6th Grade Book Tasting

Innovative Idea Sparks Interest in Reading at PES


Image 1: A sign is posted on the outside of the PES Learning Commons sharing excitement for the Book Tasting Event. Image 2: Dana Clutter looks on smiling and sharing in her students excitement for the morning event.

Pierceton Elementary hosted Dana Clutter's 6th Grade classroom Monday (August 12) inside of the Learning Commons & Maker's Space. Students joined teacher Hilary Stouder and prepared to sample some of the newest books to grace the library's collection at PES.

"Readers of graphic novels are introduced to many more new words, increasing their vocabulary, because the pictures are able to support these more complex words."

- Hilary Stouder

Tables were set with placemats, books, and of course snacks. Stouder and Clutter hope to spark interest in their students by partnering fun food with good literature.

At the tables, students were encouraged to read only a "tasting" or a small sample of one of the many books available to them, and then write a positive review on their placemat. Students then rotated throughout the room's various tables to sample more of the books available.

Students enjoyed pretzels and animal crackers while skimming through some of the many new arrivals in the PES Learning Commons.

Some of the books the students were most excited about were the new graphic novels, explained Stouder. "Graphic novels are a genre that our students love. [They] may seem 'easy' at first glance, but they truly have their own challenge."

As the librarian at PES and SWE, she sees the benefits. "Readers of graphic novels are introduced to many more new words, increasing their vocabulary, because the pictures are able to support these more complex words." What's more, the graphic novels can also support readers in developing inferential thinking with the details and structure of the text. Not to mention students become engaged with the text!

"Some of our new graphic novels include a graphic novel version of 'Anne of Green Gables' and 'Explorer' by Kazu Kibuishi, author of the 'Amulet' series," said Stouder.

Students wrote on their placemats brief reviews encouraging other students to read the book they sampled. They tried to explain why this may be a good book choice for others to read.

Students wrote on their placemats brief reviews encouraging other students to read the book they sampled. They tried to explain why this may be a good book choice for others to read.