Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



What’s Happening This Week

What’s Happening This Week

There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.



Book Recommendations

Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.

Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers



Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers

Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers


HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

July 31

J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter celebrate birthdays today.

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter celebrate birthdays today.

Grades 7 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





It's a double birthday! J.K. Rowling was born July 31, 1965, in Bristol, England. From the stories that Rowling tells about her composition of the Harry Potter book series, Harry was born on a train one day when she imagined the story. Harry's official birthday as recorded in the novels, however, is July 31. Combine the celebration of both birthdays by celebrating the anniversary of the release of the last book in the much-loved series!




The Harry Potter series is one of the most challenged series of books in the United States. The series is singled out because of its fantasy and magical elements. Young adult author Judy Blume, no stranger to challenges herself, wrote an article appearing on Censorship News Online, Is Harry Potter Evil?, which outlines her reaction to the debate.

Have your students think about why people challenge the Harry Potter books and whether they agree or disagree with the arguments. For a more structured exploration, try A Case for Reading-Examining Challenged and Banned Books, a WebQuest that invites students to take on the roles of concerned citizens, public librarians, school librarians, and fans of Harry Potter and decide whether the books should be banned from the public library. Censorship in the Classroom: Understanding Controversial Issues leads students in researching the reasons several books are banned or challenged.

Note: If you face a censorship challenge yourself, you can receive help from NCTE.



  • Harry Potter Website

    Scholastic presents the official homepage of the Harry Potter series. The site includes information about the books, reference information, discussion areas, games, and more. Using the glossary in the Reference Guide area as a model, students can create their own glossary of terms for another book.

  • J.K. Rowling Official Site

    J.K. Rowling offers peeks into scenes, characters, and other tidbits that didn't make it into her novels, as well as the truth behind rumors about her books.

  • Rowling v. RDR Books Trial

    Sanford Law School offers trial transcripts of Rowling's 2008 copyright infringement lawsuit against a company attempting to publish a Harry Potter encyclopedia without her permission.


back to top


Hero's Journey

Grades   6 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Inquiry & Analysis

Hero's Journey

Students can use this tool to learn about the elements of the hero's journey, analyze a text that follows the hero's journey pattern, or start creating a hero story of their own.