Young Adult Programs

Explore Your Wild World!

Length of Program

1 hour

Program Description

“Explore Your Wild World!” is based on the quotation from renowned French writer Marcel Proust: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” The goal of this program is to encourage teens to step outside of their comfort zone to see things from an alternative perspective and begin exploring from within.


Gather maps, postcards, travel magazines, travel quotations, and books and travel brochures about various countries and cultures. Invite community members from other countries to drop by and show photos, slides, or memorabilia from their country. If you have local world travelers, invite them to do the same for countries they have visited. Display travel books and videos or DVD’s from your collection.

Books to Display

  • Eccentric America: The Bradt Guide to All That's Weird and Wacky in the USA by Jan Friedman.
  • Fun Along the Road: American Tourist Attractions by John Margolies.
  • Open Your Eyes: Extraordinary Experiences in Far Away Places edited by Jill Davis.
  • Wanderlust by Troy M. Litten.
  • Winogrand: Figments from the Real World by Garry Winogrand and John Szarkowski.

Books to Booktalk

  • Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan by Jamie Zeppa.
  • Going Places: True Tales for Young Traveler’s compiled by Michelle Roehm McCann.
  • Let's Get Lost: Adventures in the Great Wide Open by Craig Nelson.
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
  • The Wanderer by Sharon Creech.

Bulletin Board

Voyage of Discovery

Post the following quotation on your bulletin board: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust. Surround the quotation with pictures from an assortment of magazines. On top of the collage of pictures, post questions and statements, such as “What is beauty?”, “Define time.”, “Who are you?”, and “What is truth?” When teens ask about the meaning of the display, encourage them to think about the questions in relation to the images and then to come to the program prepared to create their own set of images, questions, and answers.

A post-program bulletin board could feature the photographs taken by the teens during the Digital Photography Scavenger Hunt, accompanied by descriptions written by the teens.


In the spirit of broadening the horizons of participating teens, serve foods and beverages from other cultures and countries. These culturally diverse snacks may be as simple as exotic fruits and vegetables such as cherimoya, dragon fruit, persimmon, plantain, sugar cane, tendora, or yucca root. Invite members of your community to bring examples of their native cuisine. Or, serve baked goods or desserts such as baklava, nan bread, or cassava pudding. For something more adventurous, purchase food items on the Internet including chocolate covered crickets, seaweed, or dried squid. Look for ideas at the Asian Food Grocer Web site at or the KOA Mart Web site at

Prizes and Incentives

Very inexpensive globe key chains are available from Oriental Trading Company. They also sell Earth kicks sacks, similar to hackey sacks. If you have the funding or can obtain a donation, disposable cameras are also fun incentives for your budding world photographers.

Games and Activities

Where in the World?

As an icebreaker, have the teens sit in a circle. Go around the circle and ask the following question: “Where would you go for vacation if money were no object and you could go anywhere in the world?”

Digital Photography Scavenger Hunt

As a team, teens will collectively use a digital camera to take photos of 25 objects that represent items on the following list, some of which are abstract and some of which are slightly more concrete. If you have more than one digital camera, split the teens into teams. There is no right or wrong, just exploration and creativity at work. Once the teens have finished taking photographs, encourage them to write brief explanations to accompany each photo. If possible, print one or more of the photographs for each teen to take home, or post some of the photographs and captions in the library.

  • love
  • 3 p.m.
  • adventure
  • soft
  • old
  • shadow
  • blue
  • write
  • headache
  • box
  • rules
  • travel
  • balance
  • blank
  • photo
  • boredom
  • dirt
  • read
  • alive
  • technology
  • time
  • wisdom
  • water
  • small
  • end


If you have public performance rights, show segments of these videos and DVDs during the program. Otherwise, display them for home use.

  • Rick Steves - Best of Travels in Europe. (6 videos, vary from 55 to 90 minutes)
  • 30 Years of National Geographic Special. (90 minutes)

Web Sites

Culture Quiz
On this site, teens can take a quiz to find just how savvy they are regarding the customs and manners of foreign countries.

World Postcards
Browse thousands of postcards from all over the world to send as e-postcards to friends and family. The site also provides digital reproductions of actual postmarks from postcards sent and received from all over the country.


  • Family Adventure Magazine.
  • National Geographic Traveler.
  • Travel America.


Texas Reading Club 2005 Programming Manual / Go Wild...Read!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011