Book Tasting

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Back in March, I attended the MA School Library Association conference.  One of the many fantastic speakers I saw was Buffy Hamilton.  While perusing her blog, I came across a post about a book tasting.  She is in a high school library and I wondered whether something like a book tasting would work in an elementary setting.  Low and behold, one of her elementary level colleagues at the Barrow Media Center had indeed done a 5th grade book tasting.  It looked like a fantastic way to expose students to new and different books.

I decided to try out a fiction book tasting with my 4th graders.  I made up a “menu”, pulled a ton of different chapter books, and set up some classical music on Pandora.  This particular class has been challenging to engage and have them stay focused and working independently on most activities we have done this year.  As you can see, they were incredibly focused and engaged throughout our entire book tasting!  They took new books home and wrote thoughtful responses on their menus!  Success!

This is what my menus looked like, although I might change a few things in the future.  On the left, you can see in my note to myself this book was taken out by a super reluctant reader.  He never wants to take anything out, and his comments on the cover are basically his attitude toward most books I show him.  But, he gave it a try and see what happened!  On the right is one of my best, most excited readers who ended up taking one of my favorites, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

 I’m looking forward to doing a nonfiction tasting with these kiddos next week!

7 Responses to “Book Tasting”

  1. Michelle

    I LOVE From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and I love this idea!

  2. Andy Plemmons

    I love how you structured their menu with specific things to look at. I’m going to borrow that for next year!

  3. Mandy Watson

    I love this idea and would like to try it next school year near the beginning of the year with my 4th graders. Out of curiosity, what would you do differently (you mentioned in your post you would make a few changes)?

    • Mrs. Lodge

      In the future, I will preface the lesson with a discussion of how students might reflect on a book and model a book tasting more than I did this time around. I would also ask them to say why they responded positively or negatively. I had a lot of students in this group that were challenged by reading and writing so I said they could write anything, including smiley/sad faces. I ended up with a lot of those with no explanation of why a student didn’t like a book.
      It was a very flexible activity. I did fiction/informational text but I might use it to introduce new books or specific genres next year.

  4. robin

    I am a new media specialist looking for ideas. I LOVE the book tasting idea to use to kick the school year off! Thank you!

  5. Kandyce Barber

    How did you rotate the students from book to book?

    • mrslodge

      I would ring a bell/chime and they would pass their book to the next person.

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