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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12 Comments

  1. Pingback: How to Host a Teen Trivia Program | Teenage Lib...

  2. First off, I love your blog and your trivia posts have been very helpful as I plan my own trivia program for this summer- so thanks!

    Question: I may have missed it, but I didn’t see in either of your trivia posts how you handled scoring. I know I’ve played trivia where the scoring method was time-consuming enough that it kind of sucked the fun out of it- and teens can be an impatient crowd.

    Thank you!

    • Thank you for the kind words, Laura! I’m always glad to hear my blog has been helpful.

      For scoring, I wrote each teen’s name on a large flip board displayed at the front of the room and put a tally under their name for each correct answer. Whoever had the most tallies at the end of the game won. This also made them a bit more competitive because they could easily see who was in the lead. If you have a large group, dividing them into teams helps. Also, you will want to have a few tie-breaker questions prepared in advance.

  3. I am making the move from school librarian to public children’s programming librarian. This will be my first library program and I am really thankful for your post and blog. Love the grab bag prize idea. Thanks for all the other great ideas.

  4. Thank you for the great ideas. As the Outreach Coordinator for my library, I am excited to be offering a Trivia Teams event to a local assisted living facility and our local Council on Aging, and these will be fun categories to incorporate.

    Thanks.

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