The sounds of smooth jazz filled the air as students cued up outside the Resource Center.. It was our first book tasting of the year.
I greeted them at the door festooned with my chef hat and apron and a very corny French accent. “Velcome to ze book cafe, I am your host, Monsieur Burleson. I have prepared for you some of the very best books. Please come in and find a seat at one of our finest tables.”
At this point, many kids were totally amused and a bit put off, but I continued, dropping the French accent, to explain that we would be sampling some of the best books of the year and a few classics sprinkled in for flavor. Many of the books I chose also tied into our SEL focus. If you would like to look at the book list I used for this activity, you can access it HERE. I shared the placemat with them and explained that they would be exploring the large stack of books on the table and rating and making notes about why they rated the books the way they did. I used a simple timer with peaceful music to mark our rotations and set the kids off to enjoy their feast. We did a couple of ten-minute rotations and then shared with partners at our table.
You know your ‘tasting’ is a success when students ask to check out picture books so that they can finish reading them! I thoroughly enjoyed sitting and reading beside students and having conversations about books. This was a playful and fitting way to end our picture book month activities.