Our school librarian got the idea from a blog post she ran across. Mrs. Reader Pants explains in detail how to set up the "dating," and I will not take away from her by explaining that here.
During the first round of my first class, most kids were engaged at truly looking at the book covers. I did hear one boy say, "I want the thinnest book possible." I asked if that was representative of how he chooses the girls he likes. Another said it didn't matter what he looked at; he was not going to check out a book anyway.
By the end of the first round, however, five students had found a book that they wanted to check out. This surprised me. I expected one at the most. As we continued rotating, a few kids changed their minds and traded out their original choices.
As we approached the last round, one girl was disappointed that they could not continue rotating through the genres. To appease her, with our last few minutes, the kids were allowed to peruse any table they wished, as well as browse through the rest of the library itself.
|Fourth Period (with model poses)|
Now not every class was thoroughly engaged. I have two truly awesome classes and two that are a bit rougher. There is a clear line between readers and non-readers between class periods. But they still participate din the activity, even if they did not check out books at the end of the class.
Most of the students in each class did end up checking out at least one book, and that does not happen very often. This included kids I did not expect. When I checked with students after each class, they said they really enjoyed the activity.