Sunday, October 19, 2008

Book Quest Begins

This week Emerson students in grades four and five will begin regular meetings to read, discuss, and enjoy books as a part of Book Quest 2008. They will also be preparing to test other teams on how much they know about the books they are all reading.

This program was developed several years by Will Purves and myself to replace other reading programs that had resulted in more tears than teamwork. The idea is for every participant to share and enjoy the same five books. The teams then undertake the top secret task of creating a challenge regarding one of the books that they have read. This challenge can be almost anything. For example, if the teams had all ready "The Three Little Pigs" the challenge might include questions about the story. Each correct answer would result in some material for building a house fit for a pig. The team's construction would then be blow tested by a wolf or, more likely, a fan posing as a wolf. Perhaps the challenge would be to run a race that included stops at all of the pigs' houses, with questions to answers or feats to perform at each house. Maybe there would be an art and architecture challenge to built a house better house for the pigs. The options are limited only by time and imagination.

Of course, the books that this year's Book Quest members will read are a little more challenging than "The Three Little Pigs". Here are the great books that we are reading this year.
  • Joey Pigza Swallows the Key by Jack Gantos
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr
  • The Kid Who Ran For President by Dan Gutman
  • The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

After the challenges are completed by all teams at our grand finale event, families join for a much loved pot luck dinner.

This event is enjoyed by all, but could never happen without the help of parent coaches who give up their time to come to meetings and to create inventive ways to help students appreciate and understand the books. Thank you, wonderful parent coaches.

Second and third grade Book Quest comes in the spring.

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