Peterson 3rd Graders Shine In State-Wide Battle of the Books


Diana Gish/KMXT

Peterson Elementary’s third grade Battle of the Books team recently competed in Alaska’s state-wide competition and tied for second place.

Battle of the Books is a voluntary reading incentive program for students in grades three through 12. Participants read 12 pre-selected books and then work in teams to answer questions about what they’ve read.

Peterson third grade teacher Chris Hicks coached the successful team.

(B.O.B. 1 "That’s quite a … about the results.")

This is Hicks fifth year as a Battle of the Books coach. He said that the team of four nine-year-olds competed with 40 other schools on their way to the second place tie.

(B.O.B. 2 "I’ve taken kids … we want to.")

Knowledge, teamwork and concentration are the keys that Hicks emphasized with the students. It’s a formula that paid off for them during the grueling, day-long, state competition.

This year the final round for the third and fourth grade division had five tie-breaker questions before a winner was decided. During those "sudden death" tie breaker rounds, teams had just 15 second to get the key word of the title and the last name of the author down on paper.

Representing Peterson at the state competition were team members Finley Walden, Taylor Andry, Emma Bentley, and Laura Glover.

(B.O.B. 3 "I’m Findley Walden …they’re cut throat! laff")

The jerky that was mentioned is the coach’s homemade goose jerky. Some of the students are convinced that this special "brain food" gives them an edge in competition.

Hicks says his other students also share an enthusiasm for both goose jerky and the Battle of the Books. Fellow third graders made up questions and games to help prepare the team. The whole school followed the team’s progress with excitement.

(B.O.B. 4 "It really is … thing reading is.")

Alaska‘s Battle of the Books is sponsored by the Alaska Association of School Librarians or the AKLA. The book titles for next year’s competition will be selected this weekend at an AKLA workshop in Anchorage.

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