For the competition, students apparently could choose from four different books. They apparently listened to tapes of these books on their own to improve pronunciation. They could not actually read the books while they were presenting. They get to do rote memorisation of the books. Some of them were quite boring, but a few actually did the storytelling part with actions.
Even so, the rote memorisation did have a downfall – these books were published by Korean companies. They followed the basic outlines of the western equivalents, but had some serious gramatical errors. For example: "this clothes." If they are going to do rote memorisation, they should make sure the stories are absolutely perfect models. Otherwise too much might be inferred, which will need to be corrected later on.