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“Flash Stories!” Battle Decks turned into creative stories by children and teens.

Flash Stories  / Outreach School Visit
Flash Stories / Outreach School Visit

Have you seen Battle Decks at ALA? Have you cheered for librarians and laughed along with their story matched up with slides?

After presenting at the California Library Association in 2012 I had an opportunity to attend a full day of sessions and programs.  One of my favorite programs was Battle Decks. The program was spontaneous, loud, and funny. Librarians were battling it out by telling a story with a series of slides that they had never seen. I loved it! Right away I started thinking of ways to incorporate it into school visits and library programs for children and teens. Throughout the year, I continued to incorporate the Battle Decks idea into my programs.  I added slides of ice cream, favorite books and popular book characters.

Since we were not “battling it out,” I had the children come up with different names after each school visit. Some were silly, some were gross but my favorite was “Flash Stories.” The name stuck and this summer, I turned the last summer school visit into an interactive creative story time. The summer school group, ages 5-11, visited the library for a story and activity every Wednesday. On the last day, we turned the meeting room into “Flash Stories!”

Ready! You have ten slides, two children, two minutes and one story. Twenty-five children and two teachers shared stories with photos. The experience between presenters and the audience was so much fun.

Flash Stories / Summer School Group
Flash Stories / Summer School Group

The slides incorporated the summer reading themes, library events, animal photos, favorite books, popular book characters and ice cream. Whenever an ice cream slide appeared everyone whispered, “ice cream.” Sometimes the ice cream was part of the

One of the many ice cream photos! Ready? "Ice Cream"
One of the many ice cream photos! Ready? “Ice Cream”

story but most of the time ice cream was more of a break or a commercial and then the story continued. Each slide created laughter and imagination. There were picture books, non-fiction books, popular character books, and new books displayed around the room that matched up with the slides. Afterwards they checked out the books on display. Using “Flash Stories” was a great way to end the summer reading program and summer school class visits.   

This month’s blog post by Paige Bentley-Flannery, ALSC Digital Content Task Force (virtual committee)

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