March is here, heralding spring, daylight savings time, spring break, and the halfway point to summer reading!
Never fear, here at Teen Services Underground we’ve put together a huge variety of self-directed programming ideas for March to help get you through the month without completely loosing your mind or your cool! Take a look after the break to see what we have to offer, and share your ideas with us!
Easter is coming up early this year (March 27th), so why not have some fun with a white rabbit display? Pull together all of the Alice in Wonderland media and variations, including The Looking Glass Wars, the Spintered series, the Alice in Zombieland series, and new and old Alice in Wonderland movies by Disney interspersed with white rabbits and playing cards. Alternatively, have fun placing white rabbits over characters on the covers of books that need checking out to get interest up and placing them on display.
St. Patrick’s Day is on a Thursday this year, so pull together some of your favorite green covered books. Matched, Wither, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, Wintergirls, Crewel, The Green Mile, Paper Towns, The Iron King, The Lightening Thief, Reckless, Uglies, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Insurgent, Delirium, Ash, The Maze Runner, and Heir of Fire are just a few that have mainly green covers depending on your version. Scan your YA shelves to see what sticks out!
MOVIE BASED PROGRAMS
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice comes out March 25, and if your teens aren’t talking about it yet, they’re probably not talking about it with you. Pull together a brief trivia sheet contest to get their attention and test their knowledge. You can go back into the comic history of the characters (Which of Wonder Woman’s accessories was forged from the magic girdle of Gaea? Her lasso) to the actors (What action series can you see Gal Gadot race with Vin Diesel? Fast and Furious). Teens can pick up a sheet at the information desk and turn them in at the end of the day- a winner can be drawn from the ones that got all the questions correct and win a “grand prize” or a small prize can be given for all quizzes that are turned in completed and correct. Teens can be encouraged to use the library resources, including databases and internet sites.
Set up your own Rifftrax-interactive style showing of Man of Steel before the release of Batman vs Superman and encourage teens to come in and help the film along. Create your own hashtag to post comments, and create your own activities to add into the mix. Examples can be shooting off squirt guns for the twister scene, and day glow sticks when kryptonite shows up. You can even split your teens into humans versus aliens, or Superman versus Zod for challenges.
Divergent Series: Allegiant comes into theaters March 18. Have a movie marathon showing Divergent and Insurgent so that your devotees are caught up on what has happened before, with sections set up for each faction house. Pull together trivia quizzes or slide shows before hand testing their knowledge of the movies, and also the differences between the movies and the books.
TABLE BASED PROGRAMS
If your teens are anything like mine, St. Patrick’s day was a scream fest of “OWWWWWWWW” because someone is missing green. On March 16, set up a craft station with anything and everything green and let them go to town creating buttons, stickers, or anything else they can think of that they’d be willing to wear or carry to save them from getting pinched.
In the Batman vs Superman theme, print off a variety of symbols for Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman, Aquaman, and Lex Luthor, and set out craft materials and the button machine, and let teens create their own buttons declaring their intentions and loyalties.
Teen Tech Week is March 6-12 this year, and the theme is Create It at Your Library! You don’t need to have a week of programs to celebrate tech week, or even high tech programs. For example, there’s an art and writing contest going on that teens can post their projects online via deviantart and wattpad- set up stations during the week where teens can create and upload their projects to be entered. Let loose with craft materials and let the teens have fun, or just set out the Legos or other materials that they can express themselves with and have a good time.
SCAVENGER HUNT AND GUESSING JAR IDEAS
Two of my most popular self directive programs seem to be scavenger hunts that teens can take themselves through and guessing jars, where we put things in a jar and they have to guess the number to win a prize. Takes a small amount of time to pull the materials together, set up and take down, yet the amount of participants grew each and every month. For March, you could do:
- a tech “easter egg” hunt where teens find hidden tech questions to learn about the databases and other tech materials within the library
- a spring break scavenger hunt where teens find spring break book, materials, and other articles around the library
- superhero icon scavenger hunt where teens have to decipher clues left by the evil Lex Luthor in order to save the library from certain destruction
- a jar filled with peeps where they have to guess the amount of peeps in the jar
- jar filled with green jelly beans
- jar filled with tech odds and ends in honor of Teen Tech Week
What ideas do you have for self directed programs? What types of programs work well in your library?