u3a - Ideas to Keep Learning

U3A’s are demonstrating their creativity, innovation and engagement by coming up with ways of staying active and keeping connected during these extraordinary times. U3A members have come up with some great ways to keep in touch. Here are some of your suggestions on what you are doing - we will be posting many more in the coming days.

Subject Adviser pages for information and contacts for many subject areas.

Diarise your experience as part of U3A Living History

This could be a written reflection or you might want to use different media such as pictures. The diary could include what you did, what your household is like, difficulties you’re facing and how you’re combatting them, what you think was the most important bit of the day – whether this was something you heard on the news, a contact you made or an activity you discovered. Please write the date on everything you submit. We want to build up an archive and want as many U3As to participate as possible.

Please let us know what you are doing – contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Hold a ‘before and after’ garden or window box competition within your U3A

This was suggested by our Board of Trustees. Take photos now and be ready to take some more in 3 or 4 months when your activities are likely to start up again. There is advice from the gardening Subject Adviser here: https://www.u3a.org.uk/resources/subjects/280-gardening

Involve people in puzzles, challenges, crosswords or quizzes for general interest.

There are resources available from the Subject Advisers including: Cryptic crosswords: https://www.u3a.org.uk/resources/subjects/272-cryptic-crosswords or Quizzes: https://www.u3a.org.uk/resources/subjects/480-quizzes Why not set your interest group a couple of puzzles/observational challenges each week, that members can participate in if they want to?

Hold a creative writing competition with members sending a written submission via post or email.

One suggestion was to work within your interest group for someone to start a story and all take turns to write a chapter about what happens next. There is advice from the Trust Subject Adviser at: https://www.u3a.org.uk/resources/subjects/271-creative-writing

Hold a painting, drawing or photography competition

Running a competition which could include asking people to guess the name of the object or place a photograph is of etc. Or you could share a ‘photo of the day’ 

Take up yoga or learn how to be more mindful

Both pages have links to helpful resources and you can get in touch with the subject advisor for more advice.
https://www.u3a.org.uk/resources/subjects/362-mindfulness-and-meditation https://www.u3a.org.uk/resources/subjects/360-yoga

The Genealogy Subject Adviser April newsletter will feature information on free online tutorials for 'genealogy/family history'

Consequently people with an interest in in their family history (new or existing!) can start or continue researching their family history. Get involved in the discussion on this page and register your interest if you would like to join an email based group. 

Check out the links to YouTube videos of short Qi Gong related exercises and Tai Chi Form reminders from the Qi Gong Subject Adviser

Plan outdoor sessions for when the weather improves and group exercise is back on the agenda. 

Use this time to get a head start planning your sessions for when your groups restart

There are lots of resources and if you have a story to tell then send it to us so that we can add it to the Sources online blog. 

If you are part of a literature based discussion group, members could be all advised to read and comment on the same text

You could send comments to one person for collation and to send a summary to everyone in the group. This could work whether in English or for language groups. It may be appropriate to continue email conversation to a second round. If it’s a language group ask for comments in that language to improve written skills too! ·

Consider trying out MOOCs or Future Learn courses. 

See https://www.futurelearn.com/
, or https://www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/free-online-learning.page,
or https://www.york.ac.uk/study/moocs/
and there are many others if you do not want a certificate, then it is free. A course typically lasts for about 7 weeks.