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.
Warren confirmed that these dimensions were indeed highly predictive of relationship success and could be used to match singles.
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I went through the Power Point slides, introducing speed dating and how it relates to our book speed dating activity. After all the "dating" has finished, each student will choose a playing card from the middle of the tables.
We went over the directions thoroughly, and I made absolutely certain everyone knew what to do. Students who got a heart or a diamond (red card) get a "kiss" at the end of their date (Hershey's kiss). Many of the books got checked out, and the students were really engaged and enjoyed it.