Teachers in Grade 3 are known for their creative themes to introduce new concepts to their students. “Book Tasting Day” was no exception. Ms. Barocas’, Ms. Amin’s, and Ms. Edwards’ Grade 3 classes participated in a unit about sampling different genres of books found in their classrooms.

After reading the book The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers, Grade 3 students looked around the room to find tables with books stacked high for them to dine on. Books in different genres were grouped together based on their similarities. Some auto-biographies were stacked with biographies while some fantasy books were grouped with fairy tales and so on. Students had two minutes to explore the books on their table, five minutes to sample their chosen book, and time to fill out a menu which included likes, dislikes, perception of the cover, and whether or not they would read the book. This process continued as students walked from table to table sampling books. By the end of this exploration, students had a full bookmark with titles of books they wanted to read later as well as books they wanted to suggest to their classmates.

Students not only learned about different types of books, but they learned about the library system in their classrooms. “I finally figured out the best system to organize my books and I want my students to take full advantage. Students can intuitively check in and out books based on the color coded genre seen on the spine. This unit was their introduction.” Ms. Barocas said, “This is also how I like to see my students as readers. Do they like to read? What kinds of books will they pick up? How do they interact with books?”

The Grade 3 teachers also wanted to use paperback books instead of organizing an online book reading activity. Ms. Edwards, who has a passion for reading said, “I loved watching the kids walk around the room excited to pick up books. They were even more excited to recommend them to others.”

While some students immediately gravitated towards books they knew they liked, “I was excited to see some Star Wars books”, one student said. Others had a passion for reading all kinds of books, “I love reading, so I couldn’t wait to get to read the books in our classroom library!” another Grade 3 student enthusiastically shared.

Grade 3 isn’t the only grade that wants to spark a passion for reading. Many teachers hold periods throughout the day called DEAR – Drop Everything And Read. Most times the expectation is to flip through an actual book instead of a digital one. With the recent reorganizing of the Inquiry Zone, the library on Lower Campus, students have access to a library full of the most popular books appropriate for every grade level on campus.

Students are encouraged to check out books with their class with Ms. Ahern and Ms. Pizano during the Inquiry Zone hours on Tuesday and Wednesday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm.