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How to Host a Teen Program with No Money

I have wanted to post about this forever, and am just now getting to it, so here goes.
We have a super tight budget at my library. I attended a seminar last year for "Teen Programs for Under 150 Dollars" and after I scraped myself off the floor (people are allowed to spend 150???) I realized how not having any money makes people more creative.

S0, without further ado, I present, Trivia Club.
The original game came from a most amazing YA librarian named Kathleen. I adopted it and adapted it, and now I pass it on to you.

To begin, split the kids into four teams. Give them a minute to name themselves something cooler than "team one" and "team two". Next, write the team names on a chalkboard.
The teams sit in specified sections of the room, pick a captain. Directly across from each team, across the room, should be an empty chair.

Now, pre-program, write four categories of questions that have only one answer, and a short answer at that. After you write the questions (which for me are ALWAYS pop culture centered), type the answers out in a large font four times and then cut the answers into strips. Put all of the strips for the first round into an envelope with the team's name on the front.

Are you with me? The kids get the answers, in the envelope. Each team's envelope contains the exact same answers. The captain then removes the answer slips and organizes them as the team feels is most logical.

In the meantime, you put four folders on each of the chairs. The folders contain a paper with a point value. I have found black folders to be most effective, as the numbers do not bleed through.
The points are 50, 100, 150, 200. Do not let the kids see which chair is worth which points!

Now, read the first question. You can read your questions randomly or stay in category.


I say: "Constantly swiping pic-a-nick baskets gets this bear in trouble."
The kids search through their answers until they find the slip that reads "Yogi Bear" (that is as long as someone on the team knows the answer).
Someone from the team is the "runner". She grabs the answer slip and then runs across the room to pick a chair. Remember that the kids do not know how many points a chair is worth. It is all luck.
When everyone is seated the host lets kids know if they are right or wrong. Wrong answers return to the team-no points. Right answers? The kids slide the folders out from under their butts, and reveal the points earned.

Before the next question, the correct answer is revealed (in case a team was wrong, then they can remove the Yogi Bear slip. Slips are used only once and there are no "fake" answers. That would add more challenge to the game, but I never do it. Also, my assistant switches the black folders around on the tops of the chairs, so once again, the kids have no idea where the high points are. My second assistant logs the points on the scoreboard.

The game continues for four rounds, and THEN, because it is obvious who has won, I make the kids do a Minute to Win It challenge for 1000 points. This way, it is still anyone's game.

Winners receive this awesome ribbon, which is also a magnet, but mostly they win bragging rites (bragging rights???). I create the teams by splitting up siblings and making the older kids captains so friends compete against friends.

Then we break for lemonade and licorice (the only money I spend here) and that's really to give me a few minutes to reset for game two. We get two games in per hour and we have Trivia Club about every other month in the winter, but this summer we had five sessions! They could not get enough of this! I did splurge and ordered solid gold plastic trophies for the final "winner take all competition".

This is a huge hit. The only real time it takes is the writing of the questions, which can take me forever. It depends on whether or not the muse is upon me.

My favorite catefory for the Trivia Club-Holiday Edition 2010 was "Famous Literary Siblings"

Here are the questions:

I name all the kids in a family, you tell me who is missing.

1. Ron, Charlie, Bill, Percy, Fred, and Ginnie.
2. Klaus and Violet.
3. Amy, Beth, Jo.
4. Peter, Susan, Edmond.
5. Flopsy, Cottontail, Peter.


See, you have five questions already!! Go have a Trivia Club!


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