K-2 ‘Name That Book’ contest encourages reading at a young age

Everyone’s a winner just for competing in the HISD K-2 “Name That Book” contest, which was held March 3-7 at MC Williams Middle School. There were 10 winners — two winners on each of the five days — out of almost 80 participating elementary schools: Askew, Bell, Briargrove, Condit, Lockhart, Lovett, Mandarin Chinese, Valley West, West University, and Wharton Dual Language elementary schools. Each school can enter only one team. Students received medals and certificates for competing.

The annual K-2 competition prepares younger students for upper-level competition, which includes all grade levels and continues through April 17. Unlike the upper-level students, K-2 students only compete on one day. Middle school finalists – Black, Briarmeadow, Energized for Excellence, Energized for Stem Southwest, Grady, Johnston, Pin Oak, T. H. Rogers – compete at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 14, at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center. See the full contest schedule here.

Name That Book” is an HISD reading incentive program that encourages teamwork and ongoing reading, which is critically important in meeting HISD literacy goals.

“Literacy is a cornerstone issue for HISD,” said district Superintendent Terry Grier in his 2014 State of the Schools address. More specifically, that means that getting every HISD student to read on grade level by third grade is a major priority for the district.

Lockhart ES won in their second year of competition. Their “Name That Book” team members — Arielle Wooten, Matthew Grant, Ryley Carter, Danielle Bush, Natalja Alexander and Chase Adams — are all students in second-grade teacher Jennifer Garza’s class.

“They not only scored a perfect score, but they were also very gracious sports and made sure to congratulate their competitors and other sponsors with hugs and high fives,” said Garza, the “Name That Book” sponsor for Lockhart.

This year’s K-2 “Name That Book” competition required that participating students read 29 books from a pre-selected list. The list includes classic literature as well as contemporary award-winning books representing a variety of genres. Garza’s students read all the books but were only responsible for knowing the content of five or six that each one selected.

The competition consisted of five rounds with five questions or lines in each round. Teams listened to a line read aloud by the competition’s moderator and then discussed, deliberated, and collectively decided which book the line was from.

Lines from this year’s competition included “He hopped faster;” “This time, everyone believed that she would;” and “She thought about food.” The lines contain no character names or specific clues to help identify the story, so students must memorize all the lines in each book. Lockhart students were able to identify the correct book for every question in all five rounds and won first place with a perfect score of 25.

HISD’s “Name That Book” contest originated at River Oaks Elementary School more than 20 years ago. When the program grew too large for one school to handle, it was taken over by HISD’s Library Services