Skip to main content

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





Popular posts from this blog

Oreos in China and Read 180

A few years ago I read an article about what happened when Kraft introduced the Oreo to the Chinese in 1996.  It was not a success.  The Chinese thought the filling was too sweet-the cookie too bitter.  Kraft almost pulled the beloved cookie off the shelves. Instead, they began a quest to find out how to make the Oreo appeal to the Chinese. Enter the green tea Oreo, the mango Oreo, and an Oreo in the shape of a straw (not sure that still qualifies as an Oreo).  The revamped Oreos were a huge success! I found the article fascinating and decided to design a lesson around  it to share with my students.

First I showed them a news clip from CNN about the topic. Then, I taught them a few vocabulary words that appear in the article using Kate Kinsella's method.  Next, we read the article together and marked the text. I did a think aloud as I read aloud to them.  After that, students created a T-Chart listing the ten most important words in the text, as well as five main ideas from the tex…

Bottle Flipping

Last week someone posted article on Facebook about the newest trend with middle schoolers-bottle flipping.  If you haven't heard of it, you probably don't teach middle school or have a child in middle school! Consider  yourself lucky! If you know about it, then you also know it's annoying as heck.  Kids (usually boys), toss a partially filled water bottle into the air so that it flips in midair.  The goal is to have the bottle land upright.  This year I have had to ask several students to put their water bottles away because they wanted to flip them.  I know,  I'm mean!  



After reading the Facebook article I thought, "Hey!  I bet I can incorporate this into a lesson somehow."  Using my Oreo lesson as a model, that's just what I did.  First, I found two different articles about bottle flipping.  I went through both looking for key vocabulary words.  I then typed out the sentences with the words and created an activity where students had to guess the definit…

How to Train, Tame, and Enjoy a Seventh-Grader

I remember when my oldest son went to middle school.  I was a mess.  I was so anxious about whether he'd like his teachers, make friends, and be able to handle all of the work.  I think I was one of those parents that drive teachers crazy. No, I WAS one of those parents. I emailed teachers with questions that I could have asked my son (even when I asked him, I didn't trust his answer).  I checked his grades every day.  I constantly asked him whether or not he was caught up on homework. I asked him who he ate lunch with. If he didn't like a teacher, I wanted him transferred to another class.   If he messed up, I wanted to fix it.  If he didn't turn in an assignment on time, I wanted the teacher to let him turn it in late.  If he forgot his lunch, I wanted my husband to bring it to him (thankfully he refused). If he wasn't starting his homework when I thought he should,  I was practically putting the pencil in his hand and opening the textbook. In other words, I was …