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All Smiles: Duncombe 4th Graders Enjoy Book Madness - from The Messenger

April 15, 2022

Duncombe Elementary School fourth graders turned March Madness into Book Madness.

Each student in the four classes at Duncombe, picked their five favorite books and when added up there were more than 170 books tallied.

The top 32 books were then put into bracket format, coinciding with the men's and women's national basketball tournaments.

Fourth-grader Charlee Walden enjoyed that there were a lot of books

"It was fun to see that there were a lot of books to choose from," Walden said.

The books that were in the bracket were then seeded into four different categories and each class took on eight books.

Instructional coach Kristin Hatton said this was a fun project for the kids and the third time they have done it.

"We put up an eight-foot display of the bracket,'' Hatton said. "We showed how the books moved from round to round as they progressed."

Before the bracket was formatted, the students had to describe their books and tell why they thought it was a good book.

"Each class made short persuasive essays, kind of like commercials,'' Hatton said. "They made little videos right before spring break and we filled the brackets after that.

"The students were intrigued and it started a lot of conversations."

The students had an assignment that went with each round of the tournament.

"To cut it to the (Sweet) 16 the students made book marks for the books,'' Hatton said. "For the (Elite) eight the students made book covers and for the Final four they decorated paper dolls to look like the characters."

Fourth-grader Allie Humphrey enjoyed the projects that went with each round.

"I liked that we got to color bookmarks and see everybody's work," Humphrey said. "I noticed that there were some connections between books that have been made into movies."

As the project moved forward the winning book was declared on April 4. The final four pieces of work were, "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark," Harry Potter, "Stepping Stones" and "Smile."

After all the different points and the books moving through the bracket, "Smile" was chosen as the championship book.

For fourth-grader Jocelyn Newland, seeing what would happen each round was exciting.

"I liked seeing the books and guessing who would win each round," Newland said.

The students who chose the winning book were Allie Humphrey, Lanxtynn Shute, Keylee Tepfer, Mason Russel, Eva Cruz, and Tynecia Thorton.

Russel liked how the books went with the basketball tournament.

"I liked that it followed the format of the March Madness tournament," Russel said.

Visiting the library was a fun trip for fourth-grader Brenna Geilenfield.

"Participating in the Book Bracket encouraged me to check out some of the books at our school library," Geilenfield said.

Being part of the project and seeing what her classmates enjoyed was cool for Liz Harper.

"It was cool to see what everybody else likes to read," Harper said.

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