Each Tuesday the amazing bloggers at Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life Stories (SOLS). This is where bloggers link up to share anything they would like to share about what is happening in their lives.
I like to do a few book talks each week in my fourth grade classroom, but recently due to snow days and just regular business, I have not been doing them regularly. This week I made sure to do two book talks. I shared Jennifer Richard Jacobson's new book, Paper Things and Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.
My students do not always hang on my every word when I am teaching, but they do when I am talking about books I love. Even if the book does not interest them, they want to know why I liked it so much.
I must have been pretty excited because after talking about these two books this week, almost every single student wanted to enter for a chance to be the first reader, even the boys who normally prefer fantasy. I felt like a gameshow host as I pulled out the "winners". There were squeals of delight and fist pumping. This was followed by negotiations by classmates to get the book when the winners were done.
Why am I NOT doing this more often? Book talks are a simple, quick way to get students motivated and excited to read. This week was a good reminder for me. If you have not tried book talks in your classroom, just try one and you will be hooked. Just choose a book you love and tell your audience what it is about and why you love it. Make sure not to give too much away. I keep a jar and slips of paper for my two classes to enter to read the book first, but any procedure will work as long as your enthusiasm shines through.