7 Ways to Use StickTogether Mosaic Posters in Your Library
Librarians are always finding new and engaging ways to inspire a love of reading and foster a sense of community. One of the creative ways they’re reaching their students and patrons is with collaborative art activities, such as StickTogether mosaic posters.
Along with bringing people together to collaborate, StickTogether mosaics provide a chance to focus on the “A” in STEAM and offer embedded opportunities to foster critical thinking, prediction and social skills. They can also be used for a variety of incentives, from reading to good behavior.
We asked our audience of librarians and educators to share how they’re using StickTogether to reward, inspire and motivate, and, as always, we were amazed at the ingenuity of their answers — from using it as a summer reading incentive to promoting library etiquette. Read all the different ways these librarians found to use mosaic posters and grab some ideas for your own library!
In the School Library
1. As an Ice Breaker
School librarians have found so many ways to inspire students with this collaborative art project. Several had the idea to use the posters to celebrate a special event, including the beginning of the new school year or the opening day of their makerspace. And it sounds like it’s working!
- “It was a great ice-breaker the first week. It got the kids talking and collaborating right off the bat!”
- “Students have been in the library before school every day. It’s bringing all ages together.”
- “There are lots of inferences being made and conversations happening while students try to guess the mystery picture.”
Librarians have also found the activity to be an excellent motivator in a variety of ways, including reinforcing good behavior.
- “I explained to my third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders that I would give each of them opportunities to earn stickers: one each week for behavior and one per book checked out each week (they may check out between three to five books weekly). I also haven’t told them what the picture will be, and we are adding stickers one color at a time. I think it will take us about nine weeks to complete the picture, and I can already see a difference in book checkouts and behavior — especially fifth-graders who need a little more motivation.”
- “I am a speech-language pathologist and the students are allowed to place a sticker after a successful therapy session. The use of this tool reinforces color vocabulary, letter identification and sound production. The students rush into the therapy room to see how the poster has progressed since their last therapy session and start planning which color they want next.”
- “I am taking photos after each class so we can make a slide show of the progression of the poster stickers, which I will show during our awards ceremony. This may just be the most fun way to affect group behavior!”
- Use it as a whole-school activity: Each student gets a square when they meet their reading goal. Title the display “Reading Is Picture Perfect.”
- Use StickTogether as a reward for students who return their books on time. Each time they have no overdue books at library checkout, give the student a square to add to the StickTogether poster.
- Use it as an incentive program for kids to follow library rules. Give out stickers to the students demonstrating good library etiquette each week.
- Use it as an Accelerated Reader milestone incentive. Whenever a student passes an AR test during library time, let them add a sticker to the poster.
Need Ideas to Get Kids Making?
Your makerspace doesn’t need to have the latest high-tech tools to be effective. Download the Guide to Low-Tech Making for easy and effective activities that can help you launch a maker program that boosts critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration.
3. As a Learning Opportunity
There are also a variety of ways librarians have found to connect this collaborative activity with learning opportunities:
- “I used it for different grade levels in different ways. First grade was able to see the butterfly come together after learning about insects and the life cycle of a butterfly. My fourth-graders have been learning about coding and creating GIFs. I explained that a GIF is just like the butterfly. The picture is made up of pixels just like the butterfly is made up of stickers, which are like pixels. My sixth-graders decided to use the butterfly as their background on the green screen app we have.”
- “I used this as a collaborative project during our library’s annual Dot Day celebration. Students devoured it during Dot Day!”
- Have students submit a prediction about what the image is early in the process. Then see who predicts correctly.
- Use the posters during a unit on art history. Showcase your collection of art books to amp up student interest in art literature, and then give students the opportunity to earn stickers for answering questions about the artists in the books they read.
4. As an Engagement Tool
Why not get even more people in on the action and into the library?
- “I have used a StickTogether poster to get students who normally don’t come to the library to stop in. They look forward to coming back to see what the picture will be.”
