I’ve talked about this program in other places, but I wanted to share it with my new followers and have it somewhere I can easily refer to it. This is how I’ve done several successful Book Speed Dating programs for teens. You could easily call it a Book Tasting and adapt the reading time for younger kids.
● Long tables with chairs
● A book you want to promote at each spot
● Forms for writing down interesting titles
Running the Program
I asked the teens to pick a seat and explained that finding the right book is like finding the right person. There is a book for everyone, but life is too short to read books you don’t like just like you don’t want to waste your time with someone who doesn’t make you happy.
I set a timer for three minutes and told them to look at the book, read the blurb, or start reading if they wanted to. You may want to vary the time depending on the fluency of your readers. Three minutes seemed like a good amount of time for most teens to get a feel for the book. At the end of the three minutes I gave them a minute to write down the title and author if they want to read more, and made sure that they knew it’s wasn’t a big deal if they didn’t.
Everyone then passed the book to their right and I set the timer again. After a couple rounds of this I gave them a break and booktalked a few titles. Hopefully after about 45 minutes each person has found at least a couple of books they’d like to get to know better.