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Book Tasting Event in Read 180

How does a teacher get students excited about reading, especially if her students struggle with reading and some outright dislike it?  I am a firm believer in, "it just takes one book"to ignite that passion.  Over twenty years ago, I had a student named Jason in my tenth-grade English class.  Students were required to read a book on their own and complete a project.  They had four weeks to do so. 

 At the end of the first week, Jason came up to me after class and said, "I finished my book."  I responded with, "Oh.  That's great."  Then I had one of those teacher moments-the kind you see in the movies.  Jason just stood there staring at me.  I knew he had something else to say.  He finally said it: "It's the first book I've ever finished reading on my own. " I still remember the title of the book- Raiders of the Lost Ark! Soon after this exchange, this student ended up in the hospital with a staph infection.  I called his mom to check on him, and she informed me that he had done nothing but read since being admitted!  

Fast forward over twenty years, and I am still trying to light that fire in all of my Jasons.  I decided to start the semester with a Book Tasting Party in my Read 180 classes.  Of course, I can't take credit for the idea.  I got it on Pinterest!  
The Adventure Course

The Humorous Course

The Girlie Course
I gave each student a book tasting menu and created four "courses". Each "course" was a genre.  Each course had at least fifteen books to choose from.  Students made their way around the room to the various tables, sampling books from each course. On their menus they were required to answer questions about three books they'd like to read.

Gotta Have Snacks!
As students tasted the books, I also fed them a few snacks.  They liked that part!  At the end, I had them look up the three books they chose on Amazon and read the reviews.  Now I am hoping they will pick a book they want to read!

Sampling a "delicious" book

Checking out the Mystery/Suspense Course
I have to say that I was very impressed with the kids' manners during this activity.  They were so polite and seemed to enjoy the opportunity!
Couldn't Resist this One!

Checking out a menu offering

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