Friday, May 6, 2016

Teen Outreach - Color Coding

Last month at my Middle School outreach we did Speed Dating with teen fiction and a few juvenile fiction titles. This month we did a color coding activity.  I got the idea from 6 Activities for Your Kids’ Writing Club | For Teens & Preteens. She suggests: 
Red for action. 
Green for dialogue
Yellow for internal thoughts.
Orange for description
Pink for emotion.
476682746_ed86985254I kept two of the books that the teens liked the best from our speed dating exercise and photocopied the first two pages of the first chapter of each book.  I talked to the teacher to make sure the teens had crayons, markers or highlighters in the correct colors.  I put the color coding rules up on the projector then  I introduced plan for class.  We talked about what each topic was; there were many question about how to tell what words were dialogue.  Then I gave the teens 5-10 minutes to get into groups and color. I nearly always let the teens work in groups since I only visit class for 30 minutes.  I can't answer all their questions in that short time so its handy when their classmates can help me out.  I walked around the room and brought up issues with the class as they developed. The teens wanted to know could there be passages with two colors or sections with no color.  I told the teens they couldn't have wrong answers as long as they explained their reasoning.  One girl selection a  sentence  that was descriptive but she colored it pink because it made her sad. Once we had moved through the two pages from the first book we talked about whether knowing more about the book would make us want to read it.  We talked about the kind of books we liked and if this book was something they would normally pick.  Many teens were surprised that although they prefer action, the days' books were slow and sad but still compelling.

2493194057_84c2cfa527Next we did another book that had also been popular with the previous visit. Talking as we colored, the class noticed  differences from the previous book.  We debated if internal dialogue that was descriptive should be yellow or orange. There was definitely confusion about how to color sentences when the main character is relating a past conversation. Was this internal dialogue or regular? I didn't always know what to tell them. When most of the coloring was done we talked about other ways to find good books to read like talking to friends, using the internet or reading some of the middle of the book to see what was going on. With two books this activity took about thirty minutes.  The coloring appealed to my class, especially since it is near the end of the school year and this visit felt a bit silly.  I will definitely use this again with other school groups. It certainly was nice to not need to carry a truck load of books.I used The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff.  You could use books your teens were familiar with, in my case only the teacher and myself had read the books we talked about. 



Thursday, May 5, 2016

"Boo Hoo Bird" by Jeremy Tankard - video

We are expanding our outreach to video.  Here's a short of me reading Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard for the school kids. 



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Teen Summer Reading Video

For your viewing pleasure.  Twelves plus takes later we finally have video about our teen summer reading program that doesn't feature a flub.  



Monday, May 2, 2016

Teen Cherry Blossom Festival

Flower Candy
As part of our Anime/Manga Club for teens I created a program to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival.  The Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrated nationally in Japan and also in Washington D.C. The festival usually runs for for a few weeks from late March to mid April.  We had our program a little late in the season. I saved lots of free manga magazines that were donated.  Along with those freebies here are the activities we did tonight.  

Candy Sushi
Finished sushi roll
There are a lot of different ways to make candy sushi with your teens. Instructables has handy directions.  At the very least you need marshmallow rice treats (homemade or store bought), fruit rolls and gummy fish.  For more fun you can buy other candies like gummy worms.   A technique that works well is to lay the fruit roll out stretched on a plate then flatten the marshmallow rice treat so that it covers the fruit roll. If you use paper plates like we did, be sure to lay the wax wrapper from the fruit roll on your plate first.  Otherwise the fruit roll will stick to the plate and peal off an nice layer of paper that you won't want to eat.  Add candy in a line down one edge of the fruit roll then tightly roll the whole thing up.  Then you can cut it into bite sized pieces.  Since there are many types of sushi besides the familiar rolled Maki Sushi,  experiment  with making Nigiri or a whole bento box.  

Cherry Blossom Cutting
I admit origami is a weakness of mine. I often cannot create the shape I want or I cannot teach the folding technique to others.  Cherry Blossoms are just barely in my skill set.  You will need square origami paper of any measurements and scissors. I used the directions from DIY Sakura Kirigami.  It has nice clear pictures and a link to more folding directions at Jessica Jones Design  for a Snowflake Based on a 5 point star.  Thankfully our ellison die cut press has a flower pattern that makes a 5 point flower.  I was able to decorate a lot of the room with these precut flowers to save time.

Dried seaweed snack
I bought two flavors of dried seaweed, wassabi peas, and flower candy from the international aisle and also hot green tea. The trivia contest had candy prizes and with the candy sushi I figured that was plenty of food. 

We play Ninja at nearly every teen event. We always make a circle to start so that it is really clear who doesn't want to play.  Once you know the basic rules its not too hard to join in. Sometimes watching an video can give you an idea of the flow.  

Game in progress

I couldn't think of an anime with a festival episode to show so I just picked a movie I thought had a really fun story. We went with Hetalia Paint It White.  The movie is rated TV-MA which gave me pause since I've seen it several times and didn't recall much objectionable content.  I feel the movie is should be rated PG-13 for language and blurred out but still suggestive themes. 

Ultimate Otaku Quiz
For summer reading last year we had a Jeopardy game as part of a games program.  The teens got a kick out of it so I did another trivia game for them just on Japanese culture. I found nearly all the information on Kids Web Japan. The quiz has 20 questions total.  I had the teens divide into teams and the winning  team had first choice of a snack prize.  I had enough Poky or Panda snacks for everyone but they still enjoyed the competition. Download the power point file below. 

For more ideas check out my blog post Teen Cherry Blossom Festival, part 2