Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: It’s Shark Week!

Shark Week is my favorite weeks of the year. I’m a little bit obsessed with sharks. Not in a I would want to see one up close in personal in real life way, just in a they are totally cool like dinosaurs, aliens and robots way. I dive into Shark Week every year. See what I did there, cheesy pun totally intended. And I  can not wait for Sharknado 4. I have Jaws saved on my DVR and I watch it regularly. I am all about Shark Week!

So I was totally excited to learn that YA author Martha Brockenbrough – she’s more than a YA author, but that’s how I know her – was writing a Shark Week companion book for the Discovery Channel. (Side note: If you haven’t read THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH yet you should totally fix that.)

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“They do have an enemy, and it is us.” – page 26

To be honest, I loved this book. It has great colored pictures of sharks, which is what I need in a shark book. It also has many interesting (and colorful) fact pages, like a section on Shark Myths: Busted and Weirdest Shark Names (Lollipop Catshark is my favorite). So even though I referenced Jaws earlier, you should know that Jaws did a lot of harm to sharks. They have even had some Shark Week specials that covered this topic, and Brockenbrough has a brief section in her book about this. This is part of a section on inaccurate movie portrayals and sharks in stories. And yes, Sharknado is mentioned. And as we are in the midst of the 13th month of the hottest temperatures on record, I found the section on what climate change means for sharks interesting.

I’ve also been thinking of way we can have fun with Shark Week in our Teen MakerSpace.

Shark Buttons!

As you may have heard me say, fingerprint buttons have proven very popular for us here at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County. So I wanted to see if I could make a shark one.

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And after I wrote Jaws on this button, I thought, “I wonder if I could recreate the Jaws poster – which is awesome – into a button!”

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I think I did a fairly decent job, though to be honest it took me several tries.

There are some other great books that you can add to Shark Week to do a display.

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More Shark Week Activities

And from a previous post, here are some other activities you can do. Yes, I literally copied and pasted this from a previous post. But I thought it would be helpful to have all the shark week ideas in one place. You’re welcome.

Shark Jawbone Paracord Bracelet

This is not actually made with shark jawbones, in case that needs to be said. But here you can make a paracord bracelet, which is cool, that has shark in the name.

Fish Prints

Gyotaku is the Japenese art of fish printing. Sharks eat fish, plus these are cool, so I think they work. The Mr. was an art major at college and I have been to an event where they did this and it was fun. They used real fish, but you can buy kits that use plastic fish which you may want to purchase if you have an aversion to leaking fish guts, which some people do. You basically need something to print on, say a blank t-shirt. You need the fish, real or not, and you need printing ink – the ink used in printmaking, though I guess you could use paint if you would like – paint rollers, pans to pour the ink into, tablecloths, etc. You ink, or paint the fish, and slap it down on your t-shirt to transfer it. Then you get a glorious fish print. Click on the Fish Prints heading above for better directions.

Under Sea Aquariums

There are a lot of ways you can create some type of an undersea aquariums. If you have a blank wall to decorate, you could have your tweens and teens create one here AND decorate your library, it’s what we call win/win. You could use simple things like butcher paper, craft paper, pipe cleaners, beads, etc. Have them do this in your children’s area, put out a display of both fish AND back to school books and put together some punny saying about going back to SCHOOL. Because, you know, fish groups are called a school of fish.

Or you do an upcycle craft using baby food jars or empty water bottles to make little aquarium. You can buy plastic sharks in bulk to make this happen. Instructions can be found here: http://blog.chickabug.com/2012/03/how-to-make-under-the-sea-snow-globe-aquariums.html.

Shark Origami

I think the title kind of says it all. Click the link for instructions.

Crayon Resist Whale Shark

I’ve always liked crayon resist painting. And, there’s science involved! I admit this is definitely for say the Tween set more so than your teens, but if you have stations and an awesome shark movie playing in the background – may I suggest Jaws? It’s covered under Movie Licensing USA – they may enjoy it.

Clothespin Shark

Yes, again, this one seems youngish. It was very hard to find older shark themed craft ideas. BUT, it’s back to school time and smack some magnets onto these bad boys and you could make a cool Sharknado themed locker. Don’t forget to add some blood!

Shark themed party outline at SheKnows

40 plus Shark Week activities at A Day in Our Shows

This site has 40 Shark Week crafts including making a cool shark themed watermelon, papercrafts and more.

And here is a cool shark themed manicure.

And here is a YouTube tutorial on how to build a Lego Shark

Basically, my thoughts are this:

  • Do a book display
  • Have Jaws playing in the background
  • Have food – it can be something simple like gummy fish/sharks or something elaborate like the watermelon shark
  • Have a few craft stations set up
  • Get out your smart phone and make Vine video of tweens & teens trying to do the dun dun, dun dun, dun dun dun dun theme music from Jaws. Or reciting some of its most famous lines: “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”
  • If you really want to get fancy, set up a photo booth station with shark fins and other fun beach items

TPiB: The Books of Our Heart Button

mapart3A few weeks ago I was talking with another librarian friend of mine when she started to ask me about a book. She stopped and said, “Oh yeah, you’re all about making now, you don’t really do books anymore.”

This caused me to pause. Of course I am still all about books.

But it’s true, I am also about making.

I have always been about books. I have also always been about making, I just used to call it programming.

And I am always looking for ways to get teens thinking about books in our Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH), which is how we came up with the “Books of Our Heart Button”.

