Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Though it’s been almost 20 years since the first book was released, Harry Potter is still as popular now as it ever was. Why? The original book series and accompanying movies have some exciting new additions. Recently out in theaters was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a prequel to the series. Released in bookstores and on stage in London was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play set 19 years after the last book. Finally, the first two books are now available in illustrated editions, perfect for younger audiences ready to get reading Harry’s stories. So, hop on your broomstick and take your pick, wizards! Did you know Harry Potter is a great way to learn new vocabulary? You might think Harry’s spells sound like silly made-up words, but most of them actually come from Latin root words.
Try expelliarmus, for example:
expelli + armus
Expelli comes from the Latin word expellere.What happens when you get expelled from school? You are forced to leave.
Armus comes from the Latin word arma.That sounds a lot likearmor, a type of protection.
So, expelliarmus means force someone’s protection (usually their wand) to leave / go away. The word in English would be disarm. It’s hard to fight back without a wand, isn’t it, Voldemort? We figured it out... can you find the root words of the 100+ other spells?
The next time you sit down with a stack of 7 Harry Potter books to read and your mom asks what you’re doing, you can tell her you’re learning new vocabulary for your SATs !
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