Teachers Serve Up Stories at Corbett Prep ‘Book Tasting’
Teachers introduced the concept of genres to students through a book tasting, which allowed them to sample different types of books.
Sept. 22, 2016 (TAMPA, Fla.) – If you always read mysteries, you may wonder if a nonfiction book would hold your attention. Or maybe you love fiction but assume a series would go on too long.
To save students from reading ruts, Corbett Prep teachers decided to help them develop a taste for something new. Third and fourth grade teachers planned a “book tasting” for their classes to introduce the concept of genres in literature and help them define their interests.
Teachers set up long dining tables with books from particular genres stacked like centerpieces throughout.
“Instead of feasting on steak and lobster, they are feasting on fiction, nonfiction, mystery and series books,” said fourth grade teacher Kim Rostick.
How do you “taste” a book? Students received pamphlets in lieu of a menu for logging their experiences and observations. They wrote down the title and genre and what they thought of the cover, and then recorded their thoughts after a few minutes of reading. Teachers asked them to explain their reaction to the book and describe what the author did to capture their attention.
“The cover made me think it was historical,” one student wrote of a nonfiction book. “The cover made me wonder,” another student said after looking at a fiction choice. One girl was surprised to find herself enjoying nonfiction: “It is helping me learn new things,” she said after reading an excerpt.
Like a progressive dinner, students moved from one table to another after a certain amount of time so they could sample the next course or, in this case, genre. Choosing familiar and unfamiliar books from the pile, they settled into their chairs and began reading. They wrote whether they would want to read the entire book and copied titles of some favorite reads onto a bookmark to return to later.
All the books at the tasting were also available in third and fourth grade classrooms or in the school library. A snack of books, the teachers hoped, could whet students’ appetite for a main course of something new down the road.