Literary Food Truck Festivals: The Photo Tour

Sometimes it takes a creative twist on analysis to get students excited about diving deep with books. Something unusual, like a literary food truck festival.

I've heard from so many creative teachers about their success with the project since I first wrote the post "How to Host a Literary Food Truck Festival."

Having students create novel-based food trucks following independent reading or literature circles, it seems, is just what I hoped - a fun, creative way to explore the the text, making clear connections between the details of the truck's menu, social media, playlist, and appearance, and the book or character it represents. 

Sometimes, before diving into a project like this, it helps to see some examples. To see how other teachers and students have made it a success. So I asked some of the wonderful teachers who have shared their photos with me if I could share them with you. 

As you browse the photos, you'll get a chance to see how kids set up their projects and their food, what their displays look like, and their festival locations. Hopefully this will give you inspiration as you set up the project with your students, as well as giving you models to share with your students before they begin designing their food trucks. 

By the way,  I'm happy to share the curriculum for this project with you as a gift. Just pop in your name and email below and I'll send it right away. You'll also get emails from me most Fridays with blog posts, podcasts, and resources that might be helpful to you on your creative teaching journey. 

Now let's take a little tour of the beautiful food trucks students have been creating around the country over the last couple of years. 

Food Trucks by the students of Miss Medrano and Miss Vaerla, helped and supported by Librarian Amy Marquez (Collegiate High School)

I love the way these food trucks have been set up in the school library, on round tables covered in solid colored tablecloths. It gives the festival a beautiful, cohesive feel as the community wanders between displays. And I LOVE that it's in a public school space, so more people can be part of the experience. These students and their guides have done an amazingly professional job with every part of this literary food truck festival. 

Food Truck by the students of Traci Manieri (Haynes Academy)

Here's a look at a food truck project that lays flat, and it's still beautiful and full of information. Long rectangular tables are working well at this one, with room for kids to sit and talk to visitors as well as eat the food they've picked up at their festival. 

Food Trucks by the students of Gina Knight Hess

I love the sign on the white board welcoming everyone into this festival. And the full-sized play food truck that kids can actually sit in is incredible. This is a look at a festival hosted with pizzazz in a classroom, with kids on the younger end. 

Food Trucks by the students of Brie Harrison

It's fun to see all these different types of displays for the same book - they showcase student creativity in lots of different ways. If you're in warm weather, these photos suggest that an outdoor festival could be lovely.

Food Trucks by the students of Lisa Buckner

How colorful and fun are these pictures? I love the variety of display, the costume one student chose to wear, and all the homemade food! 

Food Trucks by the students of Bernie Tovar-Valenzuela

There are a lot of great things about this festival, but I especially want to point out the detail of the supporting materials, including an Instagram page, a closeup of the uniform truck servers would wear, a profile page for the staff, a playlist, etc. These little details are where students can be creative in making clear connections to the text. I also like seeing students filling out response cards on each other's work, an important part of keeping everyone on task during the festival.

Ready to go launch a food truck festival of your own? I can't wait to hear it! Please tag me on Instagram @nowsparkcreativity when you post your photos.

Thank you to all the wonderful teachers who shared the pictures in this post!

Too busy to plan your festival right now? Pin this idea for later! 


  1. I love this idea so much that I used it last year with my 9th grade students. I was wondering if you could give me some ideas on how to explain the menu better. My students struggled the most with this last year, and obviously didn't do a good explaining it to them. I would like to use this project again this year, but I don't want to make the same mistake. Thank you so much for sharing this project!

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