Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tween Scavenger Hunt in the Library!

We have been fortunate enough to partner with many groups in the library. One group, and adventure camp with 10-25 kids, visited the library each week to look around. They were planning a biking tour of scavenger hunts around town for one of their final projects, and wanted us in on the action.

I met with the group leaders a twice before hand, once with Brooke. They were undergraduate students trying so hard not to look like they were undergraduate students. They came in with ideas that were SO NOT doable, I left the first meeting with a bad taste in my mouth. I wonder how often this happens in libraries, that University students ("on behalf "of their universities, of course) come into the public library asking for a hell of a lot, and we take it as kind of an insult: What do they think we do all day? What kind of partnership IS this? But then I remembered: I was a 20-year-old education student once, too, and I remember what it was like to dream of all this stuff I could do with kids but it was like really, really, a lot, and dependent on lots of factors that I could not control, but I assumed I could do it all JUST AS SOON as I got that degree. THEN I would change the world. WITH KNOWLEDGE. And that's where these kids' heads were at. Needless to say, there were no rhyming verses, or archives work, or riddles they would need to ask multiple staff members for, or any other of their (very good, from an idealistic perspective) ideas. I asked for their input without promising anything. They actually had really good insight on how well their kids could read (pretty well, with one reluctant reader), what their favorite spots in the library were (00s and the graphic novels), where they were having trouble (finding good chapter books and the catalog). I ended up incorporating this into the hunt.

I wanted to make sure what we did was engaging for the kids as well as super-easy on the precarious sanity of a short-staffed summer (say that five time fast). And then, I remembered there are actually two episodes of Adventure Time that take place in a library. And with a GIF, an incredibly easy-to-make/engaging Tween Scavenger Hunt was born.

It was this one.

Each kid got a scavenger hunt sheet and a pencil. They had to find six Finn and Jake Fist Bumps, read about the area, and complete the activity at each. The Fist Bumps were not numbered, so they could start wherever they wanted and eliminate congestion at each area. They could work alone or in groups. By doing this, it was my hope that if someone had trouble reading the activities they wouldn't feel weird asking for help from a partner or teacher.

Here's the areas and activities:
1. Nonfiction: write down a crazy fact
2. Chapter books: pick up a book and look at the cover, the inside cover, and the back. Do you think you would like this book? Why or why not?
3. Computers: how long can you use the computers each day?
4. Catalog: search for "pirates juvenile". What is the first title that IS AVAILABLE? Where would you find it? Write it down!
5. Graphic Novels: what is the difference between a graphic novel and a chapter book? Write about it!
6. Teen nonfiction: write down the name of a good-looking book in this section.

I really wasn't sure how this was going to go, but it turned out to be one of my biggest self-wins for the summer. The kids were excited to recognize the characters, and were REALLY INTO the hunt. There were some (like the catalog) surprisingly hiding in plain sight that they couldn't find. It ended up taking about 30 minutes for them to find all the Fist Bumps and do the activities.

It started storming pretty hard right after, so they had to wait for 20 minutes while their teacher picked up the van. But it was okay, because they went right back to looking more closely at the Fist Bump areas.

Ready to try this in your library!
Click this link to download everything you need.

Did you try a scavenger hunt this summer? How did it go?

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