Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer Reading School Visits: A Silly Game

Last year I came up with a great plan to talk about summer reading and entertain students in grades 4 through 6, by playing a silly game with them.  This game was so successful for me that I tried it again this year.

I started my time with a class by talking about how to sign up and get prizes for about 5 minutes.  Then I broke the class up into two groups (usually down the middle of the room).  I asked the teacher to choose one student from each group to be my scorekeeper. I kept score by giving each scorekeeper a card from a mini deck of cards each time their group won a silly challenge or answered a trivia question.  Actually, the volunteers chose a card from the deck.  At the end of our time we would add up the face values of the cards and the group with the highest count won the game.  This added a fun random element to the game.  Not every group who answered the most questions had the highest value in cards.

To play the game, I would pick random students from each group to pick a card from a stack of index cards containing a trivia question or a silly challenge written on it. The card would have a summer event for me to describe followed by a question or challenge.

Here is a sampling of the trivia questions and silly challenges I presented to the students:

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

One week in August, the Knights of Veritas are coming to my library.  Trivia - Name one knight of the Round Table.

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

One week in August we are doing our own version of mini-golf in between the book shelves.  Silly challenge - Choose one student from each group to hit a toy golf ball with a toy golf club, on the floor, from one end of the room onto a piece of paper on the other end of the room.

Dice challenge! Each team rolls a die.  The highest roll wins.

One week in July we have some Environmental Educator from Pierce County Public Works coming to talk about Salmon (The Ultimate Champions). Silly challenge - Hit a badminton birdie (pretend fish) 10 times in a row with a badminton racket (pretend fishing net).

One week in July we have author Karen Cushman coming to talk about her new book.  Trivia - Name two historical fiction books.

One week in June we will be having a Makey Makey program. Trivia  - What is an electrical circuit?

One week in July we have an art teacher coming to do an art class about Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto. Trivia - What is happening in Brazil this summer?

One week in July we have a yoga teacher coming to introduce yoga to children. Silly challenge - Do a cobra pose.

One week in July we will be having a Minecraft competition. Silly challenge - I hand out a Ziploc bag full of miscellaneous Lego bricks to smaller groups of 4-6 students. The group who could build a tower using every brick in the bag with the help of every student in the group wins.

REFLECTION: All in all, this style program works really well for me. I made a big show about this being a "silly" game with "silly" challenges in it. A loud and obnoxious class did not finish as much as the quieter classes, but every class still got something out of it. The challenges along with the trivia questions allows for many students to participate while at the same time giving me a chance to get some information out.  This game easily fills up a half hour library visit.

No comments:

Post a Comment