I've wanted to try it out for awhile now, and I finally went for it last week.
I wanted to use a smaller "test" group before trying this with a class of 35 eighth graders, so I tried it with our resource reading classes first.
These classes are designed for struggling readers and generally have fewer than ten students. I had the best results with the eighth grade class, who better understood all my dating jokes ("sometimes you have to kiss some frogs", "sometimes you have to throw that fish back in", "if at first you don't succeed", etc.).
Because of the nature of the class, the students do not tend to be readers, nor are they generally intrinsically-motivated to read. They really enjoyed this lesson, and my eighth grade library assistants, who saw the speed dating as they worked in the library, all asked me to do this with their classes, too. For the reading resource classes, I chose high-interest genres such as horror, humor, manga, nonfiction, survival, romance, sports, and realistic fiction. For my classes, I added a second nonfiction table since it was full every time.
So here is what I did: : Decide how you want the tables set up. I put 10-15 books on each table to represent that genre. I also set up a Power Point with the directions for the minutes. As they came in, they noticed the signs and books, and I could already tell they were picking their genres, even though I hadn't said a word about what we were doing. The romance section was particularly popular, even with the boys, so I added some "non-pink" romances to that table for the boys.
I just told them to sit anywhere and that we would be moving soon enough. I am excited to add a fun twist for when I do this lesson again.
Best of all, they were introduced to LOTS of new books and genres!Additional resources: Printable Speed Dating notes sheet (free from Librarian Vickie at TPT) Other ways to speed date with books: "Book Speed Dating"--The Mighty Little Librarian-- This one is very similar to mine, except in this one, the students stay put and move the boxes of books. This one gives alternatives to calling it "Speed Dating" and provides links to book speed dating-related printables."Building Our To-Read Lists: Book Speed Dating" by Sharp Read-- Same concept with younger students. This book is terrible if you’re looking for ACTION items, but it is a wonderful non-fiction read and can greatly assist you in seeing what is possible.Also, some of the attitudes described of the historical figures are amazing. If you are interested in real, intuitive and actionable advice about dating, women and relationships then I urge you to get it now. In the book, I outline the 7 steps to getting a lasting, healthy relationship with a woman you are truly attracted to.I also share every effective social technique I’ve ever learned – so, things like approaching a woman, flirting, connecting, getting the phone number etc.This is a very controversial book, but absolutely brilliantly researched and presented.By studying the habits of our most closely related neighbors in the genetic spectrum, we are taken on a road trip of sexual understanding unlike any book before it.From the book jacket: The chapters are short and sweet, and the language is direct, challenging and immensely hopeful.If you haven’t read this book yet, purchase it today and put down everything else you are reading. One of the most powerful things I can do for my students is work to promote reading for fun and helping students find books that they will enjoy.