Return to Headlines

5th grade teacher turns classroom into 'Starbooks' for book tasting

Teacher turns classroom into a Starbucks

Rumsey Station Elementary 5th Grade Teacher Beth Gaule found a unique way to get her students excited about reading by dressing up her classroom like a Starbucks or “Starbooks” as she calls it for a “book tasting” in late August. 

Gaule transformed her classroom with aprons, signs, menus, and more. She even got Starbucks to donate cups to make the theme more realistic.

The students "tasted" different genres of books. Gaule hopes the activity introduced them to different types of books they may not have otherwise been interested in. Gaule spent part of her summer designing menus with "four courses" listed on the menu with the following genres: fantasy, historical fiction, realistic fiction, and action/mystery/adventure as one category.

book tasting

The way the book tasting worked was each kid got to "taste" three books within each genre during a 15 minute rotation. During the tasting, they filled out slips where they rated everything from the cover to the excerpt on the back of the book. Once they were done, each group had a discussion about the books they tasted. Different staff members popped in and out of the classroom to help facilitate the book talks. 

Reading is a huge part of 5th grade. The students are challenged to read 40 books during the school year. 

"The biggest problem 5th graders have is they come in and they go 'I don't know what book I want to read'," Gaule said.

The students were genuinely interested in the activity and took the process seriously.

"I was surprised at how quiet they were - they were all about the books," she said smiling.

Gaule explained the key to getting a reluctant reader to want to read is to spark their interest. The "book tasting" was designed to do just that.

"I hope it opens their mind to trying all of the genres," she said.

Gaule says reading is the key to everything. 

See video of the activity here: 

See photos from the activity here: