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Clowne Junior School

Working together for success and happiness


L.I: Write your earliest memory


Rowling does not describe Harry’s childhood from the moment he is left by Dumbledore on the doorstep of 4 Privet Drive. This is because it would take too long; the start of the story is really Harry finding out he’s a wizard; it’s not what the book is about; she wanted to get into the wizard community as soon as possible, etc. So the function of the flashbacks is to fill in some details for us.

Read the above extract from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. What effect do the Dementors have on Harry?

Read the other excerpt (above) from Chapter 10 where Professor Lupin explains the Dementors to Harry.

Rowling is using the Dementors as another flashback device. We see, through Harry, what happened when his parents (James & Lily) died. He doesn’t describe it; he seems to re-live it. He hears his mother speaking in the present tense and it is shown as direct speech.


Think about your own earliest memory, which might be happy, sad, scary or humorous, but must be real. It might be easier to do if you close your eyes and really focus for a while.

Use the Memories as Flashbacks sheet to rewrite some early memories in the present tense as if they were happening now (flashbacks).

Then, have a go at writing your own earliest memory.