I Survived Program

If you work in Youth Services, you know that the series I Survived is very popular right now.

I was inspired by this series. I studied history in college, and wanted to turn it into a library program.  I feel like it is a very librarian thing to do to turn a popular book series into a program. I could not resist! For this program, I created about 10 stations for families to walk through and try. I wanted to not only include the historical facts, but I also wanted to do some STEM projects as well.
It turned out to be a fantastic tween boy program.

I had a lot of stations. Maybe a little bit too many, but I wanted to have a lot for families to do. For each station, I had library books out on the subject and fun facts taped on the table for participants to read.

Here are the station I had set up:

Station #1 -  I Survived: The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912

For this station, I had participants make boats out of foil. They tested them out in our kitchen to see how many marbles it would hold. While they worked on their boats, many families read off facts about the Titanic to their children that I had setting out. 

Station #2- I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 

This was one of the most successful stations. Participants made buildings out of Legos. Once they were done, we put it on a cookie sheet and shook it to see how it would withstand an earthquake. We did have a lot of Lego men fatalities, but it was a great way for them to learn about structures, and what architects have to think about when they build. I will defiantly use this one next time!

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Station #4- I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 

For this station, I made a quiz called "Would You Survive a Shark Attack."  I set out books & a computer for the kids to see where tagged sharks are in the world. I pulled up the shark tracker through Ocearch. It is kinda of fun to see where the sharks are at, but the kids really enjoyed the quiz the most at this station. 

Station #5- I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011

My library isn't too far from Joplin. So I wanted to highlight the new release of this book. I didn't do too much for this station. I just set out some tornado safety handouts, and had some books out. If I do this next time, I would like to make a tornado in a bottle to show how tornadoes form. 

Station #6- I Survived the Japanese Tsunami 

The main activity for this station was for participants to play with an ocean in a bottle. This was supposed to show how waves are formed. This was one of the less successful station. Next time, I might do something different for this. 

Station #7- I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2004

For this station, I set out a laptop and invited participants to build a hurricane . I wanted participants to understand how hurricanes are formed. I had one participant who wouldn't leave until he successfully built one. It is a fun game that I suggest you try!

Station #8-  I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79

Originally, this station was supposed to be an obstacle course. I set out a red table cloth from the Dollar Tree, and placed brown construction paper down. Participants were to only step on the brown construction paper, but we decided it was too easy & merged it with Station #9!

Station #9 & 10- It's War! 

I based this station off of the I Survived books set in war time.

For this station, we had two main activities. The First one was an obstacle course.

This was my favorite station.  Ms. Alyssa & I try to make it difficult to keep our participants attention.  What you see here is the result!

The second half of this station was to build a fort.

 Creating a fort was one of the required activities for our summer reading program, and I thought it would be the perfect spot for the kids to curl up and read some of the I Survived books & its read a likes.  This station was a hit. I don't know how many times they built and rebuilt it.

How it went 

This was my favorite program I did this summer. We had so many tween boys come & they had a blast. I felt like the stations were perfect for them. Next time, I do think I will reach out to our local home school groups. I think that would make this program even more successful. I also felt like I had too many stations which took too much staff time. So I might cut out a few, but I think this is one that we will repeat in the future.

For more information about this program, please see my post in Programming Librarian 

Until next time,


1 comment

  1. Wow! In the first couple days of school, I've had a lot of 6th graders ask if I have any NEW I Survived books. I think I have one on order, but there haven't been as many as I apparently need. Great activity! (My library is ALL middle grade, 6-8!)