The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

June 5, 2014

Liberty Valley Muggles play Quidditch on final day of Potter-themed lesson

By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News

— DANVILLE — Fifth-graders gave their broomsticks a workout Wednesday morning in their very own game of Quidditch, the fictional sport played by young wizards and witches in the “Harry Potter” book series.

The participants of the game were all members of the fifth-grade Team B classes of Liberty Valley Intermediate School teacher Melinda Rosini.

The quidditch match was the capstone to an entire lesson Rosini built around “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first entry in the celebrated children’s book series.

Game rules were modified from the ones in the book, where young wizard and witches fly high on broomsticks attempting to throw balls through goal posts to score points.

Wednesday’s match was played more similarly to flag football, with students running around on the ground “riding” broomsticks while trying to pull Velcro flags off one another. If a flag was removed, that student was out, and the team with the last member on the field would win. Penalties were given to any student who dismounted their broomstick.

While Rosini has done Harry Potter-themed lessons before this was the inaugural game of Quidditch.

“I thought they would enjoy riding around on their brooms,” she said. It also helped that the weather had become much warmer in the last few days.

“We couldn’t have done this in the snow,” she said.

Rosini’s fifth-graders were also divided into the four student houses used at Hogwarts, the wizard school attended by Harry Potter and his friends.

Each student took an online personality quiz designed to tell them which Hogwarts house they were most suited for. Rosini kept the answers from each student until a special “sorting” ceremony, again patterned after a scene from the Potter books.

Each of the four houses had five members picked at random who would be part of their Quidditch team. House Ravenclaw ultimately proved victorious on the Quidditch field.

The Harry Potter theme extended into academics as well, with Rosini using the story and characters to help teach her students about literature, geography, history and math. For the math lesson, she had her students use Knuts, a form of currency among the wizards in the series, to calculate the value of different fictional magic goods.

Another lesson revolved around a Potter character named Nicolas Flamel, who had been alive since the 1300s. Rosini’s students created a timeline of all the important world events that occurred between the 1300s and the present, which Flamel would have lived through.

“They really learned a lot. We tore this book apart as much as we could,” Rosini said.

Email comments to rstoneback@thedanvillenews.com.