Weekly Wizarding Challenges

Each week my students are presented with a Weekly Wizarding Challenge to complete in their spare time. The challenges are a fun way for the students to earn more galleons, house points, or a prize.

Challenge #1: Find Neville's Lost Remembrall

The remembrall was hidden behind some papers that were on a bulletin board. It took the students four days to find it. This challenge was fun, but turned out to be a bit distracting. As the suspense mounted, the students became a bit obsessive about looking for the remembrall. They would be working quietly, when suddenly they'd ask if they could check somewhere real quick. 

Challenge #2: Bertie Bott's Estimation Contest

The challenge was for the students to estimate how many Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans were in the green jar. Each student could submit one guess per day and on Friday the student with the closest estimate would win 10 beans of their choice. This challenge was harder than it looks. I personally guessed that there were probably only 200 or so beans, but when I counted them out, there were actually 384! I noticed that almost all of the students' estimates were between 70-150, so on Wednesday I gave them a hint. I told them that no one had guessed correctly so far and that the closest estimate was off by more than 100! That seemed to help and I got much better estimates on Thursday and Friday. The actual winner guessed 377 beans. 

Challenge #3: Chamber of Secrets Game

Chamber of Secrets Game
I came up with the Chamber of Secrets game myself. In the game I have hidden a small dark mark (under a sink) which symbolizes the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. The three houses made up three teams. I also hid two unmarked sealed envelopes. One had a basilisk and fangs inside, the other had Tom Riddle's Diary. The object of the game is for the teams to find the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, the Basilisk, and Tom Riddle's Diary. All in that order. Teams were not allowed to retrieve the hidden envelopes until they had located the entrance to the chamber and told me. Then they could try to find the envelopes. Once someone found an envelope, they had to open it in front of me, otherwise it wouldn't count. I would then re-hide the envelope in a new location. If the envelope contained what they needed (basilisk 1st, then diary) they would get 10 galleons and get to move on in the game. If not, they were petrified and out of the game. If all members of a team are petrified their team was out. The first team to find everything, without all of its members being petrified, wins  500 points for their house team and a special award for service to the school. 

We are going to play the game this week. My students saw the writing on the wall after their last class on Friday and started freaking out because they were so excited. We are reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in class now, so I think they were suspecting something like this, or at least hoping. 

Week 1: After a week of searching, all three of the houses have located the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, but the Basilisk and Riddle's Diary are still out there. This challenge will continue into next week. If any of my students are reading this, you're not going to find any hints here! (-: 

Week 2: So far two teams have found and defeated the Basilisk. Two teams also had players eliminated when they found Tom Riddle's Diary by accident. I'm guessing everything will be finished by next week, but we'll see. 

Week 3: This week the game was finally completed. Overall, four students were petrified. The teams were so close at the end. Two teams had found the Basilisk and were desperately searching for the other envelope in their freetime. The final team found the basilisk in the final moments, and a few minutes later another team (Hippogriff) found the Diary. I don't think the game would usually take this long, but I was very good at hiding the envelopes. My students said I must be the best hider in the world. Next time though, I won't hide things quite so well, so that we can finish the game a little more quickly. 

Challenge #4: Harry Potter Trivia Challenge

This week I gave the students a quiz on the first two Harry Potter books (since those are the books we have read in class this year). I got all of the questions from sparknotes. I also added a few bonus questions to help ensure I'd only get one winner. The team with the highest average score on the quiz would receive 300 house points and the student with the highest score on the quiz would receive 10 galleons. This week marks the end of the month, so 300 points could mean the win for some teams. In case you were curious, here are the bonus questions below. 

1. What color was Albus Dumbledore's beard before it turned white?
2. What is Harry Potter's middle name?
3. When is Harry Potter's birthday? (month and day)
4. What was the name of Hagrid's spider?
5. When does the Hogwarts Express leave Platform 9 3/4? (Date and Time)
6. How does Hagrid acquire Fluffy?

A few more of my students need to take the quiz for their team, so I won't post the answers here. So far the highest score on the quiz is 28. They got the 25/26 quiz questions correct and 3 of the bonus questions. I am counting the average score for each team, instead of the total scores because the number of students on each team is different. 

Challenge #5: Dragon Egg Hunt
For this challenge I hid 24 dragon eggs (printed because I can't buy plastic eggs here) around the school. Each egg has a number on the back that corresponds to a list of prizes (listed below).