As you may have heard me say, button making has proven to be incredibly popular for us. We have teens that come in every day simply to make buttons. So we are constantly looking for new button making challenges. I also just did a new big order of “maker” books for our Teen MakerSpace, which I try to always look through when they arrive for any great ideas.

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Map Art Lab is a part of the Art Lab series from Quarto Books. We have every title in this series in our Teen MakerSpace and this is our most recent addition. Thumbing through the book I stumbled across this page . . .

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And my MakerSpace assistant and I thought it would make a great button. In fact, we figured we could make the heart out of thumbprints given the popularity of our recent thumbprint buttons and have the teens add their favorite books instead of their favorite streets.

Supplies:

  • Button maker (we use American Button Machines)
  • Button making supplies: shell, pin back, mylar sheet
  • Plain paper (we used white, but any color would do)
  • A heart shaped stencil that will fit within your button size (we made ours)
  • Masking tape
  • Ink pads
  • 2.25 circle hole punch (we use these to cut out our circles)
  • Fine tip Sharpie

Process

1. Cut your circle using the circle hole punch.

2. Tear slim strips of masking tape which you will use to make a negative space on your paper. The masking tape will create the negative line spaces where you will write in the names of your favorite books, so be thinking about how many lines you will need and how you want them to look.

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3. Using your heart stencil and marker, trace the heart onto your circle.

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4. Fill in your heart using your ink pad and your thumbprint.

mapart45. Slowly and carefully remove your masking tape to reveal your negative line space. I went ahead and completed the heart outline with the marker.

6. Where your negative line spaces are, write the names of your favorite books.

7. Decorate as you wish and then make into your button following your button maker instructions.

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I love my button so much I also made one with my husband and kids’ names. But more importantly, I was excited to find another way that I could combine books with making to keep our teens thinking about books while having fun making in our Teen MakerSpace.

TPiB: Quick Doctor Who Decorations/Ornaments

The other day in the Programming Librarian Interest Group on FB page someone (Melissa Hozik) mentioned that they were having a Doctor Who themed holiday program. And someone (Evan Mather) then mentioned that they should call it a Doctor Wholiday Party. Genius!! As a huge Doctor Who fan I was disappointed in myself for not coming up with this FANTASTIC and BRILLIANT idea, but I quickly got over it. The Teen and I are now planning our own Doctor Wholiday party. The best part is that because I know a lot of libraries are trying to do winter programming as opposed to Christmas programming to be inclusive, we are doing ours in January because you can have a Doctor Wholiday party any time. There is no wrong time to celebrate Doctor Who! And we spent the weekend test piloting ideas for our program.

The Doctor Who Tree

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Ornament #1

We took pictures of some of our favorite Doctor Who artifacts and blended them with galaxy effects to create our ornaments. We then printed them off and laminated them. Hot glue them to a clothespin and you have a quick, easy and definitely not permanent Doctor Who tree.

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Then, because I had a brainstorm, I did the same thing with book covers. Print the covers, laminate them and hot glue them to a clothespin. Bam! You can make a book tree (pictured above). They also hang well on twine to make garland.

Ornament #2

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You can take plastic craft ornaments and do the whole paint thing. I had to look all over for plastic ones because I wasn’t brave enough to do glass with the teens. You basically pour a small bit of paint into the ornaments – 2 to 3 colors – and swish the paint around. Dry over night on a paper plate with the open side down so that the excess runs out. Be sure and write the teens name on the plate so you know whose ornament is whose. We did ours using Doctor Who tardis and galaxy colors to make our ornaments Doctor Who themed. You can find better instructions here.

Ornament #3

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If you are really lucky you can find clear plastic ornaments that are in halves that you can fill and decorate. We used these to make Dalek themed ornaments. We used a black paint marker to make a bunch of dots on the inside and then painted a solid color behind them. I’m not going to lie, I love the Dalekish ornaments.

Ornament #4

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A coworker had shown me this new melty bead craft that involved using metal cookie cutters and melty beads. You simply put the cookie cutter on a piece of parchment paper, fill it with melty beads, and cook it in an oven set at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. We used snowmen and star ornaments to go along with our Doctor Who theme, and because The Snowmen is one of my favorite Christmas episodes of Doctor Who. You can push them out of the cookie cutter to re-use said cookie cutter, but it looked better when we left it in the cookie cutter as kind of a metal frame. So buy a lot of cookie cutters cheap. I followed the instructions that I found here.

Ornament #5

You remember when we used to fold a piece of paper up into a tiny triangle and then cut away at it to make paper snowflakes? There are lots of examples of this with a Doctor Who theme on the Internet. For example, here and here. The best part about this is that after having to buy cookie cutters, melty beads, ornaments, clothespins and paint, it’s super cheap!

Ornament #6

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This one is all The Teen’s doing. She made a bow tie – because bow ties are cool! – out of duct tape. She hot glued it to a clip so that she can wear it in her hair, but you can also easily clip it to a tree branch. Double duty! To make a duct tape bow tie you simply make a two sided sheet of duct tape and accordion fold it. Pinch it together in the center and affix it with a piece of duct tape.

So my “Doctor Wholiday Party” – thank you Evan – test run is at my house this Sunday. I invited some fellow Whovians and the TLT TAB that is local to me over to see how it works. I will also be pulling some ideas from a previous post on Doctor Who, including some of the food we will be making. It’s a great sacrifice having this test run, but it’s one I’m willing to make . . . for the teens of course. 🙂