Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

This page provides links to an eclectic mix of thought-provoking and information-rich websites relevant to life-based learning.

Many of them are websites with teaching resources for immediate use in the classroom. Many of them were helpful when putting together this website.

All of them demonstrate an interest in children being involved in life-based learning.

Please note that a link here is not an endorsement of the concept of life-based learning or of MAC.

Key government websites

As the concept of a life-based curriculum originated in Britain, a key website for information and reference is the National Curriculum in England. This sets out the subjects children between the ages of 5 to 11 have to study. It is an important reference, given that the purpose of this website is to propose an alternative to subject-based learning.

Similarly, the PSHE Association website is an important point of reference for what has to be learned as part of the National Curriculum in England. PSHE covers statutory and non-statutory themes and dimensions that are central to life-based learning, such as health, emotional development, relationships, community (living in the wider world) and citizenship.

Our Documents page links to National Curriculum in England and PSHE documents.

Nine ways to improve on the subject-based approach to learning.

The menu takes you to web sites which complement each of the nine MAC life-based learning themes.

  1. The Body
  2. The Emotions
  3. The Mind
  4. Communication
  5. Relationships
  6. Community
  7. Plant Life
  8. Animal Life
  9. Physical World

The Body

Policy and guidance support for children knowing about and looking after their bodies

UK government guidance (2017) — Childhood obesity: A plan for action (UK)

Sport England — committed to making the nation more active (UK)

NHS information on staying healthy (UK)

Caring for Kids — information site for parents (Canada)

Information about Public Health England (UK)

Royal Society for Public Health website (UK)

Association for Children with a Disability (Australia)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) — Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health (Global, based in Geneva)

Body Image Health website (America)

UK chief medical officers’ physical activity guidelines on a primary school website (UK)

Centres in Ohio are treating children from 12 years of age for drug abuse (America)

Practical material to use in the classroom

Free resources for teaching about the body (UK)

A fun and handy A-Z of fruit and veg (UK)

The Daily Mile (UK)

Play Scotland: Active Play (UK)

Edutopia: Lesson warm-ups (USA)

Brain-gym exercises (USA)

Developing stability, balancing, locomotor, manipulative and fine motor skills (USA and Australia)

Eight benefits of team sports for kids (America)

A gross and fine motor skills resource (UK)

How to take care of your body for kids (America)

Change for life (UK)

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The Emotions

The Emotions: Policy and guidance support for children knowing about and developing emotional resilience

NHS England — the importance of emotional resilience in young and old, as one in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental illness (UK)

Mental health of children and young people in England 2017/2018: Mental disorder data (UK)

Children’s mental health: Get the facts (UK)

NHS: Anxiety disorders in children (UK)

National Children’s Bureau (NCB) — UK charity working to improve children’s emotional well-being

Information about child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) (UK)

Anne Freud: National Centre for Children and Families: ‘Moving on from CAMHS’ (UK)

Young people’s mental health (UK)

Young Minds organisation — supporting young people’s mental health (UK)

Children and young people (UK)

Growing a mentally healthy generation (Australia)

The Emotions: Practical material to use in the classroom

PSHE Association guidance on teaching about mental health and emotional well-being (UK)

Free resources for teaching about health and well-being (UK)

10 activities to help students explore emotions (USA)

Promoting young children’s emotional health: Advice to teachers (USA)

Social and emotional development in children: Advice to teachers (USA)

Children’s mental health (Americas, Australia, New Zealand, UK)

Mental health training (UK)

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The Mind

The Mind: Policy and guidance support for children knowing about and making use of their minds

Using metacognition strategies in education

Information about executive functioning (USA)

Brain-based learning articles explained/

Life-long learners: Identifies many of the brain-based-learning skills into the curriculum

The Mind: Practical material to use in the classroom

Videos with practical classroom ideas as well as theory (USA)

Emotional readiness to learn (USA)

Jensen learning — a few classroom strategies (USA)

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Communication: Policy and guidance support for children learning how to communicate effectively

Communication involves interaction on a variety of levels

A history of communication (USA)

Non-verbal communication explained (USA)

Information about paralanguage

Information about body language

Information about verbal communication skills

Oracy Cambridge campaigns for effective spoken communication

Article about a ‘million-word gap’ for children who are not read to at home

Two articles on the importance of writing skills

Article on interpersonal skills involving all aspects of communication

An interesting take on support for the careers of women, including a section on developing communication skills (USA)

An example of body language use in life (UK)

The Kids’ Storytelling Club (USA)

Communication: Practical material to use in the classroom

Article about the effective use of paralanguage in teaching (UK)

An article on teaching children body language (Canada)

An excellent page from BBC Teach about teaching speaking and listening with downloadable resources (UK)

Advice for teachers on speaking and listening (USA)

Advice from I CAN, a children’s communication charity (UK)

Access to a huge database of resources (UK)

