Host the March Madness Tournament of Books for your class

March is finally here, and that means it’s time for March Madness – but not the basketball kind! Since March is Reading Month, has designed a March Madness Tournament of Books activity that encourages kids to get their rosters out and rank their favorite books, fitting the themes of both holidays this month! Your students can get in the spirit of friendly competition and reflect on their love of reading with this fun tournament.

How to play

  1. Assemble your supplies! You’ll need:
    • One blank bracket per student
    • 16 favorite books
  2. Have a class discussion to identify 16 of your learners’ favorite books. Encourage students to reflect on the books that excite them and that they believe are the greatest books of all time.
  3. Write down the titles of the books and print or draw small images of the book covers.
  4. Encourage students to read a few of the books on the list, or read the books aloud to the class. In this way, kids will have a chance to discover new books and form their own opinions about what they read! Then, they can debate in front of the class and make an argument for why their book should win.
  5. Before voting begins, have students fill out their blank brackets and predict the winners. Each correct answer on the bracket earns them a point!
  6. On each day of voting, have students choose between two books in that day’s round of the bracket. Whichever book has the most votes moves on to the next round! Throughout the tournament, students can track their points, depending on whether or not their predictions are correct.
  7. The excitement continues until you reach the semifinals and finals, and the Tournament of Books champion book is finally crowned! Then, tally up the points to see which student predicted the most books correctly–that student is the winner!

May the best book win!

This is a fun seasonal activity to get your class excited about reading! Students will build critical thinking, analysis, and speech and debate skills. What’s more, they will develop a sense of community and friendly competition in the classroom. This activity will also give them a chance to discover new books suggested by their classmates. May the best book (and the best forecaster) win! 

Looking for more activities? Check out the Learning Library, which features 35,000+ activities, worksheets, games, and lesson plans!