MORRIS – Typically packing a gymnasium full of middle schoolers before a holiday weekend could be a recipe for disaster, but at Saratoga Elementary School a battle was already brewing.
Battle of the Books pitted students from Saratoga, Morris Grade School and Nettle Creek School in a series of contests to test their knowledge of books they’ve read during the year.
Kelly Simpson, librarian at Saratoga, said the teams were assigned
10 books to read throughout the school year.
The students could divide the reading up however they wanted, with each student reading some of the books or all reading all of the books.
The first contest was a Kahoot quiz battle. It was also the event with the highest stakes, with each member of the winning team receiving a Kindle Fire.
The online, multiple choice contest had students identifying characters, authors and plot points for each of the 10 novels.
It was also a chance for teams to show off their team names, which was one of the categories they would be judged on at the end. Team names included the Title Waves (the eventual winners of the Kahoot game), Galaxy Ghosts, Beauty and the Books, the Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies and Vote for Pedro.
The 24 teams also decorated posters to highlight their team theme.
Simpson said they chose the titles from a variety of sources, including past Rebecca Caudill and Bluestem award winners.
There were dozens of students in the audience as well. They had read the books this year and, during a free-for-all question period, had a chance to answer questions for prizes. Students who answered questions correctly received school cash they could use at in-school events.
The winner of the costume contest was Team Hawaii, whose members dressed in Hawaiian shirts and tropical hats.
The final contest of the day was Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Two students who won a speed test were given the chance to compete for prizes in a series of ever more difficult questions.