Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sibert Smackdown Finale

What a day Friday was as the fourth graders began to present their Sibert Smackdown projects in front of their classmates.  Wow!  We couldn't have been more impressed.  So many of them dedicated a lot of time and imagination into these projects.  Check out the projects.  Read the books and then stay tuned tomorrow at 8:00 am EST ALA YMA to see if any of our students will be screaming because their book won!

Unfortunately, not everyone was able to present on Friday so students who go tomorrow will just have to make minor changes to their speeches.  "Our book WON the Sibert Award because..." or "Our book SHOULD HAVE WON the Sibert Award because..."  Only time will tell.  We wish ALL these books could win!

The Hole Story of the Doughnut

One of the things these girls noticed and loved about this book is that the text page is a cut out circle from the illustrated page.  Very cool!

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist John-Michel Basquiat

Not only is it possible for this gorgeous book to win a Sibert Award, but I wouldn't be surprised if it also goes home with a Caldecott and/or Coretta Scott King Award.  Fingers crossed!

Tick Tock Banneker's Clock

More than one group chose this book about Benjamin Banneker, the inventor of the first striking clock.  

They baked brownies to represent the wood used to build the clock.

Seven and a Half Tons of Steel

Alex (below) had a great presentation that included the message that it was so great to read about something positive coming out of 9/11.  I couldn't have said it any better.

The ship is built of legos that he covered in foil.

Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story

This is the fascinating story of the first female to ever play on a major league baseball team. We loved the details of the fans in the background on Hayden's poster.

Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay

This is another inspiring story. It's about an orchestra built all from recycled materials.  The perfect example of repurposing.

Crossing Niagara: The Death-Defying Tightrope Adventures of the Great Blondin

If you have a weak stomach like I do, you might not want to read this book.  I even got a little nauseous when they were presenting!

I don't know if you can tell, but the tightrope is 3D

To the Stars: The First American Woman to Walk in Space

Kathy Sullivan (one of the co-authors of the book) was the first woman to walk in space.  These girls did a fabulous job sharing her life with us through an entertaining skit.

Giant Squid

This is another book that could take home either a Sibert or Caldecott or both!  The illustrations are outstanding, especially the squid's eye. These kids love the "map" of the squid at the end of the book.

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day

Yes, another one that could possibly receive multiple awards.  Written in verse, this book tells the story of Ezra Jack Keats.  Beautiful and inspiring.  The girls also handed out quizzes and a word search.

Octopuses One to Ten

Filled with facts and gorgeous illustrations, here is everything you ever wanted to know about octopuses!

Each tentacle in the big octopus has a fact written on it.

Octopus treats for all!

The Deadliest Creature in the World

Last year we had The Deadliest Creature in the Sea on our list and it was as popular as this one. Regardless of whether it gets honored tomorrow, it's a winner in our library! Written from the perspective of each animal, the reader has to determine which creature is the deadliest. What do you think?

Sea Otter Rescue

This is one of the few books on our list with actual photographs.  

The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial

When we think of the Civil Rights movement and desegregation, we don't usually think of Sarah Roberts.  Reading this book will change that.

Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine

Carefully illustrated by Raul Colon, these girls learned about a courageous woman who persevered in attempting to fly nonstop from Chicago to New York City. You'll have to read the book to find out if she succeeded!

Ruth in her plane

Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Animal Infographics

This book is well loved by everyone.  It is filled with so many fascinating facts and graphics that students cannot put it down.  

Check out the stop motion video that Corban and Henry did ALL on their own.  They even brought all the supplies to school (legos, iPod, tripod).  If this doesn't make you want to read the book, I don't know what will!

May The Best Book Win....

....or all of them?  These are just our books that were presented on Friday.  Yes, we have more projects for Monday. And yes, there are many more nonfiction books that we didn't even include that are worthy of an award.  It's so hard to choose!  It's just great to see kids excited about new nonfiction and being exposed to people, facts, and events that they didn't know about before.  This has been a wonderful collaboration with Mrs. DeMassio, our 4th grade ELA teacher. I also could not have succeeded without the continuous virtual support of Melissa Stewart and her Twitter, FaceBook and blog presence.  Thank you! Happy #SibertSmackdown!


  1. This is wonderful! The video was very well done. And I learned a lot :)

  2. BRAVO! I am so impressed by the amazing work you are your students are doing. And what a thrill to see the outstanding presentation for Fearless Flyer!! Ruth Law would have been so honored:) Thank you!

  3. This was amazing to read through. Thank you for sharing!