Sometimes a little friendly competition can turn a task one has to do into an activity one wants to do. Such has certainly been the case with HISD’s annual Name That Book competition. It began almost 30 years ago at River Oaks Elementary School, and it became so popular that it eventually expanded districtwide and now serves students in grades K-12.
The basic structure of the contest has remained the same over the years: students are challenged to read 30 or more age-appropriate books from an approved list over a period of several months, then compete on teams to see who can correctly identify the largest number of titles, based on particular quotes read aloud. Teams with the highest number of correct titles are deemed the winners—but the truth is that every child benefits by participating.
“The great thing about Name That Book competitions is that they encourage students to do something we want them to do anyway: read for pleasure,” said HISD Director of Literacy Cindy Puryear. “Not only are they cultivating a life-long love of reading, they’re also building their comprehension and memory skills. After all, just scanning the words to get the gist of a book’s subject will not be enough. They have to understand and remember what they’ve read and figure out which book a line was pulled from based on context. Those are higher-level thinking skills, and they are exactly what we’re aiming to develop with Literacy By 3.”
Name That Book competitions are coordinated by HISD’s Department of Library Services. The 2015 finals have been underway since early March and will conclude on April 10 with the high-school-age contest. Be sure to check out the April 17 edition of eNews for a complete list of winners.
From “Go, Dog, Go” for pre-K and kindergartners to “Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick” for 12th-graders, the reading lists for the 2014-2015 Name That Book competition are online — just in time for leisurely summer reading.
There’s an added incentive to tackle the lists now: Books read from the Name That Book selections will count toward HISD students’ summer reading program goals, and if they’re checked out from a local public library, toward the library’s summer reading program levels.
The Name That Book competition is sponsored each spring by HISD’s Department of Library Services. It’s a program designed to familiarize students with classic literature as well as contemporary, award-winning books across a variety of genres. Teams of students are asked questions about books in their reading level that will test their comprehension of characters and plotlines.
School library and students with highest participation in Millionaire Club receive more than 3,000 books
Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro and his wife, Maris, pose with prize winners after handing out books and prizes to students at Moreno ES for their participation in the Millionaire Club summer reading program, September 12, 2013.
Students at Moreno Elementary were treated to a special visit from Houston Astros player Jason Castro on September 11. Nearly 300 students not only got to visit with the major-league ball player but also received a bag of four books to add to their home library. Moreno ES had the district’s highest participation in the Millionaire Club summer-reading program. Castro not only congratulated the students but talked about his love of reading and why he and his wife Maris started Castro’s Kids, which encourages children to embrace literacy.
Award-winning author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni to be guest speaker
For more than 25 years, the Houston Independent School District has been recognizing the dedication and efforts of all school librarians in the district. The Librarian of the Year for 2013 will be announced at the upcoming annual banquet on May 18, 2013.
HISD students were asked to “Name That Book” as part of the district’s annual contest sponsored by the HISD Library Services Department, which has been holding final rounds over the past several months. Avid readers were asked to identify books based on a popular quote from the tomes.
The competition is divided into four levels: lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school. Students at each campus who joined their school’s Name That Book team started preparing for the spring competition in August, reading 30 or more books that included everything from classics to new fiction and non-fiction. Click here to see the Name That Book winners for 2012.
Now, let’s see how much you know. Can you guess the following 5 book titles based on one quote? The answers are at the bottom.
1. “Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing.”
2. “Mother died today.”
3. “Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.”
4. “Call me Ishmael”
5. “124 was spiteful.”
1. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
2. Albert Camus, The Stranger
3. Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
4. Herman Melville, Moby Dick
5. Toni Morrison, Beloved