Fortnite: the unstoppable tween phenomenon that libraries can’t ignore. From the never ending conversations with kids about llamas and boogie bombs, to the piles of Unofficial Fortnite Guide books, and over 350 million players… Fortnite is here and it is here to stay.
Most public libraries learned to embrace Fortnite in some way before the pandemic started. Many were running regular Fortnite Tournaments in their computer labs, or having gaming afternoons. Some of us created real-life versions of Fortnite (like the fort activity I outlined in Using Big Blue Blocks at the Library)
Now that everything is virtual, I wanted to find a way to get older kids extra excited about participating in a library program. And that way, for me, was Fortnite.
I advertised a virtual Fortnite Mania program as a place for kids to meet other Fortnite gamers, get free Fortnite prizes, learn tips for better gameplay, and compete in a trivia challenge. Designing a program like this would be nearly impossible without knowledge of the game… so it’s a good thing I play a little!
If you don’t play Fortnite, but want to run this program, you are welcome to use all my resources (download for free at the bottom of this post). I also encourage you to play a few games, so that you know what everyone is talking about!
A week before the event, kids came in and picked up their Fortnite Mania kits. Each kit contained an Ideal Loadout Poster, Loadout Squares, Fortnite Buttons (made with our button maker), 2 Fortnite vinyl stickers (created with the die cutter), Book Suggestion Sheet, and Trivia Answer Cards (blank white squares). All of these activities would also be great for a Fortnite themed birthday party!
I ran this as a registered virtual program called Fortnite Mania. It ran for one hour on a weekday afterschool, on our streaming platform. The kids and I were on camera, similar to how a virtual classroom would be set up. To access the event, everyone had to have the invitation link and the password. I had a second staff member monitoring the program to ensure privacy and safety. I limited registration to 20 kids, ages 8 – 12, and it filled.
Ice Breaker Discussion Time (5 minutes)
Time to go around and discuss their answers to Fortnite questions: Where is your favourite place to land? What season did you start playing? What is your favourite emote? If you could have any Fortnite skin, what would you have? Fortnite kids will talk about Fortnite for as long as they can: let them show their enthusiasm and get the energy up!
Ideal Load Out Poster Creation (5 – 10 minutes)
I wanted participants to have something physical to show for their time at the program, and this seemed like the perfect way. Every kid was given the Ideal Loadout Poster and a variety of items cut to size. They could select their ideal weapons, and glue them onto the page to create a customized poster. Their choices reveal a lot about their personal style and gameplay strategy, so it leads to interesting discussion.
Fortnite Trivia Challenge (20 minutes)
This was the main event! I created a highly engaging PowerPoint presentation with plenty of gifs and videos. Every kid had squares of paper ready to write their answers on. After each question, everyone held their written answer up to their camera, and we saw who got it correct. Usually when I do trivia challenges, it’s a huge in person event with high stakes and amazing prizes. Because it was virtual (and easier to cheat) I decided to lower the stakes by A LOT by having no winner and no prizes. It was still a lot of fun, and it put the emphasis more on learning and laughing together. See Free Downloadable Recourses below for Fortnite Trivia Questions and Answers and the PowerPoint. NOTE: If you download the PowerPoint, you’ll need to also download the font: “Burbank Big Condensed Black.”
Fortnite Strategy Discussion (10 minutes)
I created a couple slides with some math-based strategy tips to help kids improve their skills. I didn’t want this to feel like school or a lecture, so I asked a lot of discussion question and allowed time for the kids to share their tips with each other. I recommend mentioning at the start of the program that you will be discussing strategy later, so that kids can think in advance about a tip to share, and nobody feels put on the spot. This part of the program could definitely be expanded to be an entire event! Think: Fortnite Gameplay Seminar for Tweens. Some great math-based skills in there for teachers too!
I included a sheet with book suggestions in their kits, based on which location they like the best from the current season. All the books are middle grade novels, and most are fast-paced adventure stories that will appeal to fans of the game. If you have time at the end of your program, throw in a couple book talks. I recommend this YouTube video where a Fortnite player explores the new map while suggesting books for grades 6 – 9:
Other Ideas for a Virtual Fortnite Program
Invite a Pro Player
You’d be surprised how many pro players there are out there – there’s probably one in your city! I searched “Fortnite Pro Player AND [my city’s name]” and found three active, high level players. One of them even had a worldwide record in the game! And my city is less than 200k. You might also be able to connect with a popular streamer or YouTuber from your area. Invite and interview a local Fortnite person of interest, and kids will LOVE IT. I would interview the person live on camera, and have an opportunity for kids to ask their own questions. Some examples for interview questions:
- What made you want to start playing Fortnite?
- What does a typical day look like for you?
- How has your gameplay changed over the years?
- What do you think of the current season?
- Which was your favourite season of Fortnite?
- Do you play any other games? Anything you’d recommend to fellow Fortnite players?
- What advice would you give to an aspiring Fortnite Pro Player?
- Who are some of the other Pro Players / Streamers / YouTubers that you look up to?
- What qualities make for the best teammates?
- What is your all time favourite play that you’ve made in a game?
Play Fortnite Together
Just like we used to run Fortnite tournaments at the library, you could coordinate virtual play time. I would suggest using Creative Mode for this because you can have up to 16 players in at once, and you can switch up the game modes by using different maps. Create a library Fortnite account, and have attendees send you a friend request. Make sure your Party is set to “Private.” Then invite up to 15 players into your lobby, and launch Creative “Create” mode. I would not recommend using Creative Matchmaking, as it will include random other players, who could be toxic or inappropriate on the microphone.
Here are some Creative maps that I would recommend for this event. You can input the number code into the consoles in the Creative hub:
- 1 V 1 Build Fights (8064-7152-2934): this is the most popular Creative Map right now for fighting practice. Everyone picks whatever weapons they want, and it’s a free-for-all trying to get the most kills.
- Hide and Seek – Mansion Mayhem (7198-6013-1924): Hide and Seek is a super fun, easy game where some players are hiding, and others are seeking! It ends once the time runs out OR once every player has been found.
- Prop Hunt – Indoor Water Park (0139-3586-5803): Prop Hunts are SUPER silly and fun. It’s like Hide and Seek, but the hiders can transform into any item on the map, which allows them to hide better. Hiders can get very creative and sneaky, making it a lot of fun.
- Cars vs RPGS (7780-5933-0108): Exactly what it sounds like: half the players drive cars down a ramp trying to hit and eliminate the other team. Half the players stand at the end of the ramp, trying to eliminate the cars with rocket launchers. Super fun and silly.
- Amidst Us (0288-3600-7090): This is the Fortnite version of the sci-fi murder mystery game Among Us. Two players are Imposters, attempting to sneakily kill the Crewmates without getting caught. Be aware: it only accommodates 10 players, so if you have a full 16 you may have to take turns.
If you do play Fortnite together, and depending on the age range you chose, you might want to some ground rules beforehand:
- Do not be toxic
- Do not troll your teammates
- Racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, or any other form of discriminatory language will not be tolerated
- Support each other and have fun
- Do not team up and target one player
- If you break any of these rules, you will be removed from the game
Free Downloadable Resources
Also see this great YouTube video: Best Books for Kids Who Love Fortnite (grades 6 – 9)
Try it out!
If you try running a virtual Fortnite program for tweens or teens, let me know! Which resources did you find most usefull? What other segments did you include in your program? Leave a comment, or contact me. If you post about it on Instagram, be sure to tag me: @ontarianlibrarian. I’d love to hear from you. Happy gaming!