Library senses: Book Tasting

How we come to discover books and fall in love with them is different for each of us. Some of us are reluctant readers who need a recommendation from a trusted friend. Some of us need time to linger and try a book before we dig in. And some of us just need to be pointed in the right direction.

In the last few weeks, I've had the pleasure of helping our third grade teachers introduce genres to their students. They approached me to pull books for a "book tasting" they were having in their rooms- and we decided to transform the library to the restaurant of choice.

The teachers arrived early in the morning to set the tables. Each table group for 4-5 students was covered with red bulletin board paper. Each individual space was set with a personalized placemat, menu, and napkin. The utensil was a pencil, and each table was set with a different genre for sampling.

My job? Provide the books. Mysteries. Realistic Fiction. Biographies. Graphic Novels. Informational Texts.Fantasies. Background music: Vince Guaraldi Quartet playing jazz.

Teachers gave the students about 2-3 minutes with a book, then taste another. After having the choice to try a few at the table, students rotated through different tables for different courses. Their menus were workspaces to make notes about books they tried and wanted to revisit.

After the hour-long tasting, students were invited to check out an additional 2 books to add to the collection they had previously checked out. We wanted that taste to become a craving, and wanted the book to be devoured by a hungry reader.

Book tasting was new to me. New to me, and I loved it. The control shifted from me to the kids. They were the ones picking up and choosing books. They were coming to their own decisions about what they wanted to read. They had the choice- and we were creating readers.

Thanks, Joanne Miller for your great resources!


Popular Posts