Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Reading School Visits: A Silly Game

Over the last couple of weeks, me and my coworker have been extremely busy going out to the area schools to talk up summer reading.  At many of the schools we are requested to speak and then entertain individual classes for 30 minutes (usually during the students weekly library time).  The other children's librarian is a Master Storyteller and can easily involve and entertain the older elementary students for the whole 30 minutes.  As for me, I feel a little lost on how to hold the attention of 5th and 6th graders after doing my 5 minute summer reading talk.  This year I got a little inspired to try something new after reading some posts on other blogs and on PUBYAC.  This year, we played a silly game.

I started my game by dividing the room into two teams, usually right down the center.  Then I asked the teacher for assistance in choosing one student volunteer from each team that can be silly but knows when to turn off the silliness.  These volunteers were my score keepers.  I would keep score by dressing up the volunteers as superheroes.  I had a cape, a mask, a super power arm band, a button, and mustache stickers.  I had questions or challenges written up on note cards.  A student would pick a card at random and then the whole team could answer the question or complete the challenge.  The questions and challenges usually related to an event happening at the library so I would talk about the event before asking the question.

Here is a sample of the questions and group challenges:

The Tacoma Rainers baseball team is sending their team mascot to the library for a meet and greet.  What is the mascots name?  What animal is it?

The Pacific Science Center is bringing their Mathfinder Science Show to the library.  Each scorekeeper is given 4 dice.  The team with the highest roll gets a point.

What is the official start date of the summer reading program?

The library is having two superhero events.  Name 5 superheroes.

The library will be showing the movie The Man Who Walked Between the Towers followed by building towers with marshmallows and toothpicks.  Each table has a set of straw connectors.  The table with the tallest free standing structure gets a point for their team.

In one of our superhero events you can learn to sew a superhero cape and mask.  Who is the famous superhero costume designer who claims that no superhero should wear capes?

A packet of Wikki Stix is one of the registration prize choices.  Each table has 2 Wikki Stix and must create a butterfly.

How many hours do you need to read to get a free book and other goodies?

This game went over really well.  The kids seemed to like the mixture of questions and group challenges.  Almost everyone had a chance to get involved.  I only had one class of 6th graders who wanted nothing to do with it.  The school librarian warned me about this class before hand and we had a plan in place for when they chose as a group that talking among themselves was more important than listening to me.

I look forward to trying a game like this next year during my summer reading talks at the schools.

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