Book tastings meet with interest to 4th graders
HUGHESVILLE – Just a short walk from Ashkar Elementary School in East Lycoming School District to the Lycoming Career and Technology Center (LCTC) on Friday afternoon gave some fourth graders in Patti Fortin’s class an opportunity to taste various genres of book titles.
With a scheduled visit, Brian Anstadt and his culinary arts students shared some dessert cookies they made after a brief presentation and introduction to the activity from Anstadt and Fortin.
Fortin explained to the students the importance of reading a variety and a diversity of different genres. “It is like selecting a menu,” she told them.
Anstadt told the class about his career choice and how he enjoyed tasting different dishes when he was a young boy. He discussed the importance of using seasonal foods and vegetables for the menus, how to buy local foods and asked students to give examples of foods grown now in September. Answers were the zucchini, apples, tomatoes, raspberries and corn. “Here we develop our recipes, taste them and test them,” he said.
Holding a book from one of the table place settings, Fortin explained how to “taste” by reading passages from the book cover, the table of contents, chapter headings and the first page. She allowed them time to do so, then asked to switch tables for another genre. They went from historical fiction, to biography, mysteries and fiction.
“Today we will have a taste of the book, then move on to a different book to see if you like the idea of reading something different,” Fortin said to her fourth grade class.
Anstadt said he liked to read cookbooks and helped his mom with cooking and that is how he chose his career. Before they started their assignment, Anstadt gave the students an opportunity to share with him some stories on what they like to cook. Gavin Waltman said he made chicken kale soup for a picnic, another student made his own pizza.
Books were chosen by Fortin for their sampling and focused on their current reading levels. Before changing genres, the students had a few minutes to share with their classmates what they thought of the book they sampled so far, and what they learned from their “tasting.”
“Remember this is just a taste,” Fortin added. “What did you think, and would you like to read this book more or share it?” Some students read excerpts to each other then followed up by completing a questionnaire that looked like a food menu.
Isabella Biddle enjoyed the experience. “I think it’s different and fun. It gives me a chance to read with quietness, plus the books look very interesting,” she said.
Fortin said this was the first time she explored this activity and would like to do it again, and partner with the LCTC.
Anstadt said he also does cooking demonstrations with the kindergarten students and over the summer months he has workshops for the kids.
The Foods and Hospitality curriculum at the LCTC will begin serving lunches to the public on the first Tuesday in October and will continue throughout the school year from 11 to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Reservations can be made by calling the LCTC at 570-584-2300.