This year, a group of middle school boys, meeting twice a month for book games and competitions, finished out their year with a hotly-contested smackdown between their favorite literary villains. Out of the fourteen dastardly villains, the overall winner was Saint Dane, from D.J. MacHale’s Pendragon series. Saint Dane is a ruthless, shapeshifting, world-hopping spirit who is the personification of cruelty, so evil and powerful he beat out Voldemort and Sauron! In his last smackdown, he crushed the five-headed dragon goddess Takhisis from the Dragonlance series. Now that’s some evil.
Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category
This year, the Library ran its second annual ‘Photo Finish’ contest for Middle School students. Students were presented with a box of cut-out magazine photos, and had to choose three to incorporate into a story. Faculty and staff voted on the winners.
Students created a staggering 75 entries, which make for a lively and colorful display!
The Library continues to be an active and creative space. Here are a few of our recent/upcoming activities.
In February, we posted the annual Faculty Favorites list; books that had meaning for individual faculty, staff, and administration members over the last year.
A group of Middle School boys spent many weeks on a YA Fantasy Smackdown. Taking characters from young adult fantasy books, we put them in sports-style brackets. Boys then chose characters to represent in the one-on-one smackdowns, arguing why their character would win over the other. The rest of the boys voted on which character would win, and we continued narrowing the field until we reached a winner. (If you want to know who won, check out the page!) The smackdowns were taped, and you can find the podcasts on the smackdown site. We all had a great time with this, and hope you enjoy it as well.
Every year the Middle School runs a bookfair which earns us credit at the University Bookstore. Last year we spent the credit on books for our school in Cambodia. This year, we spent it on Spanish-language books for our school in Uruguay. Leaders for the Project Week Uruguay trip Bill Armstrong and Marian Sugano, along with two students going on the trip, joined me at the bookstore on a Saturday to choose books. Many thanks to the University Bookstore for being so gracious as we depleted their Spanish collection!
Posted by Rebecca Moore
You might have read in the ebulletin about our most recent contest: book stacking! I adapted this from a contest another librarian used to run at my last school, a boys’ middle school. Although I have not run this contest myself before, the boxes of discards left after we weeded the collection prior to renovation motivated me to give it a shot. (All the discards were either outdated, no longer relevant to the curriculum, or in poor condition. Weeding a collection is a vital part of collection development.)
I required the kids to build a stack at least three feet high to qualify for a small prize, and gave bigger prizes to the team that built the tallest stack—56.25”! I refused to measure stacks if the kids were touching them or if they were wobbling, but we honestly had more fun when the stacks fell over than when they held still. Overall, the contest was a lot of fun and a great success.
Posted by Rebecca Moore
Welcome to a new year of library activities for the Middle School! One of the most fun parts of my job (and I really want to say funnest, but I know that somehow my grammatically-minded mother would find out and give me that Look) is planning and running contests and other activities for the middle schoolers. All focus on reading and/or writing in some format, and usually take place during lunch. If it’s a contest, like the upcoming and ever-popular ‘Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing Contest,’ it takes place in the Campus Center foyer so I can catch the kids as they go to and from the cafeteria. Other activities, like Bookfair and Middle School Writing Club, take place in one of the meeting rooms—and always include homemade cookies. (Sometimes I get specific cookie requests, which I try to honor if possible. Right now I have rhubarb cookies in my freezer because one of my club members requested them. I think I’ll make him take them home if no-one else likes them!)
New Contests This Year
This year I’m trying out a lot of new things, like podcasting and “story in a tweet” to try to keep up with current technology. It’s possible I could fall flat on my virtual face, but I’m hoping I can get the kids to help me out; I think we could all learn something along the way. For more information on upcoming contests, check out the Library’s Middle School Activities page: http://owlnet.theoverlakeschool.org/Library/Middle%20School%20Activities/OVERLAKE%20LIBRARY%20CONTESTS.htm (I apologize for its asymmetry—we’re in the process of finding better WYSISYG webpage software for me.)
Check out the winning stories from the Library’s Middle School Write-A-Line contest! Link to the Library webpage, and look under “Middle School Activities.”
Mprovs are going on! If you still want to draw words, see Miss Moore. The way it works is that you draw five words, and use those words in a story that’s between 1/2 and 1 1/2 single-spaced pages long. Stories are due January 25th, and will be voted on by students during lunch between 1/28-1/31. All stories earn 5 green/gold points and homemade cookies!
The booklist for the 2008 Battle of the Books has been posted. Go to the Library homepage and click on Middle School Activities, then click on “Battle of the Books,” then on the booklist for 2008. The Battle of the Books will take place on February 8th from 1-3 PM in the library. Participants need to have read at least two books from the list. Last day to sign up will be January 25th!
Award-winning young adult novelist Justina Chen Headley, Burton Snowboards, and Youth Venture are co-sponsoring the Go Overboard Challenge Grant to fund the best youth-led ideas to change the world. Justina is the winner of the 2007 Asian Pacific American Award for LIterature and has a longstanding commitment to tie community service benefiting teens to every single book she publishes. So in honor of her new novel, GIRL OVERBOARD (where a teen finds her true power through community service), she and her partners are giving away 12 grants, $1,000 each. Eligibility: students ages 12-20 who have an idea to improve their school, neighborhood, city, country, or the world. Students need an adult sponsor, such as a librarian or teacher, to endorse their grant application.
Deadline: May 1, 2008