Active Learning

Increasing Flow in the Classroom

By: Patricia Hollingsworth , Gina Lewis


Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 216mm x 279mm
Pages : 176
ISBN : 9781904424598
Format: Paperback
Published: February 2006

A key to real learning and understanding is student engagement and enjoyment. In Active Learning experienced teachers share plans for complete lessons that motivate students through active involvement in the process of learning. Ancient Greece comes alive when students dramatise historical events. Architectural styles translated into movement, sound, and body shapes are easy to remember. Student-created board games make reviewing maths facts fun. This book will assist teacher planning, improve lesson quality, and illuminate your approach to teaching. Measurable objectives, step-by-step procedures, optional teacher scripts, student handouts, evaluation tools, and enrichment activities provide structure for lessons to use in maths, languages, social studies and art.

Students are actively learning when they are intensely engaged, mentally or physically. Active learning is vigorous, lively, energetic, intense, strong, and effective. Active learning is involved learning: it takes place when the learners are excited, involved, mentally alert, and caught up in the experience.

Picture for author Patricia Hollingsworth

Patricia Hollingsworth

Pat Hollingsworth is the director of University School at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. In addition to her duties as director, she teaches art, kindergarten, and university graduate classes. She is a board member of the National Association for Gifted Children; coauthor of Smart Art and Kinetic Kaleidoscope; and editor, illustrator, and coauthor of the SAILS (Students Active Interdisciplinary Learning Series) curriculum kit.

Picture for author Gina Lewis

Gina Lewis

Gina Lewis is the third grade teacher at University School at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. She is a board member of the Oklahoma Association for Gifted and Creative Teachers and a coauthor of the SAILS curriculum kit.


  1. Students are actively learning when they are intensely engaged, mentally and/or physically. Active learning, say the authors of this book, is vigorous, lively, energetic, strong and effective; it is learning that takes place when learners are excited, involved, mentally alert and caught up in the experience. This book, by American educationalists, aims to assist primary school teachers in improving lesson quality and illuminates approaches to learning. It sets out measurable objectives, step-by-step procedures and enrichment activities to provide - or inspire - structure for lessons in maths, languages, social studies and art.
  2. Classroom teachers who are seeking a practical book with creative approaches to capturing students' attention should consider Active Learning: Increasing Flow in the Classroom. Using fun activities that are rich in multiple senses and learning modes, teachers can bring their lessons alive in the classroom.

    The concept of flow, according to Csikszentmihalyi (1990), involves a state of consciousness in which a person becomes so totally immersed in an activity that time flies by unnoticed. The active lessons in the book aim to engage students so that they become immersed in meeting the objectives in a pleasurable way. Active learning, according to Hollingsworth and Lewis, is "involved learning; it takes place when the learners are excited, mentally alert and caught up in the experience" (viii).

    The book encourages the teacher to look at flow and active learning from three perspectives: creating an atmosphere for flow; active learning in the arts; and active learning everywhere. The subject areas covered are math, languages, social studies, and art. Measurable objectives, step-bystep procedures, teacher scripts, student handouts, evaluation tools, and enrichment activities are provided for each sample lesson.

    One weakness of the book is its scripted format. Though a new teacher who is not secure in his or her words for teaching concepts, such as drawing faces, might benefit from this level of detail, a veteran teacher could feel stifled by constraints of language prescribed for each lesson. The strengths of the book, however, overrioe this potential weakness. The creative approaches to learning are certain to help teachers engage their students in active learning.

    The book's approach to teaching architectural styles brought a smile to my face. I could easily picture students learning the specific movements for each structure and column type. I imagined the swooping and gliding of their hands to demonstrate the various types of architecture. From my experience in the classroom, I know that engaging students in bodily kinesthetic activities can clarify concepts and help students commit them to memory.

    Hollingsworth and Lewis created the book Active Learning: Increasing Flow in the Classroom with input from other teachers who have tested these lessons in their own classrooms. Lending credibility to the text, the authors based the lessons on a review of the current literature on active learning and flow, created lesson plans true to those concepts, used the techniques in a real-life context, and then published those lessons that actively engaged the students. I would encourage teachers to examine the text for themselves and create active learning and stimulate flow for their own classrooms.
  3. The active learning illustrated in Pat Hollingsworth's new book allows for natural differentiation of instruction for all classrooms. The students direct themselves to the most appropriate level, giving them control over their own engagement and level of challenge. Lessons learned in this way are far more long-lasting, teach the child to become a self-directed learner, and are far more likely to induce the power of Flow.
  4. This volume"straight from the lives of inspired teachers"is a testament to the power of real engagement in the classroom. Few books in education have provided anything like this extraordinarily rich offering of creative ideas for igniting the hearts and minds of students. Teachers will be delighted by the book's ease and accessibility"allowing them to quickly grasp and adapt any of the applications. Pat Hollingsworth and Gina Lewis with their nine contributors"all experienced teachers"present 21 exciting chapters that combine goal setting and "active learning" strategies in order to create meaningful experiences in the arts, language arts, social studies and mathematics. Clearly written and displayed, Active Learning promises to transform even the most "turned off" students into engaged and impassioned learners.
  5. Active Learning is a treasure for teachers to have in their classrooms. It presents the concept of flow and demonstrates in practical lessons how to involve students in their own learning. The lessons are organized in a way that encourages teachers to adapt them for the appropriate age and interest of the students in their classrooms. One of the particular strengths of the text is the format used for all lesson plans. It facilitates an integrated curriculum for thematic teaching in all areas of learning by careful planning, thoughtful teaching, and reflective assessment. Praise to the range of areas that the arts prove relevant! The book is a jewel!
  6. This fun-to-read book offers ideas for the teacher who is passionate about meeting the needs of boys and girls in the classroom. We know that active learning is important for boys because they tend to be more physically active and kinesthetic movement helps boys focus their energies on learning. Girls tend to be more verbal and social and the activities in this book also emphasize these skills while encouraging flow. Teachers can creatively incorporate many of these activities into existing curriculum, or build new curriculum around the activities. Thank you, Dr. Hollingsworth and Gina Lewis for your creative and active ideas!
  7. Active Learning: Increasing Flow in the Classroom is an integrated approach to learning that will please the student and the teacher. This approach promotes internal motivation in the student while providing concrete activities, aiding teachers in developing a fun, hands-on curriculum. Active learning will provide students with optimal experiences that lead to task enjoyment and true involvement in their work.

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