How to Host a Teen Trivia Program

How to Host a Teen Trivia ProgramRecently, an out-of-state librarian contacted me about our monthly teen trivia program. She had questions about how we run the program, where to get questions, attendance, etc… I replied with all the requested info and she was very grateful.  This has inspired me to share how we host our teen trivia program with all of you.

1. Pick the questions. The internet has made trivia so accessible that it can be daunting to decide what questions to ask. I found it easier to choose 4-5 categories and then select interesting tidbits to use as questions. Seasonal categories are always great. If you are able to project a PowerPoint presentation of your trivia questions, I’ve found that teens love picture categories. Past categories I’ve used were: celebrity yearbook photos, name that cheese, and famous places.

2. Decide how participants will answer. Will each teen answer a different question? Will you have buzzers or let whoever raises their hand first answer? I made small whiteboards out of laminated poster board. I give each teen a board, a dry erase marker, and a wipe. I ask the question, then the teens write their answer, after an allotted amount of time everyone shows their answers. This method is similar to Final Jeopardy and allows everyone an equal opportunity to earn points.

3. Give out an awesome prize. The best way to ensure teens come to your trivia program is to give out a sweet prize. I typically make grab bags with candy, books, comics, or novelty items. The winner gets to choose a random bag. They don’t know what the prize is until they open the bag, which adds to the fun. One of the most popular prizes I’ve given away were zombie rubber ducks. The prizes don’t have to be expensive, they just need to be fun and appealing.

4. Publicize. Promote your program on social media. Put up fliers in the library. Share pictures of the prize bags. This may seem pretty basic, but it’s something that can easily be overlooked. Since I do this every month, I figured my regular attendees would just remember it was trivia night and that I didn’t need to publicize every event. WRONG. The one time I didn’t promote the event, I only had two teens show up. So promote, promote, promote.

Below you’ll find some examples of trivia questions I’ve used for past programs and their answers. Feel free to use any of these for your own programs.

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Cat Ear Headband Craft

catear2This month, the Awesome Readers’ Club is discussing Emily the Strange: The Lost Days. To go along with our discussion, we’re making cat ear headbands. Emily loves cats and dons her own set of cat ears in some of the illustrations (though not as colorful as mine, I’m more of a Molly than an Emily).  The teens haven’t actually made it yet, but they did see me wearing the example and thought it was awesome.

Once again, this craft was super-cheap. Frugality is one of my better qualities as a librarian.

Supply Costs:

Headbands ~ $5.00 (This would have been cheaper, but I waited til the last minute and ended up having to purchase  headbands at Kroger. The Dollar Store is probably a more economical headband vendor.)

Scissors – Zilch, I already had ’em.

Felt – Zilch again. I had felt leftover from a cassette wallet craft.

Markers – Nada. A good YA librarian always has sharpies handy.

Craft glue ~ $5.00 (I highly recommend Aleene’s)

TOTAL ~ $10.00

Active time: 15 – 20 minutes. Quick n’ easy.

Here are the instructions.