Imagine you are standing in a candy store. Your eyes instantly lock onto your favourite treat. Why try something else when you already have a favourite, right? But what if the treat right next to your favourite was even better? How would you know without tasting it? 🍫
This could also happen with a favourite book genre! I know I am definitely guilty of this. I tend to borrow the same style of books from the library each time, even googling ‘like authors’ to find my next read. But what if my new favourite book was just waiting for me to try…or taste?
That is where a book tasting comes in! It can be very easy for our young readers to get stuck in a ‘book rut’. Either they are reading the same books and authors over and over or they just don’t know what to read next. As teachers (and parents) our goal is to instill in our students a love of reading. We want to introduce them to new genres, authors and book series so that they have an endless supply of good reads.
A ‘Book Tasting’ is an interactive reading event designed to encourage students to try out new story genres; maybe even genres that they would never have picked up without our encouragement! Students ‘taste’ a variety of books, and hopefully find their next favourite read.
Our Book Tasting pack is perfect for this and has everything you need to set up and run. Just add books! This resource is suited to grades 2+.
The Sweet Story Shop is our early years take on the ‘Book Tasting’ event. Students will literally be like ‘kids in a candy store’ as they ‘taste’ a range of story genres.
To set up, create a table for each type of genre you would like your students to explore. Each table will have a genre poster and a selection of books from that genre, as well as your chosen method of ‘tasting notes’. For our youngest learners, we have created resources that ask students to draw a picture of the book they explore at each table – either on a lolly shaped response card that they can add to their lolly bag, or on a ready-to-go placemat.
Once students are finished at the first table, they move onto the next and continue like this until all tables have been visited. At the end of the event, there is the option for students to indicate which book they would most like to read next, and maybe even borrow the book (depending on where they have come from).
Your ‘Sweet Story Shop’ book tasting can be as simple or as fancy as you like. Set it up in your classroom or the library, and theme with ‘lolly shop’ style decorations to really add to the atmosphere. Party decorations from Kmart such as bright coloured table cloths, tinsel backing and plastic lolly jars are always great for this! Fill jars with coloured Pom Poms, bright erasers, colourful streamers or even real lollies for a special treat.
Book tastings are a fun and interactive way to get students to explore different genres. You never know, it may be the turning point for them to start reading a whole new range of books!
After all, just like trying new foods, you won’t know if you like it until you try!