February 21, 2020

Picture Book March Madness 2020

It is my favorite time of year, March Madness! No - not basketball, that is for my significant other. No this is a tournament of books! I first started participating in a book March Madness in 2016. I originally found the idea from The Brown Bag Teacher.

In 2016 I used Dr. Seuss books and had the whole school participate as it aligned with Read Across America Week. However now those are not books that are used in my classroom. Now my books are thoughtfully selected to represent diverse people in a variety of cultures and settings. Click here to see the contenders from last year.

This year I researched books that were published in 2019 as I wanted to expose my students to books that they may not hear in their future grades. My students in the past have loved seeing which book would win and there was a huge buy in factor.

The Process

Selecting the Books

I spend a few days researching books that have been released the year prior. I want to share books with my students that they have most likely not yet read. I use different lists in Google searches but most look at the diverse books most recently published.

Pairing the Books

I try to pair my books based on themes that most likely make sense. This year I have the grandparents, different religions, stories centered around food, tough topics such as being a refugee and friendship. I try to also not select a book that would be a clear favorite. I really want to encourage thoughts and conversations.

Create the Bracket

I use Google Slides to create my bracket so that it is easy to display and less printing of pictures. You can click here for a copy, I have started setting up 2021 already.

The Competition 

I begin during the first week of March. Each morning I will read either 1 or both of the books that are competing. After reading the second one I will give each student a ticket and they will place it in the bucket of their choice. They are always so excited to do this.

The Contenders

And The Winner Is....

Check back to see our votes for this year!

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