The Story Behind Wheeler’s Battle of the Books Cheer

April 26, 2022

At yesterday’s Lower School community meeting, Wheeler and Hamilton 4th-graders performed their battle cheer from last week’s Battle of the Books. The annual event brings 4th-graders from Wheeler, Lincoln, and Gordon schools together to answer quiz show-like questions about a selected list of books they have each read leading up to the competition. This was the first time since 2019 that the Battle could take place in person, and the participants made the most of it, with each school kicking things off with their original cheer.

“It was fun to work with my friends on the cheer,” says Olivia ’30, who was one of the students who developed Wheeler’s cheer this year. “I liked using the books we read in silly ways in the cheer. I was nervous about being a team leader, but also excited to participate. My teachers were very encouraging. I know that I can look back on my experience and know that it is okay to be a little scared.”

Wheeler students perform their cheer on stage at the 2022 Battle of the Books.
Wheeler students perform their cheer at the 2022 Battle of the Books.

Julia ’30 thought it would be fun to create something that would be shared and maybe inspire her classmates and teammates. “I wanted to share my team spirit!” she says of helping to create the cheer. “I loved collaborating with everyone, sharing ideas, and coming to an agreed upon response especially with kids from other schools. I got to act as the scribe, which was super fun because I got to present the answer of the last bonus question (I was so excited because I knew we had it right, so I wrote it big and bold)! My team lost by one point, but I didn’t care because I was having the best time and day ever!”

Isabel ’30 loved the Battle too, especially the excitement she felt when she stepped on the stage. “I decided to help with the cheer because I like making things. My favorite line was ‘we are readers…bum ba dum bum bum bum bum.'”

Students lean together and talk while answering trivia questions at the Battle of the Books.
Students work together to answer trivia questions at the 2022 Battle of the Books.

Matilda ’30 really loved helping out with the cheer and that everyone in 4th grade has started chanting it at recess. She says it has become a part of the 4th-grade culture. “The Battle of the Books was a fun experience that all of my friends did together,” she says. “I liked that I could say a part of the cheer and someone else would finish it. It’s our thing.”

Maggie ’30 says it was fun to have a small group come together and have their own thing to work on. “Performing the cheer made me proud of how much I helped to make it. Ms. Strachan the librarian helped so much with making the cheer, and I don’t think it would have been the same with any other teacher. It was fun to meet other schools and new people at the Battle of the Books. It was a really exciting day.”

Ms. Strachan, the Lower School Librarian, agrees. “This event is a highlight of the 4th grade year, and we had so much fun!” she says. “The kids were well prepared. They worked with their teammates to answer challenging questions and they brought all kinds of energy to performing their battle cheer for the other schools. The best part of the entire day was to be back in person, watching our kids getting to know the 4th-graders from other schools and to spending the day sharing the great books they have been reading since December.”

Students in the audience raise their hands at the 2022 Battle of the Books while other student teams are gathered together on stage.
It was an engaging scene at this year’s Battle of the Books.