Here are the Prizes:
1: Wow, 100 house points, that was nice!

2: You find some candy, in a can?
3: You feel strange and find yourself in a new house.
4: Ooops that’s not a dragon egg, uh here’s your new owl?
5: Imagine that, there is actually a dragon in this dragon egg, who would have thought? (Gummy Dragon)
6: All that glitters is not gold, lose 100 house points
7: Are you a seeker, because you just found a golden candy snitch.
8: There is a cushioning charm in there, how strange.
9: Are you stuck? Take some U-No-Poo
10: Switch…..jobs with someone…that was close!
11: Ewww Rotten Egg…lose 100 house points
12: Aw this one’s full of worms…three gummy worms that is!
13: Who just found 3 galleons, this guy!
14: Identity crisis the sorting hat suddenly realized it made a mistake, you’re re-sorted into a new house. 
15: A new beginning and a new house for you! 
16: You’ve worked hard, have a cup of tea.
17: Your luck just changed, 100 house points. 
18: Your luck just changed, 100 house points.
19: Ooops that’s not a dragon egg, uh here’s your new owl?
20: Being positive will  always makes you happy, that and 200 house points!
21: Do you feel lucky? Take 4 Bertie Bott’s Beans and find out.
22: Your dragon comes with accessories, choose a free item from Madam Malkin’s. 
23: Choose one item from Florish and Blotts, just cause...you found this egg.
24: Imagine that, there is actually a dragon in this dragon egg, who would have thought? (Gummy Dragon)

I have to admit I had an ulterior motive when I thought of this challenge. I just gave out the second house cup award this month, to the same team as last month. The teams were actually finished the same as the month before. So obviously the teams aren't as equal as I had hoped. The poor Dragons team is one man short and despite the strong point earners on the team, they came in last again. I thought this week I'd mix things up having a challenge that would allow me to switch a few students to new houses. Change is good right? We'll see...

Dragon Egg Hunt: Week 2
I planned for this to be a one week challenge, but then I got sick and was out most of the week. I only hid 6 eggs before I got sick and only one was found at the time (#7), setting off a frenzy of excitement. This week I'm going to hide the rest of the eggs and I'm sure the egg hunt is going to be a huge success.

We just finished the challenge and now begins Easter Break. All but one egg was found (just like a real egg hunt!).

Challenge #6: Umbridge's Inquisitorial Squad
 In this challenge all of my students decorated a little figure that would represent them and then hid it around the school. 

I played the part of Professor Umbridge and was seeking out the students to make them join my Inquisitorial Squad. If I found the student's figure, I would secretly tell them they were now on my team and they would help me find the other student's figures. 

I did this secretly so that no one would know who was on the Inquisitorial Squad and who was still in Dumbledore's Army. If your figure wasn't found by Friday the following week, you would earn 100 house points for your team.

My students were able to come up with some very clever hiding spots for their figures. The first day I looked, I only managed to find one figure!

By the end of the second week and deadline, my Inquisitorial Squad and I had managed to find all but four student figures and those kid's received 100 house points each. They then had to show me where they actually hid there figure so that they could prove it was not hidden in a location considered "out of bounds." 

Challenge #7: The Prophecy
Dum-dum lollipops are a rare treat in my classroom because you cannot buy them in this country. I have a bag of them in my cabinet and decided to give my students a very sneaky estimation challenge. They will get one quick peek into the cabinet on Monday and then will get to make one guess per day for a week of how many lollipops there are. The person will the closest estimate will get three lollipops of their choice. 


  1. I LOVE your classroom and plan to borrow some of your amazing ideas for my own! It's just beautiful!! Can I ask what year level you teach?

    Kate (Also I am jealous as hell about the size of your class, mine is a third of this!)

    1. Thank you Katie! I taught 4th and 5th grade last year. This year I'm teaching middle school math/science and am working on a new theme. Stay tuned for pictures!

      By the way, my classroom before we moved into the new building was literally a small metal box. So I definitely appreciated having more space. I only had 9 students at a time max, so I had to find creative ways to fill the space and keep it from looking too empty.

  2. I've enjoyed reading through all of these posts. I love the creativity, and the way you did so much from scratch! I'll bet your students loved it and could tell how much you care about them by how much time you took to make their space special.