Articles about why writing is important for children (USA)

Teaching resources site including information on types of writing (USA)

Article about the need for technology in the classroom (USA)

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Relationships: Policy and guidance support for children learning about and developing positive relationships

Department for Education statutory guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE), and health education (UK)

Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education

An academic paper on children and healthy relationships (USA)

A document published by the Scottish government entitled Better relationships, better learning, better behaviour (UK)

An article from the Mental Health Foundation on why relationships are so important for children and young people (UK)

An article on the importance of nurturing relationships for intelectual and social development (USA)

Relationships: Practical material to use in the classroom

Free resources for teaching about relationships (UK)

NSPCC Learning is a site specifically devoted to training and resources (UK)

Teaching resources produced by the NSPCC and the PHSE Association (UK)

Pivotal Education is an organisation that focuses on improving classroom behaviour. Their website includes links to guidance and resources (UK)

An article setting out strategies for developing positive relationships with students (USA)

An article offering tips to parents on helping infants and toddlers build relationships (USA)

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Community – MAC life-based learning theme 6

Community: Policy and guidance support for children learning about and experiencing community.

An article about the importance of children connecting with others in the community (Australia)

An article about connecting children to their cultures and communities (USA)

An article on why connecting children to the outside world benefits everyone (Finland)

Examples of community action to tackle community problems

Bringing people together from all age groups

Show racism the red card: UK’s leading anti-racist educational charity

No place for race hate incidents in the workplace

Ending social isolation

Community: Practical material to use in the classroom

An article on the benefits of creating a classroom community (USA)

Practical ideas for parents on how to develop a vibrant local community involving children (Australia)

Free teaching resources under the heading Living in the Wider World (UK)

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Plant Life -MAC life-based learning theme 7

Plant life: Policy and guidance support for children learning about and experiencing the relevance of plants to their lives.

An article setting out 10 environmental benefits of planting a tree (South Africa)

An article (from a commercial company) setting out the benefits of indoor plants

An article on the benefits of nature (USA)

Forestry Commission (UK)

Forestry England (UK)

An article about the future of food

An article on the environmental factors affecting plant growth (USA)

Information on five of the UK’s most poisonous plants

WWF article on the impact of deforestation and forest degradation (UK)

Plant life: Practical material to use in the classroom

Teaching resources from Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS) (UK)

Classroom-friendly information about plants and life on Earth (USA)

Information on how to set up a school garden (and much more) (USA)

Practical child-friendly ideas for living more sustainably (UK)

Lesson-resource site aimed at ESL teachers:

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Animal Life – MAC life-based learning theme 8

Animal life: Policy and guidance support for children learning about and experiencing mankind’s use of animals.

Background information from Encyclopaedia Britannica (UK)

An overview of initiatives on the WWF website

Information from The Poultry Site about how much chicken we eat in the UK

Animal life: Practical material to use in the classroom

Free lesson plans and resources from RSPCA Education (UK)

Free resources from the Born Free organisation

Lots of resources on animals from TeacherVision (USA)

Lots of resources from Twinkl (UK)

Questions, puzzles and more on this interactive website from the Oxford Museum of Natural History (UK)

Information on the lifespans of different animals from a learning website

Useful information on endangered animals

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The Physical World – MAC life-based learning theme 9

United Kingdom: Environmental Issues, Policies and Clean Technology

The Physical World: Policy and guidance support for children learning about and experiencing the physical world.

An article setting out 15 major environmental problems:

Information about persistent organic pollutants (POPs) (USA)

Curriculum guidance from the National Association for Environmental Education (UK)

Information about how the Earth’s resources are being depleted (Denmark)

Weblink to the Environment Agency, which works to create better places for people and wildlife — sustainably (UK)

An article setting out six ways that human activity is changing the planet

The website of the Center for Ecoliteracy, which says that it “supports and advances education for sustainable living” (USA)

Background information about the seasons from the Live Science website (USA)

Website of Friends of the Earth (UK)

Advice on how to teach young children about sustainability (USA)

The Physical World: Practical material to use in the classroom.

Resource site aimed specifically at children, packed with environment-related activities (UK)

Geography resources for children (USA)

Information and activities relating to climate change for children to explore — part of the NASA website (USA)

Facts and figures from National Geographic about the Earth — a four-minute read (USA)

More from National Geographic on the environment — useful lesson planning material (USA)

Lesson plans, teacher guides and environmental resources (USA)

Useful child-friendly information from Fact Monster about the impact of humans on the planet (USA)

Interactive site for children exploring energy efficiency and other topics

Horrifying photos (from the Daily Mirror website) show damage done to Earth by humans and over-population (UK)

Help children to learn about the environment with this free collection of teaching and learning materials on the Teaching Ideas website (UK)

Link to the child-friendly Ask a Scientist about Our Environment page of the American Museum of Natural History website. Lots of important questions asked and answered (USA)

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