The teams trained intensely, devoured stories and fine-tuned their war cries.
Boys and girls donned team colors and even talked a little trash.
This wasn’t a decision to be decided on the court, football field or track. It was about books.
Battle of the Books 2010 was a few weeks ago at Rann Elementary, and it was an intense competition. As a parent of a first grader, this was my first year to attend and have a child participating. If you’re not familiar with the contest, it’s a quiz bowl featuring questions about books.
There is a list of primary books for 1st and 2nd graders to read, and the 3rd and 4th graders read chapter books from the secondary list. Students who want to participate are placed on teams with members of all ages. The contest is divided into three parts. Only 1st and 2nd graders answer questions in the primary round, and 3rd and 4th in the secondary round. All of the students work together in the third round.
The students took the competition very seriously. When a team got an answer correct, they whooped and hollered, even jumped up and down. As an observer, you couldn’t help but smile at their exuberance and excitement.
It’s something we’re accustomed to seeing at sporting events, but it was especially delightful to see that same unabashed spirit at a reading quiz bowl.
Word is that next year each elementary school in Decatur will use the same list for a Battle of the Books competition, and the winners from each school will then compete against each other.
It’s sure to be fun, so get started on those reading lists this summer!