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Home > Reading Comprehension > Word Parts > (Harry Potter) PATR


In J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Expecto Patronum! is used to drive away dementors. Words with "patr" in them have meanings related to fatherhood, protection and support -- all of which are involved in some way with Harry's particular use of that spell.

These words are more abstract than many, since "fatherhood" is itself an abstract concept. I've left "patricide" off this list but you may wish to add it, especially if students are studying histories of royal families.


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)


acting like a father, or on the father's side of the family (Your "paternal grandmother" is your father's mother; a teacher or big brother can take a paternal interest in you and help you in ways a father would.)

Someone acting paternal

What would your "paternal grandfather" be?


Being a father, or the fact of who someone's father is. For example, people think Thomas Jefferson might be the father of one of his slave's children, but the paternity has not been proven.

Name three people you know who claim paternity of a child.


1. A rich or important person who helps or supports a person or group. For example, an artist may have a patron who provides rent and food while they paint, or an art museum may have a patron who buys art and gives it to the museum.

Someone being a patron

What are two things you'd like to do if you had a patron? How is a patron like a father?


2. A regular customer. For example, many people are patrons of fast food chains, public libraries, and gift shops.

Someone being a patron for *this* definition

Where are five places where people are patrons?


1. To be a customer (many people patronize fast food chains, libraries, and stores).

People patronizing a store

What are two reasons a person might *stop* patronizing a place?


2. To pretend to be kind to somebody but in a snobby or haughty way that makes them feel bad.

What is the difference between patronizing someone and really doing them a favor? How can you tell?


A male leader of a family or tribe, especially an older, very dignified one, with a lot of authority.

A patriarch

What are three ways you could tell if someone were a patriarch? What are two things a patriarch might say?


The "Our Father" prayer

Someone saying the paternoster


A family or tribe where the father is the leader and has authority

A patriarchal family

Who would give permission to go out at night in a patriarchal family? What are two ways you could tell if a family was a patriarchy?


A person who shows love and loyalty for his or her country

Someone being a patriot

What are two ways a person can be a patriot?


A person who acts like a patriot but does so for selfish reasons or just to impress people.

What is the difference between a patriot and a patrioteer?


an important person, of high social ranking or status; an aristocrat

A patrician

What are three ways to tell someone is a patrician?


a person who comes from the same person as another, or someone who shares an important common bond

two compatriots under the flag of their country

What are two clues that would tell you people might be compatriots?


a person who leaves his or her country to live in another, especially without having loyalty or patriotism to the country being left

Someone becoming an expatriate

Why might someone become an expatriate?


to return to one's home country; often after a war people will be "repatriated" and sent back to their homeland.

People repatriating

Why would someone want to repatriate?


Bonus Question for Harry Potter readers:
Expecto Patronum!


Spell to keep dementors away in _Harry Potter_


Harry using the spell


What are two different meanings for "patronum" in that spell?

Complete these sentences with the "patr" word that fits. Be sure to mix these sentences with words learned in previous lessons. Some of these words are very close in meaning, so they could be interchanged. You may want to discuss the differences between words like "patrician" and "patriarch."

patriarch, patriarchy,patron, patronize, paternity, paternal, paternalism, paternoster, patrician, patriotism, patriot, patrioteers, expatriate, compatriot, patriarch, patronage, repatriate, patrician

1. Karen's family is a __________________________ -- her dad is really the boss!

2. There is no question about his _________________________ -- he looks exactly like his dad.

3. In the Salem Witch Trials, it was said that a witch could not recite the _____________________________, but some of the people accused of being witches did say the Our Father before they were hanged.

4. There are many true _______________________ who are loyal to their country and make great sacrifices. Other people are ________________________ who mainly want to make money or get an important job.

5. That family decided to become ___________________________ when the laws changed and girls weren't allowed to go to school in their country.

6. Because a ______________________ made a large donation, the art museum will have a new building soon.

7. If there is a disagreement among people in that tribe, they go to the _______________________ and he decides what to do.

8. The family decided to ___________________________________ because they missed their home country so much.

9. When many people refused to _____________________________ the stores on that street, the store owners lost a lot of money.

10. Harry Potter's parents were dead, and his uncle was definitely not ___________________________ to him, but Professor Dumbledore was.


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