Category Archives: Event Ideas

#BlackHistoryMonth Anansi Craft Activity

As part of the Black History Month program at my Library, I have organised a series of story-times based around folk tales from Africa. My South African storytime last week was snowed out but the event today, reading stories about Anansi the Spider trickster was well-attended – three adults and five children who came to listen and participate.

The stories were well-received, as was the craft activity, if anyone would like to obtain a copy of my Anansi template, you may download it below.

Download (PDF, 742KB)

As with all the resources I create, if you do use them please share any pictures of your creations.

Black History Month Ideas: The Potato King of the World

Born into slavery on a plantation near Kentucky, Junius G. Groves was six years of age when slavery was abolished in the USA.

20 years later he joined the Exoduster movement and made his way to Kansas.

In 1902 he became known as the Potato King of the World, for growing more bushels of potatoes per acre than anyone in the world up to that point in time.

As a farmer and landowner he employed both whites and blacks on his farm and worked hard on uplifting African–Americans. His employment practices did a lot to combat racism at the time.

Celebrate Black History Month by teaching the attendees about Junius Groves and then running a potato print workshop, giving children the opportunity to carve potatoes into shapes and then printing them onto strips of paper.

Once that is done, you can introduce them to the art of Kente fabric weaving while their potato print strips dry. They can then weave the paper print strips into a paper version of Kente cloth.

Learn about Junius Groves here: https://blackpast.org/aaw/groves-junius-george-1859-1925

Or you could read them No Small Potatoes by Tonya Bolden and Don Tate

Find out more about Kente Cloth paper weaving here: https://kinderart.com/art-lessons/multic/kente-cloth-strips/

When planning the colors you wish to use for the workshop, it is worth keeping their symbolic meanings in mind:

  • black: maturation, intensified spiritual energy
  • blue: peacefulness, harmony and love
  • green: vegetation, planting, harvesting, growth, spiritual renewal
  • gold: royalty, wealth, high status, glory, spiritual purity
  • grey: healing and cleansing rituals; associated with ash
  • maroon: the color of mother earth; associated with healing
  • pink: associated with the female essence of life; a mild, gentle aspect of red
  • purple: associated with feminine aspects of life; usually worn by women
  • red: political and spiritual moods; bloodshed; sacrificial rites and death.
  • silver: serenity, purity, joy; associated with the moon
  • white: purification, sanctification rites and festive occasions
  • yellow: preciousness, royalty, wealth, fertility, beauty

Event Calendar

Looking for an event to create a display around in your Library? Why not check out the events calendar (below), it is a work in progress so if your favourite day (holy, hedoninstic or just hilarious) is missing pleas let me know so I can add it

QUIRK BOOKS PRESENTS BOOK POP!

In honour of its 15 year anniversary, Quirk Books is launching a year-long celebration of books and pop culture, called Book Pop!

Quirk has not forgotten their many fans in Britain and have launched UK versions of their reading guides! Also on offer are downloadable posters and other resources to celebrate their amazing and quirky books!

So if you are searching for activities to run with your teen groups or classes in the coming months drop by Quirk Books Book Pop! and see what is on offer!

The Reading Olympics

I have been racking my brains lately for a reading event for the new school year and then it hit me, the Reading Olympics!

It will be a mix of reading stories based on Olympic sports, endurance reading and reading books of different genres for the triathlon and decathlon

I only have a skeleton of an idea at the moment so will be using this post to flesh it out as I go along. If anyone has an idea they would like to suggest – either books for olympic events or how to organise it please feel free to put it in the comments below. Everyone who puts an idea forward will be credited!

