As we were doing curriculum planning this week for the upcoming school year (yes, really, we’re already thinking about it … crazy, we know!), we came across a great idea from an awesome book called, Literacy and the Common Core (which is a much better read than we thought it would be based on the title (this is our affiliate link)). There we were, judging a book by it’s cover, which, ironically, is what Speed Dating with a Book is all about!
- You line up the desks in your room and place several books from your classroom library on each desk.
- Students rotate from left to right and get three minutes to go on a “date” with the books in front of them.
- They can look at the front and back covers, read a page or two, skim the illustrations, etc.
- At the end of the three minutes, they fill out a card with brief notes on one of the books they “dated.” (We’re talking brief notes here: title of book, positive or negative reaction of the first few pages, and why they want to continue “getting to know the book” if that’s the case.)
- Students rotate throughout the room until they’ve looked through all the books.
- When “Speed Dating” is over, each student takes one book home with them and reads the first thirty pages.
Literacy and the Common Core even includes a form for students to complete at home with several questions about the novel. We so wish we had done something like this at the beginning of the year when we first started teaching. Our students often didn’t know what book to pick from the classroom library. Even though we had painstakingly organized our classroom libraries by genre and brightly labeled baskets, “Speed Dating” would have given them more of a chance to find a “just right” book for D.E.A.R. time!