Hosting a Book Bakery in our classroom was the perfect way to introduce my students to reading genres! In first grade, each student is still discovering what their reading identity is. Some students are well on their way to understanding who they are as readers. However, at this age, most students are still learning what they like and don’t like when it comes to books and authors. I wanted to find a way to introduce them to books they might not otherwise have explored without my encouragement- but in a super fun and engaging way! Therefore, I planned a morning filled with books from five different reading genres and created a bakery themed classroom transformation that my readers LOVED! Over the past year, I’ve been exploring with mini classroom transformations that are focused on specific reading skills, such as my Restaurant Retell Day or my Compare and Contrast Construction Day. I have found that my students are engaged, excited, and eager to READ after we complete these reading transformations. In this blog post, I’ll walk you through how I set up my classroom, the resources I used, and what we did during our Book Bakery. Let’s get started!
Setting the Stage
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I started by creating excitement from the minute my students entered the room. While they were at art class, I quickly and easily transformed our classroom into a bakery-themed room. I started by throwing on an apron and setting this cute cafe chalkboard sign (pictured above) outside of our classroom. When my students came back from art, they were immediately interested and engaged in what they were about to do!
Setting Up Your Book Bakery
Inside of my classroom, this mini classroom transformation was simple- and cheap! First, I decided on which reading genres I wanted to introduce to my students. Since I teach first grade, I settled on: Fantasy, Realistic Fiction, Biography, Poetry, and Nonfiction. I threw some pastel tablecloths that I found at the dollar store over my tables, and set out the mini genre posters that come with my Book Bakery resource pack in my TpT shop.
Since we would be focusing on five different genres throughout the morning, I gathered books from each genre from my classroom library. Each table in my classroom held one of the five reading genres and stacks of books. I used cake stands and dessert stands from my house to display the books at each table. If you don’t have any cake or dessert stands at home, the dollar store sells cheap cardboard ones, or you can ask friends and family if you can borrow some! The cake stands add to the theme and students think they are so fun and fancy! Check them out below!
For this room transformation, the students created a bakery box craftivity as they rotated to each of the five reading genre tables. At each table, they read books from the table’s reading genre and drew a picture of a book they read on a cupcake template that they placed into their box. (The templates can be found in my Book Bakery pack in my shop.) Before we started, I placed cupcake bakery boxes that were pre-filled with colorful cupcake liners at each student’s spot. The bakery boxes that I linked hold six cupcakes, but you could easily use boxes that only hold four cupcakes if you wanted to introduce and teach just three to four reading genres. (Since we learned about five genres, the sixth spot in our bakery box was a picture of our favorite book. That additional cupcake template is available in the Book Bakery pack.)
Students rotated from table to table (approximately 10 minutes at each table) and explored the books from each genre. They chose one book to read and drew a picture of the book they read on the coordinating cupcake template. Then they added that cupcake to their bakery box. When the bell went off, they took their bakery boxes to the next table and repeated the process with a new reading genre!
When they finished rotating through all five genres, they returned to their seat to fill out the final cupcake template: My Favorite Book. Students thought about all of the books they explored and drew a picture of their favorite book to read. The final result was an ADORABLE collection of cupcakes with pictures of books from various reading genres! Take a look at a couple of my favorite Book Bakery boxes below!
What reading levels did you set out for each table?
I placed books on each table with the average reading level of my classroom at the time of our Book Bakery. I also added quite a few below-level books from each genre. My goal was for my students to focus on exploring and discovering various reading genres. I didn’t want them to worry about struggling through the books. I was careful not to include books that were too lengthy, since students only spent about 10-12 minutes at each of the five tables. In about 50 minutes, we got a LOT of reading accomplished in our room! It was wonderful!
The bakery boxes seem expensive. What if I can’t purchase them for this activity?
Ask a local bakery to DONATE the cupcake boxes to your classroom! They may say no- but you’ll never know unless you try! Many local bakeries and grocery stores that have in-house bakeries are more than happy to help teachers and students.
I want to introduce reading genres that aren’t shown in your pictures. How can I do that?
My Book Bakery pack in my TpT store includes TONS and TONS of different reading genre posters and cupcake templates for you to choose from! It allows you to truly differentiate what genres you want to focus on for your students and classroom.
I teach kindergarten. Can I do this with only two or three genres?
Yes, yes, yes! Simply choose the two genres (fiction and nonfiction are common ones for kindergarten) and only use those cupcake templates for your Book Bakery Day. Amazon even sells bakery boxes that hold just two cupcakes. It would be adorable!
Host a Book Bakery In Your Room!
Ready to host a Book Bakery in your classroom? Click HERE to find my complete Book Bakery resource pack. It includes the cupcake templates, mini AND large reading genre posters, my complete and detailed lesson plans, bookmarks, response templates, a no-prep craftivity alternative, and set-up tips for your simple room transformation! You can also click on the image below to grab this resource:
I hope you loved exploring my Book Bakery as much as I enjoyed using this activity with my students! We had so much fun! I found my students making statements like, “Wow! I had no idea I loved biography!” The entire morning was simply precious! I hope you get a chance to use this in your room. If you do, please come back and leave a comment to tell me how it went! I would LOVE to hear from you!
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