Students test their knowledge in District Battle of the Books

Students from 10 elementary schools tested their literary knowledge Monday evening during Harlandale ISD’s first ever Battle of the Books competition.

Third, fourth and fifth grade students from Adams, Bellaire, Carroll Bell, Collier, Gilbert, Gillette, Morrill, Schulze, Stonewall Flanders and Vestal Elementary Schools gathered at the McCollum High School auditorium to answer trivia questions about the novels they had read.

To prepare for the tournament, the students read the same selection of 20 Texas Bluebonnet Book Nominees, and then competed at the campus level to determine who would advance to the district level competition.  

The District Battle of the Books, spearheaded by Morrill ES Teacher Librarian Desiree Benavides, aims to increase literacy by motivating students in a fun and competitive atmosphere.

“I hope students will take away a love for reading and be open-minded about reading new books. I want them to know reading is fun,” Benavides said. “We want them to know the librarians are here to help them and teach them about new books. The books helped teach students values and morals that they can use to enrich their own lives as well as others.”

Dr. Leonardo Zepeda brought great energy to the event as he was in charge of asking the questions during the tournament, which were based on any part of the book.

The teams, wearing matching T-shirts, competed in three rounds before an enthusiastic audience of principals, teachers, trustees, parents and grandparents.

“We were impressed with how much the students learned and grew as individual learners and teams,” Benavides added. “All students were supportive of each other, and they were very proud of each other and all the hard work they did.”

A regional Battle of the Books is already in the works for next year.

“Other school districts are taking notice of how motivated the students were to read all of the books, and now they are ready to implement it on their campuses. We have four other districts ready to participate,” Benavides concluded.

Congratulations to all students who competed!

District Battle of the Books winners:

First place - Schulze Librarian Tatia Allison’s fifth grade team Roadrunners: Araceli Farias, Angel Mendez, Angel Hernandez and Rebecca Medina

Second place - Morrill Librarian Desiree Benavides’ fifth grade team Tigers: Clarissa Martinez, Gia Osorno, Viviana Jaimes and Victor Acuche

Third place - Gilbert Librarian Claudia Garcia’s third grade team Sonic Readers: Sophia Paez, Elliana Campos, Raylah Hinojosa and Ernest Hernandez

Students test their knowledge in District Battle of the Books

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