One of our favorite events at my school is the Edible Book Fest. (I’m going to pretend it’s not just because we have a HUGE bake sale afterwards of all the amazing entries.)
Clearly, this was not an ideal activity during a pandemic. We certainly couldn’t maintain social distancing throughout the day as the entire school came through the library to look at the entries and then outside to buy them. (You knew that wasn’t going to happen IN the library!)
After brainstorming with amazing English teachers, we came up with the idea that each entry would be a single cupcake and voting would be digital rather than in person. This served two purposes: safety during a pandemic and challenging the students to think more critically in order to distill their ideas onto a single cupcake.
Submissions were digital as well as in person, which gave students the option to photograph their entry before they made the potential entry-destroying trek to school. With their submission, students were able to choose their categories: Most Creative, Most Likely to be Eaten, and Most Edible Author. (Yes, you read that correctly. We gave them the opportunity to make cupcakes that looked like their favorite author!)
Overall, I am extremely pleased with our pandemic-friendly Edible Book Fest. We learned a few things for next year when, hopefully, we do not need to take as many precautions:
- Require a digital submission in order to keep all the entries straight and cuts down on drop-off madness
- Offer digital voting for more flexibility
- Creating a new category for a cupcake-sized entry since it was so well received
- Emphasize critical thinking
One thing we did miss this year was the “Punniest” category, since we were trying to simplify the entire process. However, I did want to leave you with one of our favorite entries from previous years…
I’d love to hear some of the ways you successfully adapted programs for pandemic life!