Sunday, January 25, 2009

Book Quest--The Grand Finale

Friday, January 23, the fourth and fifth grade Book Quest teams gathered for the final event. As always the challenges that were offered were impressive both in their scope and their diversity.

Dressed as Secret Service agents, the Fire Dragon Readers presented a quiz game based on "Wheel of Fortune." The players had to know some fine details from The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman if they wanted to score big. It was clear that they knew a great deal about the book and enjoyed showing that knowledge can be put to good use with a good spin. Their wheel was very impressive, thanks to a talented parent.

The Roadrunner Readers created a maze through which competitors could only progress with the correct answers to questions about Joey Pigza Swallows the Key by Jack Gantos. If they landed on the correct squares in the maze they were able to collect--but never swallow--the six hidden keys. The maze was amazing with lots of possible routes.

The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop inspired The Hornets to create a giant crossword puzzle that proved to be a real challenge. I don't think that any team completed the puzzle in the time allotted but no one failed to get a good start on it. Bravo! Thank goodness I did not have to meet that challenge because I would still be scratching my head.

The Atomic Blueberry Muffin Readers took the rat theme to heart with their challenges for Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien. Unhappily for me, I did not get to see how their challenge actually worked all together. Suffice it to say that they included a mousetrap game, crackers and cheese, and clay projects. I heard lots of laughing coming from the room so I know that a good time was had by all.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr got high praise for the fun and the final creation. A variety of skills--drawing, thinking, acting, creating--were tested as the players answered questions, created origami cranes to be sent to Hiroshima, Japan, and added pieces to a three dimensional peace symbol. My apologies here to the team who worked so hard to create this challenge; your team name is so long and amazing that I can't remember it without your poster here to give me clues. I know it included amazing coolness, which aptly describes all of the Book Quest participants.

Special thanks goes to the adults--parents, friends, and even a child care worker--who gave up many hours of their time to coach the these five teams. The kids had a great time because these people cared and inspired these fine readers.

Thanks also to the families who supported their readers and came to the pot luck dinner on Friday.

Above all, thank you to the wonderful team members who made my day on Friday and keep inspiring us all to do this again and again.

Now it is on to the second and third grade version of Book Quest.

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