Book Tasting!

Are you looking for a creative way to review or introduce your scholars to the many literary genres? Try a Book Tasting! With this activity scholars analyze, summarize, and use inference to examine the literary genres. This is a great way to introduce the topic or review for test prep! So… how does it work? My partner teacher, Molly Gus, and I set up our classrooms to look like a restaurant. Each table had a table cloth, menu, place setting, flowers, and the “Book Tasting” packet (below). Each table also contained a different set of novels to reflect each of the literary genres. Books are differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. We had eight different tables but you can vary that based on your classroom needs. We were waitresses for the day! The scholars were served appetizers (carrots and homemade dip), a main course (cheesy rigatoni and bread), and two desserts (brownies and Rice Krispy treats). At each course they examined a different book and collaborated with their group to answer the questions from the “Book Tasting” packet. Rotations between courses or books can happen several ways. The scholars can actually move to different tables or they can just exchange books, which is what we did. We set a timer so they knew how much time they had before the next course/book would be served. They absolutely LOVED this! Although I spent most of Sunday afternoon cooking, the excitement and gratitude of our scholars made it all worth it! This activity can be modified in SO many ways to fit different grades, contents, or subjects. I wish I could take credit for this but I can’t. The AMAZING website below is where I got all the information. I just recreated the packet to fit the needs of my classroom. We titled our restaurant the “Scranton Bistro”” and it will most definitely be remembered!

Kirsten Fischer began her teaching career in 1996 and has been with the CMSD for 21 years. She currently teaches middle school English Language Arts to grades 6–8 at Scranton School. She has ten years of experience teaching the primary grades and has spent the past 11 in middle school. Her experience includes gifted and talented, single-gender education, inclusion, and English Language Learners. She attended Ohio University for her bachelor’s degree and Ashland University for her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and literacy. Kirsten earned Master Teacher Certification in 2013. She is a CMSD SpringBoard Curriculum trainer for grades 6–12. Kirsten has a love of and enthusiasm for middle school learning centers. In addition to teaching, Kirsten adores her husband and 5 children.