1. Various ways to love books
Put out a piles of 6-8 books of various types and genres on several tables and seat them at the tables. Tell them they will have only two minutes to “Speed Browse” the books at their table, (read the first page, last page, back cover, author information, reviews, look at illustrations, etc.), and then have to talk to their tablemates about their impressions of the books individually. They HAVE to touch each book during the two minutes enough to get an impression. Follow this with a table discussion about the books’ components such as things how why one book does or doesn’t interest them, or what does capture their eye in a book they like. You could then have them present their best and worst of the table to the whole group after everyone at the table has shared. This will get them interacting with books as well as being critical readers and discussing books in connection to themselves as well as thinking about what kinds of things interest them as a reader.
Make large cards with just the blurb from the book and the title – maybe a small picture representative of an element of the story, also a bit of the first chapter. The idea is that they will choose based on what the story is about, not the length or the cover.
Give 1/2 the class salesperson slips, with the name of a series author. The salesperson can earn a special book seller “Power Paw,” redeemable for our donated giveaway books, origami that I make, etc. The customers will have a special Power Paw (worth five of the good behavior Paws) with which to buy, i.e. checkout, a book that a salesperson has persuaded him/her to buy. I’m going to use it as a double whammy, giving the salespeople the call numbers, but getting the location and booktalking practice.
I have piled stacks of books all over the tables. When the class comes in, they choose a table to sit and pick a book that appeals to them. They are given 5 minutes to “get to know” the book they pick up. After 5 minutes – everyone goes to a different table. If the first book they read has really grabbed them – they can check it out and go sit on the bean bag chairs and read the rest of the time. If the first book did not grab them – they choose a book from the 2nd table and give it 5 more minutes. We had them switch 4 times. Then the teacher told them it was time to make a final decision on which book they were going to take out for a longer “date”.
Another take on the ‘speed dating’ that I’ve used with Year 10’s who thought it was the best fun ever – is to collect a range of books – both fiction/non-fiction, classic, modern etc and spread them around the tables. Each student sat at a table and had 2 minutes to get a brief idea of the book. At end of 2 mins, bell sounded and students had to record brief details of the book – title/author and a rating: truly, madly, deeply/maybe another night darling/sorry you’re not my type. Then next book etc. Continued the activity until students had recorded info for about 10 books. Students thought it was hilarious and really entered into the spirit of it. In discussion following the frenzy of the activity, students were amazed to discover how varied their book tastes were. They are eager for a repeat so that’s something worth noting for seniors!! Add to the occasion by using sticky note hearts/minties – anything to make it a bit different. Thanks to Jeananne
I have been thinking that it also might work with a compilation of film clips
HA HA Speedbook dating (designed by Helen (H) and Anne- me (A) for our Book Odyssey evening – we are a bit crazy (HA HA) to try this with Year 8 and 9 students from a boys school and a girls school in one group and also their parents in another group – 70 people in total HA HA ) People sit in 2 rows facing each other. Hit the bell. They have one minute to talk about a favourite book. They can talk about more than one book. Make sure they introduce themselves. Hit the Bell. The person opposite talks about a favourite book. Hit the bell. One side of the row moves down one seat. Start over. Do this three or four times. With younger boys, it will help if they have the book in their hand. Most girls will talk for longer than most boys, so if the boys are on one side, you can alter the time accordingly. Good ice breaker. Good with adults too.
Apparently, this is also called speed booking. More here http://createreaders.natlib.govt.nz/2008/08/spice-up-your-book-club-with-speed.html
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