Word Problem Wednesday: The Wizarding World

By Mathnasium | August 26, 2020

People have been infatuated with the wizarding world depicted in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, from famous sites such as Hogwarts and Diagon Alley to household charms, magical creatures, and the international sport played on flying broomsticks — Quidditch! 

Read the introduction below with your child. Then, choose the word problem that’s the right skill level for them and have them give it a try. When they feel they’ve found the answer, check their solution against ours on the next page.


In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” readers follow Harry, a young orphan who discovers he is a wizard, as he navigates a hidden magical world. Readers learn about the cultures and governments of witches and wizards and are shown their everyday lives such as how they get around, their favorite sports teams, and the types of money they use. What kind of math-related questions might they encounter on a typical day? Let’s find out in this week’s word problem!

Lower Elementary:
Question: A gold coin is worth the same amount as 17 silver coins or 493 copper coins. Put the following in order from least valuable to most valuable: a book that costs 7 silver coins, a magical wand that costs 7 gold coins, and a chocolate frog that costs 7 copper coins.

Upper Elementary:
Question: A train leaves London for a small town in Scotland at 11:00 a.m. The train takes a 540-mile route and reaches its destination at 5:00 p.m. What was the train’s average speed during its journey to Scotland?

Middle School:
Question: A feather is floating 76.2 centimeters off the ground. How many feet off the ground is the feather?

Algebra and Up:
Question: Four teams have just finished a yearlong competition. The Serpents scored 32 points more than 1.25 times the number of points scored by the Badgers. The Badgers scored 3 less than 56 the number of points scored by the Eagles. The Serpents, Eagles, and Badgers scored a total of 1,250 points between the three of them. The Lions won the competition by 10 points. How many points did the Lions score?