As we all know…Valentines Day in Elementary school can be CRAY-zy. Candy here…candy there…hearts….cards….chaos. So it is important for me to make this day meaningful and somewhat organized-ish. I do this by setting up “Speed Dating with Books” in my classroom.
I place a book at each seat, making sure to choose a variety (graphic novels, beginning readers, mysteries, etc.) that most students may not have seen before. This is a great time to introduce books that may be a part of your “March Book Madness” in March! I usually save my fee money to buy many new books for students to get excited about! As you can tell from the picture, I purchased the new Dogman at the time, new BigNate, some picture books, as well as some favorites from our library.
The first step is to transform your room into a “romantic” setting for dating. I add little tea-lights, Valentine’s Day themed balloons & table clothes, vases, fake roses, etc. I then place a book at each students desk. The first thing I discuss with my students is how to rotate around the room. Students stand up and we practice moving from book to book until they are back at their original seat. I PROMISE you…you want to practice first…it will save your sanity! 🙂 I also introduce the activity by explaining that… “today you will be going on several dates. It is important that you give your date 100% of your attention! You will be asking your date their name, where they are from, and more! I will be serving food to hard workers during these dates! You don’t want your date to starve!” We then start our rotations through each book. Students spend about 3 minutes at each book, answering questions about the cover (first impression), setting (where the book is from), characters, etc. After the 3 minutes (sometimes this isn’t long enough…I just kind of get a feel for when most students are done answering their questions) they rotate to a new book.
This continues until time is up–I usually continue for most of the class period. Once students have concluded their dates they now get to reflect on all the books read. They must choose the books they were a “perfect match.” We now add possible reads to our TBR and discuss as a class or in groups!
HOW TO SET STAGE:
A peak inside my Date With a Book transformation box:
The target dollar spot is also a GREAT place to find V-Day themed decorations! This year (2019) I have purchased these items to add to my collection!
Looking for a little something extra to add to your transformation? I’ve created several things just for you including: treat bag decorations, bookmarks, “the perfect match” recording sheet, and much more! Check it out in my TPT store. Here’s a little peak!:
Check out my Engaging Books for 3rd Graders post for some new book ideas to include in your dating!!