Monday, August 5, 2013

Book Frenzy: Meet Our Class Library!

A few weeks ago, I came across this wonderful blog post on "Book Speed Dating":

After Twitter conversations with Erica, the blogger, I decided to try a version of this with my 3rd graders on the second day of school.  I decided to call it a Book Frenzy instead of Speed Dating.  (Maybe more appropriate for the age group, I think.)

We tried it today.  

We LOVED it.  It was mass chaos with book previews!

Here's what we did:

We started with a discusion about how to preview and approach a book.  Students were told that they would have 2 minutes per book.  They were to look at:

  • the title and author/illustrator
  • cover art
  • summary or art on the back
Each student was given a recording Scoring Sheet to record the title, author, and a ranking for each book.

After this, each student went into the classroom library to grab a basket of books that interested them.  

We sat in a circle with clipboards, pencils, and a ton of books.  Each student started with one book and had two minutes to preview it.  The Frenzy began!

At first, it was silent in the room as students previewed their books.  But as time went on, students started looking at each other's choices and noticing what else was available.  I spent my time having quick conversations with kids and talking up the books they were previewing.

Students started discussing the books they ranked the highest, and the books would go on their To-Read lists.

Very soon, books were everywhere.  Students were up and looking at other students' lists and stacks of books.  And just as I suspected, students started hoarding books.
"May I please go put this book in my desk? I don't want anyone else to get it until I can read it."  

At the end, each student had a successful starting list of books they planned to read.  Then,we shared these top-ranking books in small groups.  (This was easy because most students had taken multiple books back to their desks.)

Not only do my students feel more familiar with our library now, but they have a plan for their reading lives.  It was remarkable how such a short Book Frenzy (around 30 minutes), could create such extreme Book Excitement!

Baby Mouse Frenzy

Thanks again to Colby Sharp and Erica Beaton for blogging their Book Speed Dating procedures!


  1. Ann! This is fantastic! I'm so glad it was such a success. Well done. Your students look totally engaged and loving it. AND I just love the photos you took! :)

  2. Thank you so much! I appreciate all of your help and your supportive words!