The third-fifth grade Oregon Battle of the Books district tournament is in the books

HERALD PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - Twenty-nine teams, made up of Canby elementary students in grades 3-5, gathered for the district Oregon Battle of the Books tournament at Carus Elementary on Thursday, Feb. 22.

Twenty-nine teams, made up of Canby's elementary students in grades 3-5, competed in a district Oregon Battle of the Books tournament at Carus Elementary Thursday, but it was The Mustache Meelords, a fifth-grade team from Eccles Elementary, that came out on top. The winner mainly earns bragging rights, but as of last year, there's also a traveling trophy involved.

HERALD PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - The Mustache Meelords, a fifth-grade team from Eccles Elementary, came away with the district OBOB win on Feb. 22. The members of the team from left to right are: Jackson Twitchell, Ava Vordermark, Chloe Phelps, Finn Wilcox and Hunter Robinson.

OBOB is a statewide program, founded in 2007 for students in grades 3-12, with a mission "to encourage and recognize students who enjoy reading, to broaden reading interests, to increase reading comprehension, promote academic excellence and to promote cooperative learning and teamwork among students," according to OBOB's website.

"It's a fun way to be competitive if you're not an athlete," said Lisa Wing, OBOB coordinator for Ninety-One School.

HERALD PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - William White (center) and his teammates from Ninety-One School ponder their answers during the tournament on Feb. 22.

Each year, a committee selects a statewide book list for each grade group: grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Students who want to participate simply read the books, which span a variety of genres and reading levels from "Blast-off!" by Nate Ball to "Ella Enchanted" by Gail Carson Levine in the third-fifth grade division.

Teams are made up of four players, plus an optional alternate who can sub in. Each elementary school has different processes for how they divide students into teams and for how they select which teams participate in the district tournament.

HERALD PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - Fifth-grade students from Knight Elementary work together at the OBOB tournament Feb. 22. From left to right, the students are Ava Kennelly (leaning forward), Sienna Boley, Aubry Wohlers and Nikoli Norris.

At the tournament, kids clustered together into their teams in the Carus gym for four rounds of questions pertaining to the books from the list, alternating between "in which book" questions and "content" questions.

After those rounds, it came down to the top two teams, who competed in a traditional oral battle consisting of 16 questions with a time limit of just 15 seconds for each question. The Meelords edged out Four Book-Loving Bulldogs from Ninety-One School for the win.

Not only is the tournament fun for kids, but the educational advantages are obvious. Wing described how participating in OBOB impacted her daughter.

"My third-grade daughter was reading what I call the princess series…it's the same story over and over and over, you just change the color of the princess," Wing said. "But she was feeling good about them as a third-grader because she could read chapter books. So she's all confident, but that's all she's reading and it's killing me. Then she does Battle of the Books, and one of her little friends says, 'I'm going to read all 16, will you read all 16?' And she goes, 'Okay, I'll read all 16.' So she left the biggest, fattest, hardest one on the third-fifth grade list till the last because she's like, 'I don't think I can do this.' She read it and it was her favorite book, and afterwards she…was just overwhelmed with herself because she had no idea that she could do that and she needed a program like this to make her read something different."

HERALD PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - An Eccles Elementary team has their answer ready at the OBOB tournament Thursday. Pictured from left to right are Addison Wolfe, Keane Allott and Audrey Ackerman.

Jennifer Hitchcock, Carus librarian and OBOB coordinator, said that outside of the obvious impacts on reading, there are other advantages to participating in OBOB.

"The other piece that this does outside of the reading, is that during this oral part you were able to see kids in a public speaking role, collaborating; and I've seen some of our most developmental readers sit in that spokesperson role speak and deliver the answers…They can contribute," Hitchcock said.

The sixth-eighth grade tournament was snowed out last week and rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. at Ackerman School. Each Canby school will send a team to participate in the regional tournament on March 17 at Clackamas Community College for grades 3-5 and at Estacada Middle School for grades 6-8.

Kristen Wohlers
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Follow us on Twitter
Visit us on Facebook

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine