Sixth grade Language Acquisition Development (LAD) students were treated to a dine-in experience in Ms. Decker’s class. During the “book tasting,” students were encouraged to explore and develop skills related to literature and critical thinking. 

“They’re learning how to identify and choose various book genres, authors, and book types,” shares Ms. Decker as students pencil in responses on their ‘book menus.’

“My hope is that a book bubbles to the top that the class will be interested in reading together. Right now they’re learning how to look at a book critically in order to see if it’s something they want to read.” 

While sipping fizzy grape juice at a group of desks formed as a dinner table, sixth grade student Greta shares, “We each chose a couple of books that we wanted to review and we’re having a kind of dinner party. We’re filling in the book menus to evaluate the overall rating, genre, type, and title. It’s giving us a feeling about what the book is about and whether we want to read it or not.”

Though Ms. Decker has taught LAD in Grades 7-9 for years, this is her first time teaching the course to sixth graders. “I didn’t have a particular book for the curriculum yet, so I thought I would let them choose the book together. It is my hope that through student choice, they will develop a strong sense of ownership over their learning.”