Teen Group Activity Ideas

Origami

This is an ideal workshop as all you need are squares of paper and some origami designs  there are a number of books available in most libraries and a number of the designs are simple enough to pick up and are still challenging enough to prove interesting.

The story of Sadako Sasaki and the 1000 Paper Cranes makes a good topic for discussion for more information visit the Sadako website here.

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was, and still is one of the popular writers for children and adults. He has written about Revolting Rhymes, Fantastic Foxes, Marvellous Medicines and more. There is a wide range of subjects that can be adapted for a reading group session. A successful idea is to hold a play reading event (Fantastic Mr Fox is good) normally just one of the acts is long enough for then to become acquainted with the words and read it out.Chocolate Eating Competition

You will need a plate, slab of chocolate, gloves, hat, scarf, dice, knife and fork.

How it works: the group sits round a table, they each take turns in throwing the dice the first one to roll a 6 has to put on the gloves, hat and scarf then open the chocolate and cut off a block using the knife and fork and then eat it. While this is happening the other members will be throwing the dice, the next person to throw a 6 will then get to take the hat, gloves and scarf from the previous person and proceed to try and eat the chocolate in the same way. This goes on until all the chocolate has been eaten.

Dragons & Fortune Tellers

This is an ideal workshop for the Chinese New Year or the designs can be used for the Origami workshop. Designs of folding dragons and fortunetellers are readily available on the Internet.

Paper Aeroplanes

This can also be used for an Origami session although it is more fun to hold it as a separate event. Looking at different types of paper ‘planes that can be folded as well as making them is great fun. Holding a flying competition to see whose plane flies longest and furthest can take quite a bit of time. There are many different types of paper aeroplanes that can be folded: from darts to aerobatic planes, the possibilities are many and varied.

Mummy Wrap

Finding out how mummies were made can be a fascinating (and slightly disgusting) process. Learning about how the Egyptians used to preserve their royalty can be educational and fun! Making ones friend into a mummy (without removing their organs) can also be an enjoyable experience. All you need are some rolls of toilet paper, sticky-tape and teams of two people  a wrapper and a wrappee.

Word Searches

These are usually best when used in conjunction with another main event but at a pinch are good for an event on their own. Tie them in with a book or series of books depending on what words are being sought.

Real Life Careers

Invite someone with an interesting career to come talk about his or her job.

Possibilities: The police officer who trains sniffer dogs or administers lie detector tests, a fire fighter who investigates how a fire starts, an EMT, the undercover security at a department store, or a funeral director. Provide a display of career related books and resources.

Scrap Books

Help teens make their own scrap book from scratch. Have them to bring photos and mementos and provide supplies for them to create their book. Invite teens to display their finished books in the library. Or give the program a creative writing angle. Help teens make or decorate their own journal or diary.

Another diary-based idea is to approach banks in January and ask them to donate a few diaries that they give out to customers to the group to give to the members to use during the year.

Photo Essay

Buy a pack of disposable cameras and distribute to teens. Have them take pictures of their everyday life, and then turn the cameras in. Process the photos then invite all teens to a program to create a “real life photo mural”. Enhance the program with a display of books on photography and famous photographers.

Reviews

Invite members of your Teen Group to write non-fiction book, music and/or film reviews to post on the library web site, blog, or newsletter. Help teens create and film book-talks to air at the library or at local schools.

Films from Books

Create a display of books that have been turned into movies. Have teens vote on the book they would most like to read. After they have read the book, host a screening of one of the movies, then lead a discussion comparing the book versus the movie. Serve popcorn, drinks, and give out bookmarks that list other books that have been made into movies.

Music and books

Partner with an English or literature teacher and have teens prepare a soundtrack to their favourite book. They can play the music while they talk about their book and explain their musical choices

Stop the Press!

Read news articles to teens – some true, some false and have teens decide which one is which! You can use articles from The Onion or a tabloid and the local paper. Then offer a creative writing class where teens create their own library tabloid.

Creative Writing

Get the group interested in writing short stories, prose, poetry with a view to publication in a library newsletter or booklet, this session idea could tie in to Urban Legends or Get Real or Get Fake.

Urban Myths

This could be a tie-in to the creative writing or just a general discussion of urban legends and creating some for the group itself.

Webs and blogs

With the advent of IT in libraries there is more scope for working with the youth and computers. Introducing the kids to website and blog creation. Creating a site or blog specifically for the reading group is one possibility.

Script-reading

Take a scene from a Harry Potter film and use the group members as part of the cast. The number of attendees would be important in choosing which scene you decide to read from.

T-Shirt design

Provide t-shirts and printer friendly iron-on transfer paper let the group members design their own pictures on the computer, then print them onto the transfer pages and iron them on to the t-shirts.

TRG X-Factor

A take-off of the television show, get the kids in to take part with singing, dancing or performing. Maybe make it book-themed with a reading from a favourite book, play or poem.

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