- “I choose a few students at the end of each library class and have them roll my big foam dice to tell them how many stickers to put on the poster.”
- Use StickTogether to draw in some of the non-library users. Place the display in a prominent place or where it can be easily viewed in the library and have students in all grades work together. The whole school will be able to see your progress and want to contribute.
- Do you have a wide age range in your school? Bring young and old together by putting the mosaic poster in a common location to allow the elementary students to work alongside the older students to make something together. Staff can get in on the fun too!
- Showcase your makerspace by getting parents involved on Maker Night or Literacy Night.
- Use a StickTogether poster during your next book fair. Students can each get a sticker to add when their class comes to browse the book fair. The poster can also be a fun way to get more families into the fair to browse and shop while they’re in the building for conferences. Give each family member a sticker to add to the poster.
In the Public Library
Schools aren’t the only place where collaboration is encouraged. There’s nothing that brings a community closer than a shared goal — and an opportunity to take part in creating something beautiful. Read how these public libraries are crushing it:
5. To Engage Your Patrons
Come young, come old — everyone can help build something beautiful at the library.
- “We are always searching for new and innovative ways to engage the adult and teen population at the library, aside from their main preference, using the computers. This program would take very little effort from the patrons and they could work at their own pace, with no oversight. It will be placed in a prominent area for easy access, creating an immediate impact upon entry into our space. All it will take is some creativity and visualization on the patrons’ part. The final product would be an added addition to our library’s atmosphere, created by our patrons. This is a perfect program!”
- “We have a large population of elderly who come in to use the library, and to have them work with the youth would be a wonderful program for socializing.”
- Encourage library book circulation — when patrons check out a book, let them add a sticker to the poster.
- Post your progress on your library’s Facebook page and invite the community in to add to the art.
- Display the StickTogether poster under the title “Picture Us Reading.” Each person adds a sticker for each book read during a set time period, gradually revealing the image.
What better time to provide a visual reading incentive than your summer reading program?
- “I would love to use one of these for our Summer Reading Program to encourage everyone, young and old, to participate and read. I think being able to have a visual of progress in a community setting would be a great next step for our small, very rural library. What a cool ‘reveal’ as the picture takes shape with everyone contributing their efforts!”
- “Families have responded very well to incentive projects in our libraries, and I think that both children and parents would be eager to report their involvement in our summer learning activities in return for a chance to add stickers to these posters.”
- “Our library used this as a Build a Better World summer reading activity this past summer. The patrons loved it and worked hard to finish it to see what it was. They had so much fun I quickly bought another design for them to work on. I was excited that we did not have to worry about losing puzzle pieces and loved that they did not know what they were creating until toward the end!”
- “I would love to use the StickTogether bundle for a family/community summer reading incentive. This would include everyone from little kids through the teens and adults. For each book they read during our summer program, they would get to add a sticker to the StickTogether poster. Over the course of nine weeks, people could stop in and see how it was growing. It would be a real sense of accomplishment for our community to see something we all worked so hard to create. It could then be mounted for permanent display and bragging rights: ‘Look what I helped create this summer at the library!’”
7. As a Motivator for Kids and Teens
Although fun for all ages, these collaborative art projects really shine with children and teens! Check out these ideas for engagement:
- “I would love to use these with our teens. They are a fickle bunch and I think this would bring them in and get them to work together to accomplish a goal.”
- “In our teen room, we often do collaborative projects so that our teens have something to keep their idle hands busy. They love seeing the final products of their work.”
- Provide a StickTogether poster to give kids something to do while their parents browse the book selections, and use the finished piece as a mural in the children’s room.
- Post a mosaic poster where you have your children’s programs. Each week, allow every child that attends to put a sticker on the mosaic as an incentive to come back.
Whether it’s a community art project, a reading incentive or an intergenerational collaborative activity, there are so many ways to use StickTogether mosaic posters to bring people together and inspire them. And, as one librarian said, “The more we ‘StickTogether,’ it will bring more peace in our world.”