Book Tasting at Waller HS
The Waller High School (WHS) Library treated students to an inventive way to discover books with a book tasting. The tasting was created to give students a chance to discover books and genres they would not normally choose. Librarian Jamie Cox first heard of book tasting while attending a conference for the Texas Library Association. With the help of the English Language Arts (ELA) team, led by Jessica Sanchez, Cox was able to offer the book tasting for two days allowing all students in ELA I and II classes to attend.
“I believe our 21st century learners need entertainment to hook them on reading, grab their attention, and model that reading can be entertaining,” Cox said. “As educators, we are competing with technology. games, and social media.”
During the book tasting, books were set out on multiple tables based on genre. Students rotated to three tables and had 10 minutes to explore a book and its genre. As they read the first three pages of a book, students filled out a questionnaire detailing their first impressions. To add a fun twist, Cox along with aide Cindy Schmidt gave the tasting a spooktacular theme. Along with spooky decorations and dressing up, they set out themed snacks such as gummy worms, marshmallows, and candy corn.
“My hope is that they were able to find a genre that piqued their interest as well as to know the accessibility of books available to them in their library,” Cox said. “If we added just one more student to the love reading category, I feel we were successful.”
After each rotation students tagged books that they were interested in and wanted to check out. To give them a greater chance of finding a book they enjoyed, students were encouraged to check out three books. WHS intends to host a book tasting for ELA III and IV classes in the spring semester.