sure I could pull it off!
Hi Kim! Harry Potter Week was a school-wide event. We have a K-5 school. We had alternative activities available for our families who were opposed to Harry Potter.
Let me just start off by saying “wow!” The amount of work that was put into this is absolutely amazing. As a die-hard Harry Potter fan, let me just say that I would not be able to contain my excitement had a Harry Potter week that had so much detail such as this one taken place at my school! I can only imagine how much fun the staff and students at your school had!
I’m currently a teacher studying to become a teacher-librarian one day and this has been something that I have wanted to do for a long, long time! Thank you very much for the creative ideas as well as some awesome resources! I will definitely take a look at them and hopefully use them in the future!
I also love the collaboration that was involved! It was so nice to read about how different teachers came together to make this week possible and how activities were carried out in P.E and music!
Hi Raman – thanks for your kind comments! I hope you try Harry Potter Week when you get a chance. You will be amazed at the level of engagement. Have fun!
Hi Laura, I just wanted to stop by to say what an amazing blog you have. With everything from bulletin board ideas to library advocacy, as someone who is just beginning to take Teacher Librarian classes, I am really appreciating so much of your material.
I especially loved this particular post for how we can bring together a whole school with the library as a hub and focus point to really spark excitement and joy over topics. Reading this post really reminded me of the strength in having collaborative staff and working together to create authentic and fun learning experiences for kids. With collaboration being at the center of what teacher librarians do, this is just an amazing way to bring EVERYONE in the school together in one vision. I’m fortunate to work at a school where we do a bit of a schoolwide collaboration for our version of French Canadian Carnaval de Quebec which runs a bit similar to how this sounds. The kids learn French words related to carnaval in language class, sing special carnaval songs, have special dress up days during that week themed to Carnaval items, play hockey in the gym, are visited by the mascot of carnaval (Bonhome Carnaval- we have a mascot costume) and read books and research about carnaval activities in library and in their classrooms. It is such a magical week of the year at our school that the kids look forward to every year.
Hi Chelsey – Your Carnaval Week sounds like an amazing collaboration! You are right, it’s truly magical when the whole school community is united around a common theme. So good for learning as well as morale! Keep up the good work!