Battle of the Books
Battle of the Books is a motivational reading experience we've provided at Cuyler for seven years now (would be eight except for COVID last year). Students in grades 3 & 4 have one book list, grade 5 has a list, and grades 6-8 read from the Middle School list. They work in teams, under the guidance of a volunteer coach, to read and discuss the 10 books from the list in preparation for a quiz show-style competition. They devise a team name and "uniform" for the day of the event, which really boosts team spirit!
We are lucky enough that the district pays our annual subscription and purchases copies of the books for the students to borrow as well as prizes for the winners. At this time, the program is otherwise run 100% by many donated hours by volunteer staff members. Aides, teaching assistants, and teachers meet with students during planning, lunch breaks, or even outside of school hours.
The "battle" itself is a series of 16 questions (two halves of 8 questions each) drawn at random from a bank of 20 questions (2 from each book), all starting with the phrase, "In which book...?" And all with an answer that is a title and author of one of the books from their book list. Teams have 30 seconds in which to record their answers. Each team has a speaker who reports their answers. Correct titles only earn 5 points. Correct titles and authors earn 8 points. The team with the most points at the end is declared the winner. In the case of a tie, we go into sudden death overtime, and teams have only 15 seconds in which to respond.