GeoBee vs. BOB

Brandon Bybee, Columnist

In the past, Horizon Honors Elementary and Horizon Honors Middle School have competed against each other in the Battle of the Books (BOB). Each student would read around two books and would study them to find details hidden inside. The students would then compete within their grade levels in trivia games about the books and the winners would take part in the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, the top teams from each grade set would compete and the top five teams from both sides would face off. The last team standing would win BOB. In the 2016-2017 school year, Horizon Honors switched to the Geography Bee (Geo Bee), and ended BOB.

The Geo Bee is similar to BOB. There are teams that compete and the last team standing is the winner. The difference between the two is the questions. All of the questions are geography-based, and students must learn about the world to know the answers. The students were surprised by the change, and were wondering why we switched. A teacher may be able to give us the answer:

The Horizon Sun: Why did we switch from the Battle of the Books to the Geography Bee?

Jessica Davis, Humanities Teacher: It was a whole school choice to switch. Part of it was the switch from 7/8 English to separate 7th and 8th Humanities classes. The amount of content in a Humanities class did not lend itself well to also reading several books outside of class. Elementary agreed that it was more difficult to devote time to the books, as awesome as they were, in their Humanities classes as well.

The Sun: What do you think of the change?

JD: I miss the fantastic books we read. There were so many great books that I wish students were still encouraged to read through BOB, but the Geo Bee is a better fit with Humanities. It supplements what we are already working on in class. It’s also still a fun, school-wide competition like BOB was.

The Sun: Do you think we will continue with the GeoBee in the future?

JD: At this time, yes. For the foreseeable future, we will be hosting the Geo Bee.

The stress of reading the books that were required for the competition got to the students, and the entire school switched to something that didn’t require as much additional studying for them. In future years, hopefully the students will grow more accustomed to it, and will come to like it. Everyone will miss the Battle of the Books, but in time, the Geography Bee will become a Horizon Honors’ tradition as well.