Meet the Teacher


Hosting a Reading Restaurant

The Reading Restaurant was open this week and it was a hit! I served up some fabulous books and my first graders were totally engaged.
If you haven’t tried a book tasting yet, I highly recommend you give it a try! It’s easy to do and an inexpensive room transformation. 
All you need is great books, a serving tray, and if you want, a chef’s hat and apron, and tablecloths.

The day prior to the Reading Restaurant have students make reservations.  I used a reservation list and students just signed their names onto the reservation list.
I decided to serve books that were fiction, nonfiction, fairy tales, biography and series.  I selected diverse books from each genre.  I had around ten to fifteen books for each type.  I did not want to overwhelm students with a ton of books.  Since book tastings are supposed to be like speed dating, where you just preview the goods, I wanted my students to have enough time to look at all of the books. 

On the big day, the classroom was ready to go. The above photos were taken before school. Once students arrived, I divided them  up into five groups randomly.  I asked if they had a reservation and took them to their table. I turned on some soft instrumental jazz music to add to the mood. Restaurant patrons were also served light snacks {goldfish and pretzels} for authenticity.

Students were given their book tasting response books {above} and I explained what would happen and reviewed expectations for the day.

I served each table the books from their genre on my serving tray.  I introduced myself as the Chef and asked them to jot down in their books the characteristics of the books in that specific genre.  Each table had a sign explaining the genre as you can see in the pictures above.

Once students wrote the characteristics of their genre, it was time to read!  Students were asked to look at all of the books and, then, if there was time left, to read.  After about 20-25 minutes, groups rotated to another table and began the process all over again.

My first graders absolutely loved the Reading Restaurant and asked if we could do it again.  We just may!  It was a wonderful way to celebrate books and share the love of reading!

All of the materials I used are from my Reading Celebration Diverse Books resource.  Beside materials for the book tasting, it has some great activities to go with amazing books.
I am Sacagewea by Brad Meltzer
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures by Julia Mosca
I am Jackie Robinson by Brad Meltzer
Chocolate Milk, Por Favor by Maria Dismondy
Brave by Stacy McAnulty
I am Helen Keller by Brad Meltzer
Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
Little People, Big Dreams Anne Frank by M. Isabel Sanchez Vergara
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
I am Gandhi by Brad Meltzer
You can find it here.

My Amazon store has a list of everything that I used for the book tasting.  Find it here. {These are affiliate links}

I hope I convinced you to try a book tasting!  Let me know in the comments below!

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