Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Today’s Tidbits: TTW, the Spark Award, Hunger Games, and National Poetry Month

Today kicks of Teen Tech Week, so get your tech on!  Looking for some last minute ideas?

Try the previous TLT post Teen Tech 12 or check out what Teen Librarian Stacey in Chicago (@BookSavvy on Twitter) did Friday with her teens.

That’s right ladies and gentleman, this ultra cool pixalated cat is made from Post It notes.  865 of them to be exact.  And it took around 3 hours to complete.  I love it.  I put my super librarian skills to use and there are whole art galleries online of post it note art.  Here is one at Huffington Post, check it out.
Also in TLT news, be sure and check out my letter to Lauren Oliver and see how it led me to create the Spark Awards
Still planning your Hunger Games release party ideas?  There are tons online and you can find some good compilations right here at TLT: Feed Their Need for the Hunger Games part 1 and part 2 
Sure TTW is this week, but National Poetry Month is coming and there is still plenty of time to plan.  Check out TPIB: Poetically Speaking for some great programming ideas.  Also, here is a great poster I put together for you that features teen fiction that is inspired by and references poetry in one way or another:
When planning your NPM activities, be sure and check out Poemcrazy: Freeing your life with words by Susan G. Wooldridge. It has some fun activities and is one of my favorite books about tapping into your poetic self.
Have a great Teen Tech Week everyone, I look forward to the pics.  Be sure to leave a comment sharing what you are doing for Teen Tech Week, HG release parties, or National Poetry Month.  And don’t forget to nominate titles for the Spark Award throughout the year.


The Countdown is On: Feed their hunger for The Hunger Games, more resources

The countdown is on, the Hunger Games movie will be out on March 23rd and I know that many teens and their favorite librarians are waiting anxiously for the day to arrive.  One of the most visited posts at this site is a previous program outline I shared with some hands on activities to do with teens around the Hunger Games series.  Today I am sharing with you some more resources that I have found.

You’ll want to keep your eye on the Entertainment Weekly site as they have a feature called Hunger Games central.  Here they post frequent updates, movies, articles and more that are easy to click and share with your teens via your social media site.  Many magazines are hitting the stands right now with special HG editions of their magazines full of posters, trivia and more – these are great resources to get information together, decorate your teen area, and get some good trivia questions for your book discussion groups or programs.
There is a fansite called Down with the Capitol full of information, including fan submitted crafts projects.  They are uploaded and indexed by “districts”.  For example, district 1 is jewelry, district 2 is needlework, and district 3 is interior design.

Make bow and arrows with Almost Unschoolers

Almost Unschoolers has some very detailed instructions for making bow and arrow sets out of Popsicle sticks and q-tips.

You can find a wealth of ideas at the Texas Teen Reads 2012 Pinterest board, be sure to check it out.

At Minds in Bloom there is a fun Hunger Games inspired “Would You Rather?” game written out for you (free).  If you follow the link there is also a Panem to Panem game inspired by Apples to Apples that you can purchase for a small fee.

The Hunger Games Lessons site is an amazing site full of – well, Hunger Games lessons.

The Amity Middle School did a Hunger Games activity that involved the Cornucopia and outlined it on their blog. If you follow the link they also have trivia questions with the answers already written out of your.

I have searched extensively and haven’t found a lot of Hunger Games crafts out there that would be easy to do in a library program.  However, if you buy multiple copies of the HG magazines out there you can use them to create marble magnets, bottle cap crafts, dog tag necklaces, pins, and more.

You could also have teens bring t-shirts and provide a wide variety of materials for them to make HG t-shirts and have a fashion show.  Also, you can buy canvas book bags and have them decorate them with HG themes. Making a HG bleach pen t-shirt would be a great craft activity to do with the teens.

And of course you can provide materials for teens to make their own Mockingjay pin.  This would be a great way to use the bottle caps.  Simply create your Mockingjay, glue it into the bottlecap, and fill with epoxy.  Use a strong glue to affix a pin on the back and voila – you have a Mockingjay pin.

If you have other great ideas that you have found or are doing with your teens this month for a Hunger Games release party, please share them in the comments.

Feed Their Hunger for the Hunger Games

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins imagines a dystopian world in which people are divided into 13 major districts.  1 of the districts no longer exists.  Each year 1 teen boy and 1 teen girl is chosen randomly from each district to participate in The Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which there can be only 1 survivor.  The popular series is being made into movies set to be released sometime in 2012.

