I’m going to put ReadWriteThink up there with the best repositories of teaching ideas. Let me just say that upfront. I’ve been listening to the Text Messages podcast for many years now, and usually as a result I spend a ton of money on books. A couple of months ago, Dr. Buehler had a conversation with teen librarians, and Book Speed Dating was one of the activities they suggested to expose students to a high volume of books in a short amount of time.
With the help of one of the Rockin’ Librarians at my school, we pulled books off the shelf, arranging them into loose genres, and placed them on tables. Students got three minutes at each table, perusing titles, covers, page counts, illustrations, chapter lengths, the inside flap, etc. to decide if what they were looking at was something they’d like to read. If it made the cut, at the very least the title and author were written down on the TBR page of their notebook. Then they switched tables.
At the end of the time, they had the opportunity to check out books they found interesting, or just peruse the library collection. This is an activity I definitely want to do again. And I didn’t even mind (in fact I volunteered) shelving some of the books that were not checked out.
Some of my students are already dissatisfied with their self-selections, which is going to be a great point of entry to talk about what readers do when they’re not happy with what they’re reading and how to make a “better” selection next time.