Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Tasting Anyone?

A couple of  weeks ago I tried out something I've seen on several TL/SLMS blogs within the last year...a book tasting.  It was a fairly easy lesson to create, but it does take some time to plan.

First I created a short PowerPoint about how to browse  or "taste" a book. 

Then I put together a "menu" for the tasting based on a menu created by Mrs. Lodge of Mrs. Lodge's Library blog.  You can see her post here.  

Next I ran a STAR Reading report for each 2nd-5th grade class and divided them into four to five like reading ability groups.  This is probably the most time consuming part of planning/preparing this type of lesson.

Finally, I pulled 6-10 books for each group that would fit their reading ability and placed them on serving tray on a table along with a flower vase and some battery operated candles, just to set the mood.  I pulled non-fiction books since that is our Genre of the Month.  Also since most students don't usually go straight for non-fiction, this was a great chance to show students that non-fiction can be enjoyable, too.

After the first book tasting lesson with a second grade class, I realized it might be helpful to have a list of adjectives to help fill out the menu, so I created a list of adjectives, laminated it and placed several copies of it at each table.  It took the second grade class longer to fill out their menu, so I also thought it might be better to do a guided "tasting" and only "taste" one book.  So I created a shorter menu for 2nd and 3rd graders.

You can get a copy of this pack here or by clicking on the picture above.

If you're interested in how other TL/SLMS have done their book tatstings, you might like to check out these blog posts:

Mrs. Lodge's Library: "Book Tasting"  (This is the blog post that the book tasting menus are based on.)
The Unquiet Librarian: Book Tasting posts
Barrow Media Center "Book Tasting"
Miss Liberry Teacher "Book Tasting"
Tree Frog Blog "Welcome to the Book Tasting"
Liquid Literacy "Book Tasting"

So have you ever done a book tasting?  If so, how did it go?

UPDATE:  I was a guest on Jocelyn Sams' Elementary Librarian's podcast and I shared all about my book tasting experiences. You can listen to the podcast here.  I had so much fun and hope to be a guest on her podcast again soon.  =)


  1. Hi Jo, I love your ideas! Thanks for sharing! I recently did this with my sixth graders. Here is a post I wrote about it.

    1. Thanks for sharing! I will add your link in the blog post above for future reference. =)

  2. Hello! I LOVE this idea (and so many other of your ideas). Do you have your materials up anywhere yet? Thanks for being such a wonderful model for our profession!!

    1. Hi Corisa,
      You can find the Book Tasting pack here or on my Freebies page. Hope you enjoy! =)

  3. I've done something similar with my 3rd and 4th graders, but I set up in a speed-dating style. I pulled 10-12 books that NEVER get checked out and put them on tables, with 3-4 students per table. I gave them about 3-5 minutes (depending on the # or tables and # of minutes we have) to pick up any book and read silently. When I say rotate, they rotate to the next table and do it again. If they find a book they like after reading the first page or two they can set that book aside on the rug so that no one else can claim it. (I always use my example of how the first sentence of Charlotte's Web hooked me in 2nd grade!). Once they've rotated to all of the tables most students have at least 1 new book they never would have looked twice at before. I do allow a little bit of time to peruse the shelves for those students who still need time to find books to check out. I've also found it necessary to have a stack of books ready to add to any tables that are emptying before the time is up.

  4. Thank you so much for the pictures and the easy to follow directions. I am going to try this during Book Week in the Media Center.