Nysmith Blog

A Look Inside the Kindergarten Book Restaurant

“When you walk into Mrs.Smith’s Kindergarten classroom you feel like you’ve left Nysmith, and stepped into a little Italian restaurant in Venice.”

When you walk into Mrs.Smith’s Kindergarten classroom you feel like you’ve left Nysmith, and stepped into a little Italian restaurant in Venice. The classroom is decorated with twinkling lights, tablecloths, checkered plates, and fancy “book menus,” which all come together nicely to set the tone of a little Italian getaway. Each table has a large fancy sign with a book genre written on it such as poetry, fiction, non-fiction, mystery, biographies, and more! The teachers have set out an array of different books pertaining to each genre the Kindergartners have learned about. “Throughout the year the students have had the opportunity to visit the library multiple times, but they didn’t really know what type of books they were picking out. This week we’ve learned about different genres and during this activity they’ll get a taste of each book, kind of like a food tasting at a restaurant,” Mrs. Smith.

The Kindergartners are sitting at different rotating tables with their Second grade buddies reading and laughing out loud together. “I like reading to the Kindergartners because I read to my little sister a lot at home,” said a Second grade student.  The Kindergartners can either read to their Second grade buddy, or they can have their buddy read to them. “We think it’s a great opportunity for both grades to read together because it not only helps boost the Second graders confidence by being able to read to their younger peers, but it gives them a sense of responsibility as well. It is also a way for the Kindergartners to feel more confident about reading because some of them aren’t able to read as well and being able to read alongside their older buddies makes them feel less intimidated and it establishes a sense of trust between the two grades,” said Mrs. Smith. Once it’s time for the students to rotate to a different table with a new genre, they are given a slip of paper where they write the title of the book and color in either a smiley face or a sad face depending on how much they liked it, just like a real restaurant critic! “I liked reading the Dr. Seuss books at the poetry table because they were funny and had really nice pictures,” exclaimed a student!

To tie the book tasting to a real food tasting, the teachers handed out snacks that paired nicely with two of the books the students read together as a class. The Kindergartners read The Rainbow fish and were given a handful of Goldfish crackers, and they were given grapes for The Hungry Caterpillar. The goal of this activity was to get the Kindergarten students excited about reading and exploring different book genres, and the goal was definitely achieved! Towards the end of the activity all of the students were nose deep into a book of their choosing.