“[Fifth-grade students] form teams at each school and work throughout the fall to battle against other teams [at their school] and once they have their championship team, that’s who comes to this competition,” Emerson Elementary School Media Specialist Connie McSwain said. “Each individual media specialist submits questions equally and we share those questions at the school level and then we have another set of questions that is a little more intricate for the championships.”
She said the 15 books chosen for Battle of the Books align with the fifth-grade curriculum and the intent of the event is to help Lexile measures and increase comprehension for fifth graders.
According to www.lexile.com, “A Lexile measure is a valuable piece of information about either an individual’s reading ability or the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine article. ... The Lexile measure is shown as a number with an ‘L’ after it — 880L is 880 Lexile. A book, article or piece of text gets a Lexile text measure when it’s analyzed by MetaMetrics. For example, the first ‘Harry Potter’ book measures 880L, so it’s called an 880 Lexile book.”
Battle of the Books began 12 years ago between Mission Road and Hamilton Crossing elementary schools and expanded throughout the county. There are 10 rounds for the whole competition and scores are calculated after every team has completed their battle. Alternate teams have the opportunity to steal questions if the specified team answers incorrectly.
“The top teams battle each other down and the interesting thing to know is the trophy ... is passed and kept at the school that wins,” McSwain said. “The smaller trophies are passed out to each [winning] team member and their alternate to take home and enjoy.”
The final question was based on the book “Tuesdays at the Castle” by Jessica Day George.
Boys Reading Books member Thomas Johnson said he was excited to be part of the team that won the competition. The TES team consisted of Johnson, Landon Adams, Zachary Lillie and alternate Olivia Corp.
When asked his strategy for preparing for the competition, Johnson replied, “Study, study, study.”
He said while he was nervous facing the questions during the final round, he was able to stay calm enough to answer questions correctly.
“It’s my nature [to stay calm],” Johnson said.