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Speed Dating (with Books) Program

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Julie Ungier

on 20 May 2014

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Transcript of Speed Dating (with Books) Program

Speed Dating (with Books!) Program
Inspire students to find their "perfect (book) match"
This fun program was designed to occur within a traditional class period in a library setting, (but can be modified to fit your needs) and is recommended for grades 7-9.
Step 1: Design your Program
Step 2: Collect your materials
-Collaborate with the public library to select and acquire a large collection of books and audiobooks (it helps to bundle them as sets).
Step 3: Promote and Invite
-Create a fun flyer to post in the library, school, and classroom (if applicable) that is participating.
Step 4: Host the Event
Meet students in their room and ask if they know what happens during a speed dating event (clarify if necessary).
Explain that today is a very special day because they are going to be participating in a speed dating event with books. Everyone will have the opportunity to participate in a series of mini-dates in hopes of finding their perfect (book) match.
Project and go over the Speed Dating Guide and Tips sheet.
Model how they will be filling out the score card.
Wrap Up: Display pictures, video, comments, and get feedback
-At the end of the event or next day in class, ask students what they thought (or have them fill out an exit survey, poll, etc).

-Create a photo slide show, video, or something similar that documents the event.

-Post pictures, video, comments, etc. to your Library web page, school, or district page.

-Give your district PR dept. a description, photos and materials showcasing your exciting event.
Score Card
Make sure to mention that they can't be a "player" by dating 2 books at once (this cheesy
line always gets a laugh)! And also to not feel bad about "ditching" or "dumping" a previous match at a later table. No hard feelings!
After students find their starting table, begin playing music and encourage students to start a date with a book at their table.
Maintain a quiet environment and encourage participants to really give each date a chance. Remind them it's not fair to judge a potential date before you get to know it better.
After the music ends for each dating session, remind students to rate 1 book they dated at that table.
Select your participants
A Language Arts or Reading Class is a natural fit.
Great for showcasing new book shipments.
Perfect for when students need to choose a book for independent reading or a specific genre.
During lunch, recess, after school event, etc.
Time Management:
Plan on time for...
class to Speed Dating,
discussing guide
and guiding students to starting tables (7 minutes).
5 speed dating rounds

(each lasting 4-5 minutes each).
-Participants to
fill out the score card
to the next table (1-2 min).
-Participants to choose
a blind date book,
or conduct
online dating
(for those that couldn't find a perfect match),
checking out books
, and
a Hershey kiss or other treats (5 min).
Other items
table decorations (tablecloths, confetti, centerpieces, electric scented candles)
score cards
table signs (or colored sticks)
circulation equipment
Hershey's Kisses or other treats
writing utensils
"Blind Date" table (with sign)
"Online Dating" station (with sign and computer access)
streaming music selection or play list and speakers or ipod/phone speaker dock
timer (unless integrated within iphone)
still camera/video camera
notepad to record comments

Invite your principal to come and view the event.
Assign another adult (since you will be busy) to take pictures, video, and record comments overheard by participants.
As students choose books, replenish the selections at each table and between class periods (if hosting multiple events).
-Secure a small amount of money for
purchasing materials (re-usable table decorations, candles, Hershey's, bookmarks, snacks (if offering),
- get $ from local PTO's, $ collected from fundraisers, petty cash, etc.)
Create and display signage in the Library promoting the event for when they walk in.
After all speed dating rounds have concluded, students who have not found a match must choose a "blind date" or conduct "online dating" (selecting an e-book date). *This will not be possible if you do not have an e- book collection. Everyone must leave with a date!
Lastly, because every date "may end up with a kiss", participants can take a Hershey's kiss from the bowl when checking out. (This is also a great place to leave promotional materials, bookmarks, etc).
Have the teacher collect and keep the score cards at the end of the event. Students can earn participation points, and it's also great to share with students when they need to choose a new book later in the year (or for summer reading).

If you're hosting the event just for fun, display copies of completed score cards around the Library to promote books!
Comments overheard
"I've never had a book boyfriend before."

"I haven't found any love yet..."

"I found a good match for you."
(one speed dater talking to another girl)

"Two men are arguing for a book? That's a love affair!"

"Speed dating...oh yeah, I found the love of my life at this table," (former participant)

If a student has connected with a book, and found a possible date, remind them to bring it with them to the next table, however they can't be a player and date 2 books at once!
*For younger students, you can call it: "Flash Friends: Find your perfect "book buddy" and modify the score card accordingly (using less text, more emoticons, rate the friendship connection, etc). Instead of using the term "online dating", you can have them "find an online friend" and the blind date table can be called "new kids in town." Get creative!
You can also create the event as an after school activity (or period within the school day like recess time) where students are invited to this fun event.
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