Upon returning to school after the April vacation week, 26 students at Park View Middle School (PVMS) were rewarded for some hard work they’d done this school year. “We had students read seven books off the 2018 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award Nominations list of 20 books,” said PMVS librarian Stephanie Mills. “Anyone who read any seven off the list was eligible to participate in today’s Rooster Games. They had from September to now to read the books, and I received a grant to purchase extra copies of the books which helped the kids to qualify.”
The students were put into teams of five for the games. The groups were mixed as students from multiple classes were together at the event, and were on teams with students they were not normally in class with.
Mills and sixth-grade teacher Sarah Short had collaborated to create stations containing activities that had to do with different elements of all 20 books on the list. The stations were: short answer, multiple choice, first lines, rebus and title scramble, character motivation, illustrations, and objects from the books. Working as teams, the students had to use their knowledge from the books each team member had read to answer the questions at each station, even though all of the students hadn’t read all 20 books. There was a possible total of 110 points.
“It helps that you’re on a team because each of you have read different books, and when you’re combined on a team, you will have to use that combined knowledge to answer the questions,” Mills told the students at the start of the event.
The winning team would have the opportunity to have a special lunch with friends the following day, with each student being allowed to bring two guests to the lunch with them. Each student who participated received a certificate of achievement as well.
According to Short, her classroom a picture book each day, totaling approximately 150 books already this year, either as read-aloud books or in connection to a book project being done in class. This gave them the opportunity to read many of the books on the 20-book list of nominees.
“It’s a great way to start and end each day, and the kids really looked forward to it,” she said. “On Thursdays I’d do ‘throwback Thursday’ and the students could request books from their childhood that they wanted to hear again.”
Each team was provided with a list of the titles of the books and a brief synopsis of the books, and combined that information with what they knew about the books they’d read as a collaborative group, and could be seen strategizing and brainstorming together as they moved through the stations.
“I remember that line,” and “Let’s go back over the ones we missed,” and “Alright, did anybody read that book,” were some of the things said by students during the game. The winning team consisted of the following students: Emily Maguire, Naomi Takenaka Diaz, Carlos Lora, Even Morel, and Sophie Bailey.
“Although the Rooster Games activity was one that was originally designed for grades three through six, it was perfect for this age level,” said Mills. “It was great to see everyone working together,” said Sue Rose, library program supervisor for the Cranston Public Schools.