Last week, Mrs. Dubec’s seventh grade students experienced “fine dining” when their English Language Arts (ELA) classroom transformed into a café for a Book Tasting. The Book Tasting gave students a delicious way to engage with different authors, books, and genres.
What is a Book Tasting?
A Book Tasting is a high-impact, fun event designed to introduce students to various types of books.
“The purpose of the Book Tasting was to invite students to choose books they want to read instead of being assigned a particular book. “My goal is to ignite enthusiasm about reading,” said Elaine Dubec, Seventh Grade ELA Teacher. “If students are allowed to select and read the genres of books they enjoy, they are less likely to get bored and choose not to read.”
Red and white tablecloths, dim lights, and soft music set the café mood. Each table was labeled to reflect a genre, and a blank “menu” provided the students an opportunity to write down the titles they found interesting.
“Self-selected, independent reading is an important aspect of our curriculum, so we will continue to host these tastings throughout the school year,” said Dubec. “The students are already looking forward to conducting this activity again.”
Research has shown that self-elected reading improves vocabulary, focus, general knowledge, memory, and inferencing skills in all subjects. It also reduces stress, improves sleep, and strengthens analytical skills.
According to Mrs. Dubec, the Book Tasting is one of the first steps to using students’ self-selected reading to reinforce what she teaches in the classroom. For instance, students are currently learning about symbolism and identifying symbols in short stories and in their self-selected books, which they in turn write about in class. Students will learn to use the concepts they are taught in class to make deeper connections to what they are reading on their own.
About Grace School
Grace School is a private, Christian school in Houston, Texas serving students from ages 20 months through Grade 8. Uniquely combining a faith-based STEM curriculum, Grace School fosters an environment where children develop the skills and mindsets to become compassionate innovators, problem solvers, creators, and changemakers.