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Book Buffet


  • Language Arts
  • Literature


  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Struggling to get your students to vary their reading choices? Book Buffet may be used to introduce your students to a variety of literature in a short amount of time.



  • will be exposed to types of literature they might not explore on their own.


reading, genre

Materials Needed

  • a library book for each student
  • a timer

The Lesson

Before doing this activity...

  • determine the types of literature in which you would like to build your students' interest. For example, would you like them to read more biographies? non-fiction? mysteries? classic children's books? Check out enough books from your library in that category so each student will have one.
  • Set a timer so the alarm will go off. I usually set the time for each book at 8 minutes; however, this can vary depending on your classroom schedule.

Place a book on each student's desk. Explain to students that you would like them to begin reading the book placed on their desk. Tell them they should read until they hear the timer go off. When the timer goes off, they must quickly move to the next desk and begin reading (sampling) the book on that desk.

Students will move from desk to desk at 8-minute intervals until each student has had a chance to move to a handful of desks to "sample" different books, or until the time allotted for this activity has ended.


At the end of the reading activity, ask students if there was a book they sampled that they would like to continue reading. If so, make arrangements for them to be able to read that book. Every time my class has done this activity, I've had many hands raised to finish a book. I've piqued their interest in a book from a new genre/category.

Submitted By

Patti Stephenson, Tri-City Christian School in Independence, Missouri

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