Events:

Athletics:

Reading 100 metres:
this will consist of Barrington Stoke titles as well as A&CB Wired Up books and books from the Franklin Watts Edge collection

Reading 1500:
The reader will have to complete a trilogy in a set amount of time

Hurdles:
The reader will have to read a section of a newspaper every day for a week

Triathlon:
The reader will have to read three books, each one has to be a different genre, e.g. Romance, Horror, Science Fiction
the reader may change one book but any more changes will cause the reader to lose points

Decathlon:
The reader will have to read 10 books, each one has to be form a different genre – a mix of fiction and non-fiction

Football:
Zombie XI by Pete Kalu
Death Match by Andy Croft
The Foul Play series by Tom Palmer
Girls FC by Helena Pielichaty
Keeper Mal Peet

Archery:
Longbow girl by Linda Davies
Robin Hood

Equestrian Events:
Heartland series by Lauren Brooke
Horses of Half Moon ranch by Jenny Oldfield
The Glory Lauren St John

World Book Day 2016 Quiz

Download the Quiz from Dropbox here

Quiz Answers

Book Review Bunting

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Over the past few years of being a school librarian I have been using reading passports/diaries to help students keep track of their reading. These schemes were all relatively successful but did not really work well when it came to encouraging students to pick up books that others had read.

This year I have started an ongoing project to create book review bunting. I have asked every student in years 7,8 & 9 to write a short review on the back of an image of a library book that they have enjoyed and use it to create bunting to decorate the library. The bunting will be hung low enough for students to reach & read what others think about the book, I am hoping that this will encourage them to hunt down and read the book itself.

At the end of the year I am hoping to have introduced as many students as possible to new books via peer review and also decorate the library with bunting that mirrors the collection. It will also be interesting to see what the most popularly reviewed books are.

Holocaust Memorial Day Pack

I got back to my library today to find that the Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) Pack that I ordered from the HMD Trust had arrived while I was away.

The theme for this years memorial is Keep the Memory Alive

As with the 2014 pack it contains a lapel pin, posters commemorating the Holocaust, the Genocides in Darfur, Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Nazi persecution of minority groups, a sticker set, a leaflet detailing the importance of remembering what has happened and ideas and tips on organising activities centred around HMD as well as how to publicise them.

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the 20th anniversary of the Genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia

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Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on the 27th January, there is still time to order or download a pack here http://hmd.org.uk/campaign-pack

Neil Gaiman Reads The Graveyard Book

If you run a teen group in a library you can have Neil Gaiman himself read your teens The Graveyard Book over nine weeks or even nine days if they are keen.

With each chapter coming in at between 45 minutes to just over an hour they will fit in to most teen group sessions.

Return to the sprawling graveyard in this classic novel or discover Bod’s boyhood adventures anew, read by master storyteller Neil Gaiman himself one chapter at a time.

Watch his tour readings to hear the captivating book in its entirety

If they cannot wait for a weekly fix of the greatness that is Gaiman you can push physical copies of The Graveyard Book into their hands (or any of his other amazing titles if they have already read it).

Group Idea: STEM Cell

I had this idea ages ago and I promptly wrote down then got on with doing other things and it soon faded into the low murmur at the back of my mind. It popped up again this morning as I was reading an article about building Lego robots and I thought that it be a fantastic basis for an engineering club, that jogged my memory and the STEM Cell idea bubbled up again but with new pieces added to the mental framework.

A cell can be many things, two of which are:

the functional basic unit of life

&

a unit of a clandestine cell system, a penetration-resistant form of a secret or outlawed organization

Wikipedia

A stem cell has the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics1.aspx

STEM stands for Science, Technology Engineering Maths

The STEM Cell will be a group dedicated to experimenting with each of the four disciplines by using practical and creative activities and experiments to create or enhance an interest in one or more of the subjects. Much like a covert cell the can be copied and used anywhere and the experience enhanced by communication with other cells and information exchanged about experiments that have been conducted. Similar to stem cells themselves, a group such as this will allow its members to use what they learn to become anything as they grow and develop.

This type of group would by its very nature be cross-curricular and run in conjunction with the Science, Mathematics, ICT and Design & Technology Departments but organised by the Library.

Activities can include:

The Mentos and Diet Coke experiment

Raspberry Pi & programming

Code making & breaking – this one can be used for intergroup competitions

Mathematical Origami

Building Robots from Lego

Activities can be set up to run on a termly or half-termly basis depending on the length & complexity of the activity and the capability of the young people involved in the group.

At present I am still working on ironing out all the details but if anyone has ideas please feel free to leave them in the comments field below.