“Battle of the Books” Challenges Students to Think Analytically and Creatively

In March, Middle School students accepted a new challenge from their teachers that combined writing, reading comprehension, and artistic ability. The annual “Battle of the Books” competition would still encourage students to read, write, and think more imaginatively, but a new “triathlon” format would give them the freedom to combine a variety of skill sets for the chance to win a gold, silver, or bronze medal.

Middle School English teachers teamed up with the librarians to establish writing and book review challenges, a comprehensive question section, and a book review trailer contest to showcase student’s artistic abilities. Medals were awarded to the highest-scoring students in each grade level.

Writing Challenge – During the month of March, students wrote book reviews and published them online via KidBlog. Classmates could then access the reviews and rate their peers on content and completion. Students earned points for submitting reviews, as well as reviewing other student’s work.

Reading and Comprehension Challenge – In early April, students separated into teams and answered a series of questions from the book, “Boys Without Names,” by Kashmira Sheth. The book tells the story of a young boy from a rural Indian village who shares stories with his peers in an effort to unite his village and put an end to bullying. Points were awarded to each group for each question they answered correctly.

Book Trailer – To wrap-up the challenge, students worked together using iMovie to create a trailer of their favorite book. Students were awarded points based on creativity and accuracy.

Does your school do something similar?

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