Category Archives: Activities

Chinese New Year Craft: Peppa Pig Lantern

The Chinese New Year begins tomorrow Tuesday 5th February and it is the Year of the Pig. I have created a simple paper lantern craft activity featuring Peppa Pig and her family. This will be suitable for younger Library users.  

“新年快乐” translates as Happy New Year: Xin Nian Kuai Le
Pronounced “sheen neean kwai luh,” kuai le means “happy” or “joyous” and xin nian means “new year.”

You can download a .pdf of the lantern here: Peppa Pig Lantern

Peppa Pig was created by Mark Baker, Neville Astley and Phil Davies.

Peppa Pig‘s trademark and copyright is held by Entertainment One

Feeling crafty?

SearchPress publish loads of amazing arts and crafts books, for beginning projects up to daunting expertise, and they very kindly offered to share a couple of free projects with us to entice you to their website. I know lots of libraries run or host craft sessions, and you will definitely have some manga fans, so have a look for some inspiration…

From Crocheted Cactuses comes this really cute (but baffling to a non-crochet-er) plan for, you guessed it, a crocheted cactus!

They have loads of manga titles, but the pages they’ve shared with us are from How to Draw Manga (in simple steps) by Yishan Li:

There are other free projects available on their website too!

Black History Month Ideas: African American Spies, from the Revolution to the CIA

The CIA has an incredibly interesting article available on their site titled Black Dispatches: Black American Contributions to Union Intelligence During the Civil War

It provides details about African-American spies and the work they did to provide intelligence for the Union.

Spies ranged from Harriet Tubman, better known for her work in helping escaped slaves find their way to freedom on the Underground Railroad to William A. Jackson – a slave in the Confederacy’s presidential household who provided invaluable information to his northern contacts. You can find out about more Civil War spies here.

Still with the CIA, they have a list of operatives who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country: https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2014-featured-story-archive/remembering-cias-african-american-heroes.html

Other agents include James Armistead  a slave of William Armistead in New Kent County, Virginia, he volunteered to spy for the Continental army commander General Lafayette. James became a servant to British general Lord Cornwallis, who asked him to spy on the Americans! As a double agent, James gave unimportant information to Cornwallis, while keeping Lafayette informed about British troop strength and positions. James Armistead remained enslaved after the war. In 1784, Lafayette wrote to theVirginia General Assembly, describing his valuable service and asking that he be freed. In 1786, he was freed—and from then on, he called himself James Lafayette.

Born into extreme poverty in St Louis Missouri Josephine Baker went on to become a vaudeville star, was recruited into an all black dance troupe and went to Paris. In 1940 she became a spy for the French Resistance, while she picked up intelligence at parties, her fellow secret agent Jacques Abtey, masquerading as her assistant, recorded the information in invisible ink on her sheet music.

On her return to the USA she fought segregation across the states and ended up on an FBI watch list.

Activity Idea:

There are several methods one can use to make invisible ink:

  • Lemon juice & water – made visible by heating paper
  • Baking soda in water – made visible with dark fruit juice concentrate
  • Write with white crayon – made visible paint over with watercolors

    Once you have decided which technique to use encourage attendees to choose a spy, or more than one if they are feeling adventurous and create an invisible drawing of the agent or write a secret message to a friend hidden in another message.

    They could even create a cipher and make an invisible, encoded message.

  • Black History Month Ideas: The Tuskegee Airmen

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    Black History Month began as a way for remembering important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora. In the US Black History Month is celebrated in February, in the UK it is observed in October.

    This is the first in a series of posts about ideas of activities for BHM 2019 that I am planning on running. I am putting them on TeenLibrarian so that others can make use of them if they so choose.

    Tuskegee Airmen Activity

    The Tuskegee Airmen were African American pilots who fought in World War 2.

    I am planning on introducing them to young library patrons that may never have heard of them, via a display of books and possibly showing one of the films that have been made as well as giving them the opportunity to construct a paper model of a P51 Mustang flown by the Airmen in many of their missions.

