Perfect Brackets for First-Grade March Reading Madness

It was slam dunks and perfect brackets at the end of March Madness for our first-grade students at Kent Primary... perfect book brackets, of course!

Throughout the month, the four classes read 16 different books as a group – some multiple times – and voted for their favorites along the way.

The final showcase of a month-long literacy March Madness came down to two books: What If You Had Animal Teeth by Sandra Markle and The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak.

Students listen to teacher reading one of the final two books

For the final bracket, students filmed videos about which book was their favorite and why and appealed to their peers to vote for that book in the final match-up. The entire grade met in the cafeteria for one final read-off of the two books before the much-anticipated grade-wide vote.

“I think you should vote for What If You Had Animal Teeth because it makes me laugh and smile,” said student Shane Sibajene. “The pictures are funny and it's fun to read.”

“You should vote for What If You Had Animal Teeth because if you had Narwhal teeth you would be able to use your teeth to reach for food,” added student Joseph Demo. “Also, if you have elephant teeth you could lift up heavy things with your tusk. This is why you should vote for What If You Had Animal Teeth.”

The book earned quite a few supporters for its funny imagery and fun facts.

“I think you should vote for The Book With No Pictures. I really enjoyed this book because it is really fun and funny,” said student Liara Latham. “It makes grownups read all the funny words and it makes me laugh a lot.”

Student Leonidas Lopez has several reasons why he thought The Book with No Pictures was the best choice: “Because it only has words but no pictures. It has lots of funny words. The reader sounds funny when they read it, and the best part is when they say ‘boo boo butt.’ That is so funny.”

To no surprise, the funny words throughout the book seemed to be a fan favorite.

After a quick tally of the votes, the winning book was clear.

The reading challenge ended with a sweet victory for a book that had no pictures but a landslide of the votes: The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak. Is this the beginning of a new saying, “a word is worth a thousand pictures”? Perhaps!

March Reading Madness bracket on bulletin boardThe Sweet 16 March Reading Madness books included:

  1. The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
  2. The Girl with Big Big Questions by Britney Winn Lee
  3. Ice Bear by Nicola Davies
  4. Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
  5. Big Al by Andrew Clements
  6. In Hiding: Animals Under Cover by Melissa Blackwell Burke
  7. Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
  8. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
  9. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
  10. Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho
  11. The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S.K. Ali
  12. Peanut Butter & Cupcake by Terry Border
  13. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
  14. Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden
  15. What If You Had Animal Teeth by Sandra Markle
  16. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak