Check out these programming ideas from the Teen Read Week Manual! Looking for more ideas? Find them in the 2013 Teen Read Week: Seek the Unknown Manual at the ALA Store. This downloadable guide also includes a customizable flyer and web graphics with art from this year's theme. You might also be interested in the free Teen Read Week webinar (originally recorded Sept. 2011).
A creative makeup activity for a lock-in or party for grades 6-12.
Study Halloween and theater makeup books for fun and easy techniques to create monsters, zombies, vampires, fairies, and more. Inquire at a local theater for leads to experienced makeup artists for assistance or train some older teens to help using what you have learned from the books. Collect various types of Halloween and theater makeup, tissues, swabs, disposable applicators, hand and wall mirrors. Spray wash-out hair paint adds more fun. Keep unscented hand wipes available for corrections. Set up stations with a table area for the makeup and mirror, and a chair or stool for the student. For happiest monsters, make every face a bit different. Take lots of pictures! This activity works well when there are other activities going on while teens are waiting for makeup. Our party had food, movies, and crafts. Ask teens about any skin allergies before you begin. The teen volunteers can do their makeup before the program begins to show other teens.
Cost: Buy Halloween make-up on sale at discount stores. Check dollar and remainder stores for close-outs of unusual colors of regular makeup.
Teen Feedback: Teens of all ages and boys and girls enjoyed this program and leafed through books looking for ideas for their monster faces. Some of the younger teens may prefer fairy or animal faces.
Contributed by RoseMary Honnold, Editor-in-Chief, VOYA Magazine
Teen Read Week “Spirit Week”
Time: 1 week
A week-long costume event for teens and librarians.
Encourage staff and teens to dress with a specific teen series or book in mind. Award prizes for best costumes, and capture pictures of costumed patrons holding books! If you’re doing it at school, frame the contest for “most participation award” and give bragging rights to a specific grade level or classroom. Here are examples of themed days you might use:
Cost: Cost of prizes will vary.
Teen Feedback: Teens love to dress up and see adults do the same! Many High School students are familiar with the idea of spirit week for homecoming and love the idea of having another chance to be creative.
Contributed by Sarah Russo, Librarian, Howard County Public Library System, Elkridge, MD
Edible Books Take-Out Project
Time: Independent activity
A make it and take it craft program for grades 6-12.
Teens pick up a take-out project kit at a service desk during Teen Read Week. The kit includes instructions, a fruit roll-up, and a fun-sized white chocolate bar. They break the chocolate bar into sections, and cut the fruit roll-up into rectangular “book covers,” which are then moistened and wrapped around the chocolate “pages” to make edible “books.” Teen volunteers can make posters to describe and publicize the project and help pack the kits. Use natural fruit leathers and sugar-free chocolate for teens who do not want sugar. Hungry Happenings has photos and more food ideas.
Cost: $10 or less to make 20 kits. Grocery stores and/or local markets could be asked to contribute supplies.
Teen Feedback: This was their favorite of all my take-out projects because it was cute, easy, and edible. Evidenced by wrappers all over the library and smiling teens.
Contributed by Susan P. Grotyohann, Reference and Young Adult Services, Monroe Township Library, Monroe Township, NJ
Spooky Story Contest
Have students submit their short stories for a contest judged on two grade levels - middle school and high school. Be sure to enlist help from area school librarians in promoting and even judging the stories. Rules can vary (word length, deadline dates, and other restrictions). I’ve opened the contest up to include humorous Halloween stories, dark teen romances, horror/spooky, suspense and mysteries. Announce winners at a Teen Read Week celebration. Participants can receive incentives such as prizes and bound copies
of the short stories.
Cost: Printing and prize costs vary.
Teen Feedback: I had a terrific response from my students. The submissions were all terrific and students were very proud of their work. They all received extra credit in their schools for their writing efforts.
Contributed by Molly M. Collins, Head of Youth Services, Burlington Public Library, Burlington, MA