Friday, March 23, 2018

Battle of the Books Comes to Corvallis Middle School

For the first time, Corvallis Middle School students have participated in the Battle of the Books. This is a competition in which teams of three, grouped by grade level, read a common list of 10-12 books and, during the competition, answer questions about those books. The titles cover several different genres, including history, realistic fiction, humor, and fantasy.

About 30 5th and 6th graders and a dozen 7th and 8th graders participated at CMS. The 5/6 and 7/8 winning teams from Corvallis participated in the Montana State Tournament on March 13 at the Missoula Public Library.

The Battle of the Books has been around for at least 30 years but is relatively new to Montana. Paige Merriam, a middle school librarian at Target Range School in Missoula brought the program to Montana from Alaska, where the competition is very popular. Paige and her colleague, Lisa Brennan, have been encouraging Montana schools to give BOB a try.

Thus far, most of the participating schools are in the greater Missoula area, but Anaconda, Ovando, and Troy also participated in this year's state tournament, and a 5/6 group team from Broadus participated remotely. The CMS administration and staff support the program and we all hope that interest and participation will grow in the coming years.

Our 5/6 state team, all 5th graders, was, left to right, Riley Dahlstrom, Caitlin Nelson, Arden Weidow, and Emily Jones (alternate). They placed fifth out of nine teams.

The 7/8 grade team (all 8th graders) is below. Left to right are Zoe Sampson, Skylar Tibbs, and Liliana Trail.They finished third at state.

Because the state competition was at the Missoula Public Library, we got a chance to explore a larger library space than we are used to. As the following pictures suggest, middle school kids know how to have some fun, including 8th graders in the kids' room and fifth graders enthralled with elevators.

The 2018-2019 reading list will be out next fall and we at CMS will be eagerly reading the books.

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