Learning Communities Recommended Reading List

Matt’s Recommended Reading List

The following are books recommended by Matt to be read by people wanting to develop strong classroom learning communities.  There are many good books published on learning communities theory, processing, and activities.  These are just Matt’s personal favorites.

The Caring Classroom: Using Adventure to Create Community in the Classroom and Beyond

By Laurie S. Frank

This is a great beginning text.  I would recommend that this be the first book a new leader/teacher purchases.  It contains brief introductions to learning communities, experiential education and the theory behind it.  The book includes good information on sequencing and facilitating experiences.  It also contains many activities.

Processing the Experience: Strategies to Enhance and Generalize Learning

By John L. Luckner and Renald S. Nadler

This is an excellent book on processing activities so that the participants get the most out of them.  It may seem like a long read, but well worth your time if you are serious at all about making learning communities activities really count.  I liked it so much that I made it required reading for graduate students taking my group counseling class.

Anything written by Karl Rohnke

This guy probably knows more games and challenge activities than anyone on the planet.  His descriptions of activities are easy to understand and humorous.  Many of his books are arranged by activity type so it is easy to find what you need.

The Book on Raccoon Circles

By Jim Cain and Tom Smith

This book briefly covers theory and then jumps into activities and sequences using just one inch tubular webbing. It shows the practitioner how to do a complete sequence with just one basic prop


Activities That Teach (and More Activities That Teach and Still More Activities That Teach)

By Tom Jackson

These books are good descriptions of activities prescribed for teaching specific concepts.  Activities address alcohol, tobacco, communication, decision making and lots more.

Raptor and other Team Building Activities

By Sam Sikes

Another Great book with a little bit of theory and a ton of activities with a very helpful couple of guides at the beginning. One indicates the best group size for each activity and the other indicates what issues or concepts each activity may be used to address.

Duct Tape Team Building Games

By Tom Heck

This is a useful activity book containing 50 activities that can be done with just a roll of duct tape as a prop. Most of the activities will be familiar to the experienced facilitator. Tom shows the reader imaginative ways to do them with duct tape rather than the typical prop.

The More the Merrier

By Sam Sikes, Faith Evans, and Chris Cavert

This is a great book with several chapters on facilitation and many activities for large groups.

Web Sites:        

Sequim School District Learning Communities Web Page: https://sequimschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=1012755&pageId=1474664

WSU 4-H Adventure Education Learning Communities Info: http://4h.wsu.edu/challenge/communities.html

Brain Rules Info: http://www.brainrules.net/dvd-view/normal/index.html 

Association for Experiential Education: http://www.aee.org/

Teamwork & Teamplay: http://www.teamworkandteamplay.com/ 

Training Wheels: http://www.training-wheels.com/index.htm