To generate interest in selecting new books, or to introduce kids to your classroom library in the beginning of the year, try having each student choose books for a partner. Explain to the kids that, in order to choose interesting books for their partner, they will need to know something about their partner’s interests first.
To do this, the kids could create interview questions of their own, or you could give them a list of questions such as the following:
- What type of fiction books do you like best – realistic, fantasy, sci-fi, historical, or something else?
- What types of informational books do you enjoy?
- What sports or hobbies are you interested in?
- What are your favorite movies and TV shows?
- What are your favorite sites on the internet?
- What school subjects are your favorites?
- Do you like funny books? Poetry books? How-to books? Biographies?
- What types of book characters do you like to read about – ordinary teens, superheroes, unusual creatures, historical figures?
- Do you like stories that take place in the present or in the past?
Next, kids use their lists of questions to interview their partner, writing down their answers as they do. After completing their interviews, students should browse the class library to choose several books to recommend to their partner.
The answers to their interview questions should help students to focus their search, and trying to select books for a partner should be motivation to search for really some good ones.
This could also be a good get-to-know-you activity for the beginning of the year, or a fun one for introducing summer reading as the end of the year approaches.