March Madness is usually associated with college basketball and the final four, but a group of teachers have started a different kind of March Madness for books.

March Madness for BooksAt R.F. Pettigrew Elementary School in Sioux Falls, teachers have created an “elite eight” bracket for books that all students are to read.  After the eight books have been read, students vote for their favorite.  At the end of the competition, one book is the champion.

“The kids are already excited about basketball and March Madness … and so it was just kind of a way to tap into some of that excitement and get kids excited about reading,” said third-grade teacher Michelle Nelson. In her classroom, students have been reading one book a day.

After the first “game day” when the students vote, the bracket whittles down the remaining entries to a “Final Four”.  The championship game is in early April.

Teachers discovered that another school had introduced reading with a March Madness theme, and decided to introduce the excitement to their school. They selected eight books, and put together a large display in the hallway that students could see on the way to lunch.  The hallway bracket showed initial match-ups of books pitted against each other.

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