Making Learning Fun is the University of the First Age’s contribution to the Pocket PAL series published by Continuum. Judging the book by the title would be misleading in many respects as it can give the impression of a frivolous book and the material here can be underestimated. As with all University of the First Age’s books and materials, Making Learning Fun contains a whole toolkit of engaging and powerful learning strategies aiming to get students switched on to learning at maximum capacity. Here learning is fun and usually when you don’t realise it. Underestimate this book at your peril!
The book is structured around key skills needed to open the mind for learning, such as teamwork, motivation oneself, memory and thinking skills and creating the right environment. The book is then clearly divided within each section with one page outlining the skill and thinking behind the activity and the next page with the suggested activity or activities that help develop the skill explained opposite. This gives a clarity in approach as well as making the work accessible.
The University of the First Age’s materials seem to take the approach ‘find today, use tomorrow’ and Making Learning Fun is no different in that many of the activities need minimal, if any, significant preparation which is ideal in these time restricted times for teachers and trainers. The book is ideal in its content and layout in dipping in and out of to find activities rather than reading from cover to cover which is a most attractive approach.
As with all the University of the First Age’s work, I cannot recommend Making Learning Fun highly enough. Packed full of engaging activities that develop the whole child rather than looking at subject specific interests, this is ideal for developing student leadership, student voice and PSHE programmes. It is great to see the University of the First Age has built upon this work with their BITES publication,which contains even more brilliant activities in the same vein as offered here.