Team Meeting Ideas for Coaches

Team meetings are for discussing the books, creating a board game, and preparing for the Tournament as well as building a cohesive and effective team. Below are some resources to assist with creating successful team meetings and preparation for the Battle of the Books Tournament.


 Team Activity Ideas

Initial meetings should focus on team building and general book discussions.

Build enthusiasm by allowing the students to share their thoughts on the books.

Utilize team building games, more team building games, icebreakers, book club icebreakers, and games & icebreakers for virtual meetings to help team members bond and get to know each other.

Schedule time for choosing your team name and slogan, creating your Coat of Arms poster, and deciding on a costume.

Plan fun activities as part of your meeting - take a hike, go sledding, attend a library event, play a board game, etc.  Or utilize these activities or these resources for some ideas.



 Question Prep

Begin the process of preparing questions similar to the ones used in competition. Questions are all factual, not interpretive. Here are some examples.

Teams will not be provided prep questions on the books.  Teams must prepare their own.

Encourage team members and their families to write questions to assist with prep.

Instead of prepping questions, focus on key events and details during group discussions.



Book Familiarization and Question Preparation Ideas

Write "cliff notes" version of the books.

Create outlines of the books/plot diagrams.

Practice matching the author's name with the title of their book and book characters with the book title.

Utilize flashcards, a notebook, or a shared spreadsheet to write and collect questions on the books.

Visit on-line resources, such as author websites, podcasts, and educational handouts on the books to engage team members in the books.

Learn proper author pronunciation by visiting this website.



Quiz Ideas for Book Questions

Split your team up to battle each other (4th vs. 5th graders, dog lovers vs. cat lovers, coaches vs. team).

Modify games like Tic Tac Toe, Bingo, Twister, and Red Light/Green Light and allow team members to advance or play if they answer a question correctly.

Utilize fun quiz games such as Kahoot and Quizlet.


Getting to Know Your Team

Flex your coaching style to your team’s motivation and interest levels.

Manage expectations to accommodate highly competitive and less competitive team members.

Capitalize on team member strengths through custom leadership positions (Board Game Leader, Timekeeper, Notetaker, etc.)

Teams generally fall into these categories: In It to Win It, Competitive, Happy Go Lucky Turned Competitive, Here for the Fun, Enjoying New Books. Identify your team's personality and design your team meetings to suit their needs.