I got this super awesome and wonderful idea to do a book tasting in the library with my 3rd and 4th graders from here:
I love love love this lady (Mrs. Lodge's Library) and her blog is FANTASTIC! She has tons of ideas that I think are brilliant and love to use in my own library. This is one of them. I have the class come in and talk about what it means to taste something. Then I tell them they are going to take a taste of a book...and they look at me weird because they know where those books have been...
But once I explain it, and they get it, it goes really well. Every time.
With 3rd graders, I picked easy chapter books that don't circulate very often and put them on the tables for them to look through. My main goal there was to show them that there are other books to check out besides Captain Underpants, Wimpy Kid, and Junie B. Jones.
With 4th graders I assign them to a column of shelves and give them a shelf marker to peruse their assigned spot. I think it is good for them to concentrate on one specific spot and really look at what is there.
Both grade levels did great with this activity and in every class, there is always someone who either found a book they thought was boring or uninteresting on the cover but after reading the back they liked it, or they found a book with a cool cover that didn't seem very interesting to them once they read the back. This is also a great lesson in not judging a book by the cover.