    Thai Paperwork have made their model of a P51D Mustang free to download here  it is a fairly complicated model to construct so for younger participants the models below may be more appropriate.

    The Kid Scraps Mustang model is available here 

    Paper Model Airplane also has a simpler version of the P51 Mustang to download here

    Books about the Tuskegee Airmen

  • Who were the Tuskegee Airmen? By Sherri L. Smith
  • The Tuskegee Airmen by Sarah E. De Capua.
  • You can Fly: the Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford
  • Red Tail captured, Red Tail free : memoirs of a Tuskegee airman and POW by Alexander Jefferson
  • The Red Tails : World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen by Steven L. Jones
  • Tuskegee Airman : the biography of Charles E. McGee : Air Force fighter combat record holder by Charlene E. McGee Smith 
  • Tales of Famous Heroes by Peter and Connie Roop
  • Black Wings : courageous stories of African Americans in aviation and space history by Von Hardesty
  • Black Knights: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen by Thomas Reilly & Lynn M. Homan
  • Dreaming Eagles by Garth Ennis & Simon Coleby (graphic novel / fiction)
  • DVDs

  • The Tuskegee Airmen
  • Red Tails
  • The Tuskegee Airmen

  • Crafty Scotsman Activity

    An activity for Burns Night or just any time you would like to colour in and dress up a burly Scotsman in a range of exciting outfts.

    Download (PDF, 3.49MB)

    Mobile Library Library Mobile

    Just over two years ago I created a Mobile Library Library Mobile for my daughter’s bedroom, I always meant to make it available on here but with one thing and another I never got round to doing that. Today that has changed, you may now download the mobile below the two pics of the original in action.



    This is an A3 version and is slightly changed from the original design. Early tests showed that while creating a mobile using standard photocopy paper is doable, for a more long-lasting version card works better. Please feel free to add additional library-related things to hang from the mobile and if you do please feel free to share pictures.

    Download (PDF, 669KB)

    Library Lessons: What is a Word?

    A discussion on words and the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year leading into creating emoji book reviews

    Inside the Teenager’s Brain: CPD on stress and teens’ well-being

    NICOLA MORGAN EVENT POSTER

    Huey, Louie & Melvil Dewey in: the Quest for the Missing Duck an Introduction to Using the Library

    Many of you may recognize this slide presentation as it was originally an introduction to using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, but owing to a lot of feedback I received I decided to redo it as a general introduction to using the library as it was too cumbersome and complicated in it’s original form.

    So with a few tweaks, language and slide changes may I present:

    An Intro-duck-tion to Using the Library

    Activity Idea: Library Myth Busters

    This event can be run by following the Myth Busters format of having small teams investigating various Library Myths and then presenting their findings to the entire group or class. If permission can be obtained for filming, a short DVD could be made of the proceedings. This could tie into a larger media and film-making programme that can be run over half-term or summer holidays. It is fun and educational – teenagers learn how the library works and what the staff do all day as well as debunking misconceptions they may have on what goes on in libraries.

    Here are a a list of library myths that can either be debunked or confirmed:

    • Librarians have lots of time to read on the job
    • All librarians are fast readers
    • Public libraries are only busy during the school year
    • Public libraries are only busy during summer holidays
    • Libraries are used only by those who cannot afford to buy their own books.
    • Librarians have no stress
    • Librarians have read every book in the library.
    • Librarians know the answer to everything
    • Everyone who works in the library is a librarian
    • Libraries are just about getting books
    • Libraries aren’t necessary because everything’s available on the internet
    • Libraries have plenty of money because they get so many donated books and charge so much in fines
    • The librarian can be held responsible for everything that kids check out because they work for the government and must protect young people from bad things
    • School libraries aren’t needed because kids can get everything they want at the public library or online
    • Librarians wear their hair in buns, have wire-rimmed glasses, and say shhhhh! all the time
    • Librarians only issue books
    • Everything in the library is free
    • You have to know Dewey to use the library
    • Libraries are serious and quiet all the time
    • It is difficult to get a library card
    • Libraries are for English readers only

    The list is by no means complete and if anyone would like to add library myths in the comments you are most welcome.