Objective: Give students a taste of genres they wouldn’t typically choose
Time: One 45-55 minute class period
Classroom = Restaurant: Arrange the room so it resembles tables, dress in an apron or other chef attire, advertise your restaurant name outside your door
At each place setting, have 1-2 books from that genre. Also have a small pile of extra books from that genre in case students have already read or have absolutely no interest in the books at their place setting.
Option 1: Collaborate as a Language Arts department to provide a book tasting for every student
Each teacher chooses a genre that their room will be dedicated to, decorates accordingly, provides plenty of books from that genre
Choose a method for students to rotate among the classes. They can rotate as a class where the teacher remains in her classroom to present her genre to the visiting students. Or students can freely choose which genres/rooms they’d like to visit.
Schedule: We allowed 15 minutes in each room, which was plenty of time for the teacher to share the Daily Special–a highly dramatic sampling of one of the best books in that genre–as well as time for students to look through 1-2 books at their table.
Option 2: Execute a book tasting just for your students using your classroom. Each table of your classroom features a different genre. Students rotate among the tables either of their choosing or based on teacher-created groups.
Book Tasting Menu for student response. The students kept this with them to record their feelings about the books they previewed.
Place settings: Use clip art of a place setting to put at each seat with a book on top of it.
Genre decorations: Pinterest was a great help for inspiration here to decorate for a specific genre. Some rooms went with more of a “coffee house” theme or “Chicago deli” theme if their genre was difficult to decorate for. Some teachers adopted an alternate persona for the day to be in character for their genre.
Follow Up: We gave students a survey the following day and got affirming results. Most students say this exercise helped them find books they’d like to read in genres they wouldn’t typically choose! Almost all of them said they’d like us to do it again next semester.
*Our librarian was a huge help in getting us books for each room. We also combed our classroom libraries for the best of the best in each genre. Each room had around 50 books from that genre.
*This teacher has a great overview of her book tasting. Check it out for some pictures!