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Speed dating with BOOKS!

Published Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Berkeley High teacher Mrs. Megan Minkin ponders every day on how she can get students to read more. Her desire to get her students reading in an attempt to enforce critical thinking, improve writing and etc. is what prompted a special lesson she launched in her class this year.

Speed Dating Books

  • Step 1 - Students choose a table/station based on the books they want to read. Tables and books are organized by genre. They remain at the station for at least one round of "dating."
  • Step 2 - Students review the options at the table. They look at the book jacket cover. They develop a first impression.
  • Step 3- Students pick up a book and read it for one minute. Even if it's awful, they are to push through their "date."
  • Step 4 - After a few rounds of "book dates" at the station, students have the opportunity to find a new date an a different station.
  • NOTES - Students stayed at tables for at least two rounds. The class time allowed for approximately five rounds with several minutes at the end of the class to spend with their "final date."

Mrs. Minkin said the goal was to prove to students that there are books out there that will captivate their interest. She found that by comparing the books to dates, the teens in her high school class were able to find books that made them want to read.

"During the speed dating books activity, they had access to many best-selling and award winning young adult novels," she said. "I feel safe in saying that every student in my room found at least one book that at least piqued their interest. I gave them a few minutes to read once the activity was over. It was comical to watch some students fight over books, even students I would’ve expected to put their heads down during the silent reading time. During the five minutes they had to read after the activity, every single kid had a head in a book. When I told them time was up, several even had a hard time closing their books."

Before beginning the lesson, Mrs. Minkin showed the students this video: https://youtu.be/Nk5jhGZiDhI 

Mrs. Minkin 

* This article/post is one of several BCSD publishes in our Imagination Station -- where we share innovative approaches to learning in our classrooms. Some of the activities and lesson plans are unique and originate with our teachers while others are adopted from other educators.