[Library Media] ELEMENTARY Battle of the Books

Heather Tomlinson htomlinson at mountainvilleacademy.org
Wed Mar 13 09:27:38 MDT 2013

Hello, Elementary School librarians!
If you do Battle of the Books at your school I would love some
information.  I'd like to do it with grades 2 - 4 at our school, and have
several questions.
I've read/skimmed through the *Elementary Battle of the Books* by Cook,
Corcoran, Fonnesbeck, and Goodman.  There are LOTS of details, but I found
that it's written in such a general/ambiguous way that many of my questions
are not answered.  Either I can't find examples specific enough to help me
figure out the exact format/procedures that would work, or there are so
many different examples for one aspect that my mind gets muddled trying to
figure out how it all works together.

So - I'm hoping you can explain what works for YOUR school.  Here are a few
questions to get you started:

1.  How do you set up teams?  (how many students per team?  Do students
form their own, or do you assign mixed reading level teams?  Is everyone
required to participate, or do they sign up?  I visualize all of 2nd grade
being assigned to teams, but 3rd and 4th signing up)
2.  How do you handle preliminary rounds? (How many teams compete at a
time? Just two head-to-head? Or several competing against each other?  How
do you eliminate teams? I visualizing preliminary competitions in
homerooms, with the winning team from each class competing in a grade level
competition and one winning team for each grade.  How does your school do
3.  How do you handle the actual competition? (do the teams have buzzers?
How do you decide who buzzed first if it's a tie? Or is there only one
buzzer? Who gets to stand by the buzzer?  Maybe you don't use a buzzer -
does each team get a chance to answer a question?  If a team doesn't earn
the points for their question, does the question move on to the next team
or is it out of play?)
4.  How many questions do you ask in a competition?  (for 5 teams: have 5
rounds with 5 questions each?  Or do you only have 2 teams compete in the
final?  Does the number of questions vary, depending on how many teams are
competing?  Maybe you have a time limit, and when the time is up you stop
asking questions.  How much time does a team get to answer each question?)
5.  How long do the competitions generally take?  (Are the preliminaries
shorter or longer than the final?  Why?)
6.  Do you use the question format suggested in the book? ("In which book
does....?")  Or do you ask comprehension questions?  ("In *The Littles* how
many children are in the Little family?")

As you can see - I have many questions which lead to many more
questions.  I know each school handles it differently.  I just need some
ideas that work, and to understand how the entire program works for one
school.  Hopefully I can adapt what works for you and make it work for our

Heather Tomlinson

You can answer me individually (rather than 'reply all'), to avoid giving
the entire list serve information they don't want/need.  Thanks!


*Heather Tomlinson*
Mountainville Academy
Alpine, Utah
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