Libraries, Learning and Fun

By Coatney, Sharon | Teacher Librarian, October 2004 | Go to article overview

Libraries, Learning and Fun


Coatney, Sharon, Teacher Librarian


I once received a note from a teacher that said, "You have taught me that the work of school should be fun." In reflection, I wondered if I agreed that all of schoolwork should be fun. I do believe that all learning in itself is fascinating. The world is too full for us to ever know.

"To be born in ignorance with a capacity for knowledge, and to be placed in the midst of a world filled with variety, perpetually pressing upon the senses and irritating curiosity, is surely a sufficient security against boredom," said Samuel Johnson.

But with children, sometimes the packaging is everything. Learning can be packaged and promoted as fun. The youngest learners naturally perceive all of life as one big wonder! We just need to keep that innate wonder alive. It is important for school libraries to be the catalyst in helping to position learning as being the "fun" part of school. Recess is fun too, but learning should be the most fun!

Sometimes, the simplest learning activity, embellished and celebrated can become a very meaningful experience to a child.

Based on Debra Frasier's hook Miss Alaineus, each year my school library sponsored a version of the Vocabulary Parade. Classroom teachers collaborated with the teacher-librarian to plan and implement the event. Every child received a list of grade specific, curriculum related vocabulary words. From that list, students were directed to choose a word, construct a costume and prepare to participate in the parade. Costumes were to be constructed out of paper other readily available, disposable materials. …

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