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Home > Reading Comprehension > Word Parts > (Harry Potter) Vol and Mort


VOL means WISH or WILL

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone introduces us to many character names and spells with word parts which are related to their meanings. The character Voldemort's name begins with "vol" - meaning to will or to wish, and ends with "mort," which means "death." The name should tell you this is quite a sinister character!

vol and mort are the first of a series of word parts from the Harry Potter series to be featured in the Resource Room. Death being a bit of an emotional subject, you may wish to be sensitive about the 'mort' words.


1. Write the word

2. Write what it means

3. Draw a picture to go with it

4. Answer the question about it.


meaning and example

what to draw

question to answer

(you may draw your answer, too)


To offer to serve without pay or reward. A student can volunteer to take a note to the office. Tennessee's nickname as the "Volunteer State" came from the large number of people from Tennessee who volunteered to serve in the War of 1812. Volunteer firefighters do not get paid.

Someone volunteering for something.

What are three things a volunteer could do at a school?
What would a volunteer be likely to say?


Adjective -- done by free choice. A voluntary contribution is one you did not have to make. (also "noun- a piece of music, frequently spontaneous, done as a prelude" - you may have heard a "trumpet voluntary" at a wedding or graduation)

Yourself doing one of your favorite voluntary activities

What are ten things you did today that were voluntary?


Not done by choice or by thinking about it. Your heart beats involuntarily because you don't decide to do it; if you hear a loud noise you may make an involuntary jump. You may have to make an involuntary purchase of a uniform if you get a job as a nurse.

What are two examples of "involuntary" actions, besides your heart beating or jumping when you are startled?


The act of choosing to do something. For example, Mary apologized to Kate of her own volition, not because anybody told her to do it.

What are three things you could do of your own volition, even though they would not be the easiest thing to do?


Intending good things to happen ("bene" is a word part meaning "good")-- a "benevolent dictator" is someone who is has control over a group, but makes decisions that are good for them. A benevolent person says and does things to help people.

Someone doing something benevolent.

What are three things a benevolent person could do?


intending bad things to happen ("mal" is a word part meaning "bad"). If something is done malevolently, that person knew that what was done could be bad, and that's why he or she did it.

Someone doing something malevolent?

What are three malevolent things a person could say?



adjective -- subject to death, or causing death. People are mortal, since they die. A mortal illness or injury is one that makes a person die.

What are three kinds of mortal injuries or illnesses?


never dying; living forever.

What are two things a person might do if he/she thought he/she was immortal?


Funeral home

a mortuary

What are three things you would find at a mortuary?


To embarrass or humiliate completely; Teenagers are sometimes easily mortified; for some students, school is a place of frequent mortification.

. (A less common meaning is to "subjugate by disciplinary austerities")

Someone who has just been mortified

What are three things that someone might say or do if he were feeling mortified?


Someone who prepares a body for burial

What are two things that you should be good at if you wanted to be a mortician?

post mortem

Examination of a body after death ("post" is a word part meaning "after), often to figure out what caused the death.

Why would a post mortem be done?

rigor mortis

the rigidity of a body that happens after death (and why zombies in movies walk stiffly)

zombies in movies

Complete these sentences with the vol or mort word that fits. Be sure review words learned in previous lessons.

1. Voldemort is a very ________________________________ character who likes to see bad things happen to people.

2. A _________________________________ showed that the man had died of natural causes.

3. Joining the Reading Club is ______________________________ , so only join if you really want to read.

4. Cary was ______________________________ when the entire school learned about his secret crush.

5.Is there a __________________________ who would be willing to go pick up our pizza?

6. Even though Shakespeare died, people consider his plays and poems to be ___________________________.

7. Cassie went to school to learn how to become a ___________________________, and then got a job at a mortuary.

8. He's a _______________________________ man who is always looking for ways to help people.


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