A Good Book Is Like Fettuccine with the Alfredo

Posted on 09/18/2019
Fifth grade teacher Laura Schmitz serves a platter of books to a table of students

On Friday, Sept. 13, a crowd of Henderson fifth graders sat down at tables with red and white checkered tablecloths as they scanned through a menu full of delicious brain food. A server soon arrived at each of their tables with a platter of books. “Be careful now, the plates are very hot,” exclaimed the waitress. As part of a student “book tasting,” Henderson Elementary transformed their library into a restaurant for the day. However, instead of serving delicious plates of pasta, salads, and soup, they served daily specials of non-fiction, mystery, and fantasy.

During the tasting, the students visited various tables, each of which had a different literary genre and included about ten books. The students had a chance to try a little taste of each book and create a digital reading list for those that sparked their interest. “It is a good way to get them to try different types of books,” said Henderson Library Media Specialist Emily Gillett. “I tried to pull books that students wouldn’t normally pick on their own.”

Fifth grade students explore the various books at a table during Henderson's book tastingAs the students hungrily looked through the pile of literature, they enjoyed the tasty approach to reading. One student, Abigail, embraced the theme with a clever analogy about her favorite food, fettuccine alfredo. “Some books can be alfredo without the sauce, like a bad book that I’m not into, but I will still read. But the good books are the ones with the sauce and everything good on top.”

Another student, Reagan, shared how she isn’t a big fan of trying new things and can be quite the picky reader. “Trying new food and new books is kind of like the same thing,” she shared. Luckily, Henderson’s book tasting gave her a chance to step out of her comfort zone and hopefully find some of that yummy fettuccine alfredo.

While the students had a blast exploring books, the teachers and Gillett had some fun of their own pretending to be hostesses and servers. At the beginning of the activity, fifth grade teacher Laura Schmitz guided a group of students to their assigned table and asked if their party had arrived yet. Noticing a missing seat at the table, they shared that they were, in fact, missing one. “Oh, no worries,” said Schmitz. “She must be stuck in traffic.”

The Henderson teachers found clever and humorous ways to bring the restaurant to life for the students. Gillett shared how “there were some ‘issues’ along the way, so it was fun for the students to act like disgruntled customers.” One student “complained” to Gillett that her book cover was falling off to which the librarian replied, “Oh, I’m sorry about that, let me get you a free dessert on the house.”

The day was full of excitement and fun and may have helped to create some future literature foodies who will make a hobby of trying new books. Either way, the fifth graders at Henderson now have a new perspective on reading and a long list of books to try throughout the year. As the students left the restaurant that day, they thanked the wait staff for a great experience and ensured them that they would leave a five-star review. Some may even leave a comment about the fettuccine alfredo.

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