Thursday, March 28, 2013

March Book Madness

I love to come up with new ways to encourage kids to read. Some of the kids at this age get caught up in chapter books and don't stop to read some of the more terrific picture books out there simply because they aren't chapter books. In an effort to guide the kids back to picture books, we're celebrating March  Madness in our classroom, reading style!

Okay, so my display isn't the greatest right now, but it's a work in progress. I wanted to get it up before I left school this afternoon. I'll add some things to it as we move along. 

I worked with our wonderful librarian to find picture books that we had multiple copies of and checked them out. Fortunately, she had several sets of picture books from previous years' Bluebonnet Books list, so I was able to find about ten titles with three to four books each. I'm starting small and used four titles this time. (Maybe we'll celebrate April and May Reading Madness with the remaining titles if this goes well!) I paired each one of those books up with a book that we had already read aloud. I made the pairings based on theme or genre. The pairings are in the pictures below with the book we've already read aloud listed first.

Minty: The Story of a Young Harriet Tubman vs. The Extraordinary Mark Twain
White Water vs. Ruth and the Green Book

The Memory Coat vs. Sparrow Girl
The Lotus Seed vs. The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster

Throughout the next three weeks we will read and discuss the two books and then the kids will vote on their favorite of the two. Only one of the titles from each pair will make it through to the next round. After we determine the winner of each pair, I'll ask a student to write down a quick note (no larger than a 3x5 index card) explaining why that particular book won and staple it up. Comparing and voting will continue until we determine a winner of Mossman Book Madness! I think this will be a great way to develop talk about books and will be a great way to lay the foundation for our upcoming book review unit in writing. After all, you have to talk about something often first as a rehearsal for writing about it.


  1. I absolutely LOVE THIS IDEA!!!! Can I give this a shout out on my blog?
    Melissa Leach

    1. Melissa, absolutely! I got the idea after reading about School Library Journal's "Battle of the Books." You can visit their website at Have fun!