With the movies coming out next year, The Hunger Games is going to continue to be a popular book series.  Here are some ideas you can use to make a HG program.  You can divide the teens into groups onto teams – Team Peeta, Team Katniss, etc. – and have them compete and earn points to see which team will win the Hunger Games.

Also attached is a program flyer that you can download and personalize for your program.  Just add your library information, date and time, etc. I recommend putting the date and time inside the gray circle.

Activity Ideas

  • Knot Tying – Have teens attempt to tie a variety of different knots.  You should have book resources in your library or you can visit the web.  You can also purchase this game if you have the funds http://www.mindware.com/p/Knot-So-Fast/48014?sg=PMDG2&gclid=CJKOrv7X3akCFRIH2godonGvZA
  • Arrow shooting – You can buy a Nerf bow and arrow (expensive) or a generic bow and arrow in the kids section of most large chain stores that sell toys.  They also have a fun Nerf gun that shoots Nerf darts as part of the Nerf Dart Tag series.  Or bust out some Laser Tag if you have some sitting around.
  • Sardines – Play a game of sardines, a sort of reverse hide and seek.  1 teen hides and everyone seeks them out.  When you find the hiding teen you join them in their hiding space.  The last teen to find the group is the last man out.  This will require you allow teens to roam through the library, but it is a fairly quiet game as you don’t want to be found.  Just invoke Silent Library rules and anyone who is too loud is disqualified.  More info on Sardines can be found at http://wondertime.go.com/create-and-play/article/sardines.html
  • Hunger Games Jeopardy/Trivia – Include topis such as bird calls, Can you eat it?, Survival 101 and more.  You can even include trivia about the books themselves.  This site has a Jeopardy PowerPoint template you can adapt http://www.elainefitzgerald.com/jeopardy.htm.
  • Would You Survive? – You can purchase and play the Worst Case Scenario Survival game http://www.amazon.com/University-Games-Worst-Case-Scenario/dp/B00005EB9MMan vs. Wild has a variety of online survival games you can share.
  • Scholastic.com also has HG survival games online that you can play via computer and overhead projector. http://www.scholastic.com/thehungergames/games/index.htm.
  • Make Your Own Pin – Katniss is given a pin that becomes quite the inspiration.  Provide the resources for teens to make their own inspiring pin (or you can use an acrylic pin kit to accomplish this – I have bought them at Hobby Lobby).  You can also make Marble Magnets and put a pin back on them.  Instructions can be found at http://www.notmartha.org/tomake/marblemagnets/
  • The Costume Game – Have teens come dressed ready to kick of the Hunger Games pageant style and award a prize for the best dressed.  They can recreate costumes right from the books, although I don’t recommend setting oneself on fire, or they can simply create any unique costume worthy of a HG opening pageant.
  • Scavenger Hunt – Create a scavenger hunt and see if teens can “track” down the prize object, or cup if you will.
  • Obstacle Course – Create an obstacle course using hula hoops, large blocks to make walls and whatever else you can think of.
  • Get Creative-Have teens design book covers, movie posters and more.
  • Paracord Bracelet– This youtube clip shows you how to make your own paracord bracelet.  This is a bracelet that you can unravel in times of need and have a piece of paracord rope on hand.
  • Gimme Shelter – Give each team a box of random supplies and see if they can build a shelter like a lean-to.
  • Cornucopia Chef – At the beginning of each Hunger Games, participants rush to the Cornucopia to get their supplies.  Give teens 1 minute to go to the cornucopia (designated space) and get a variety of supplies and then see what they can make out of them.  Have a variety of fun food items that don’t require cooking and see what food masterpieces they can make.

Other elements you can include would be identifying animal tracks, bugs, edible vs. inedible plants, etc.  Discuss with teens how they know whether or not the water they encounter in the wild is safe to drink.

The Hunger Games are a rich dystopian fantasy, and there are many more out there.  Have a book discussion series where you and your teens read a variety of the titles out there and compare and contrast them.  Ask teens to get creative and design their own post apocalyptic world – what would it look like, how would it be organized, what would the focus be?  You can find some good dystopian booklists online at Librarypoint.org and InfoSoup.

What you do in your program will depend on the amount of staff, time and money you have – and of course your space.  But there are so many great options with this book series for programming.  And for a prize, give away a set of the books.  Teens of all ages will love being a part of your Hunger Games program.

Looking for more ideas? Check out the follow-up post: The Countdown is On