How to Make a “Break Up Wall”

By Julia

Last week at the OLA Super Conference we created a ‘Break Up Wall’ in honour of Daniel Handler’s (perchance you’ve heard of him? He also goes by Lemony Snicket) first YA book WHY WE BROKE UP. It’s a fabulous story of first love and heartbreak, and it rang so true in the hearts of all of us at HCC that we decided to share our own breakup stories (and cajole passersby to contribute too).

This fun activity can be replicated at your school or library as part of an Anti-Valentine’s Day celebration on February 14th! Are you a heart breaker? Or have you been heart broken? Choose your side and share your tale of woe.

You will need: (you can purchase most items from your local dollarstore)

  • A surface to display all of the break-up stories. We used a portable cubicle divider but a large bulletin board would work just as well.
  • Decorations!
    • We printed out the illustrations from the book’s cover to add a splash of colour to the background. You can find the cover image here. You could also use squares of pink/red/black construction paper to add colour.
    • We made the title by printing “Why Did You Break Up?” in a large font, one letter per standard 8 ½ x 11 page. Then we cut out the letters with scissors. If you already have pre-cut cardboard letters, use them! It will be much less time consuming.
    • Push pins/tacks/velcro to secure everything to the wall
    • Breakup cards for everyone to write their stories on.

For the heart breakers
For those who are heart broken

Just follow these 5 easy steps:

  1. Choose the place you will be displaying the breakup stories. It should be prominent enough that a lot of people will walk by and be lured into reading the incredible stories.
  2. Decorate! Add Anti-Valentine’s Day imagery and colours so that it stands out. We used images of wilted rose petals.
  3. Print out a good number of both the Heartbreaker and Heartbroken cards. Use a paper slicer to speed up the cutting process. Place the two stacks of cards close to the board so that passersby can help themselves. Be sure to leave a few pens, and a container of tacks/push pins.
  4. Have your staff and friends fill out the cards and add them to the board before you open it to the public. Nobody wants to be the first one to contribute.
  5. Bond over the shared stories of heartbreak. Everybody has experienced it and nobody is alone.

Happy Anti-Valentine’s Day!

(I’ll be going home to eat the box of chocolates I bought myself—who’s with me?)

— Julia
Follow me on twitter @JuliaTrench

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