Links

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)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childhood-obesity-a-plan-for-action/childhood-obesity-a-plan-for-action

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

https://www.sportengland.org/

NHS information on staying healthy (UK)

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/

Caring for Kids — information site for parents (Canada)

https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/healthybodies-index

Information about Public Health England (UK)

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england/about

Royal Society for Public Health website (UK)

https://www.rsph.org.uk/

Association for Children with a Disability (Australia)

https://www.acd.org.au/information-and-resources/school/

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

https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_young_people/en/

Body Image Health website (America)

http://bodyimagehealth.org/healthy-bodies-curriculum

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

https://www.whitwellprimary.co.uk/uk-chief-medical-officers-physical-activity-guidel/

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

https://www.columbusrecoverycenter.com/

Practical material to use in the classroom

Free resources for teaching about the body (UK)

https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/pshce-twinkl-life/health-and-wellbeing-pshe-and-citizenship-twinkl-life/its-my-body-health-and-wellbeing-pshe-citizenship-rse-smsc-scheme-of-work-schools-mental-health-school-wellbeing-wellbeing-resources

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

http://www.greatgrubclub.com/a-z-fruit-veg#P

The Daily Mile (UK)

https://www.ineos.com/the-daily-mile/

Play Scotland: Active Play (UK)

https://www.playscotland.org/parents-families/games/

Edutopia: Lesson warm-ups (USA)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbD7Dcmlmws

Brain-gym exercises (USA)

https://www.thoughtco.com/brain-gym-exercises-1210387

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

https://www.verywellfamily.com/stability-skills-1256936

https://www.verywellfamily.com/locomotor-skills-1256925

https://www.verywellfamily.com/manipulative-skills-1256926

https://childdevelopment.com.au/areas-of-concern/fine-motor-skills/

Eight benefits of team sports for kids (America)

https://www.leaguenetwork.com/8-benefits-of-team-sports-for-kids/

A gross and fine motor skills resource (UK)

https://www.lincolnshirecommunityhealthservices.nhs.uk/application/files/2915/2285/5110/1st_Move.pdf

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

https://www.livestrong.com/article/201118-how-to-take-care-of-your-body-for-kids/

Change for life (UK)

https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/

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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)

https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/

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

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/mental-health-of-children-and-young-people-in-england/2017/2017

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

https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/index.html

NHS: Anxiety disorders in children (UK)

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anxiety-disorders-in-children/

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

http://www.ncb.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are

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

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/child-and-adolescent-mental-health-services-camhs/

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

https://www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/receiving-support/moving-on/

Young people’s mental health (UK)

https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/our-work/young-peoples-mental-health

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

https://youngminds.org.uk/

Children and young people (UK)

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/c/children-and-young-people

Growing a mentally healthy generation (Australia)

https://beyou.edu.au/

The Emotions: Practical material to use in the classroom

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

https://www.pshe-association.org.uk/curriculum-and-resources/resources/guidance-teaching-about-mental-health-and

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

https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/twinkl-life/pshce-twinkl-life/health-and-wellbeing-pshe-and-citizenship-twinkl-life

10 activities to help students explore emotions (USA)

https://www.apperson.com/teach-talk/10-activities-to-help-students-explore-emotions

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

https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/mar2018/promoting-social-and-emotional-health

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

http://education.cu-portland.edu/teaching-resources/social-emotional-development-resources/

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

https://www.routledge.com

Mental health training (UK)

https://www.childmentalhealthcentre.org

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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

https://teacherofsci.com/metacognition/

Information about executive functioning (USA)

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/child-learning-disabilities/executive-functioning-issues/what-is-executive-function

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/child-learning-disabilities/executive-functioning-issues/types-of-executive-function-skills

https://www.additudemag.com/what-is-executive-function-disorder/

Brain-based learning articles

https://www.edutopia.org/topic/brain-based-learning

https://www.funderstanding.com/theory/brain-based-learning/brain-based-learning/

https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/brain-based-learning- explained/

https://blog.cognifit.com/brain-based-learning/

https://www.oecd.org/site/educeri21st/40554190.pdf

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/education/educational-technology-and-practice/educational-practice/play-learning-and-the-brain/content-section-2

http://www.brainbasedlearning.net/

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

https://www.ridgewayprimaryschool.org.uk/about_our_school/contexts_for_learning/lifelong_learners

The Mind: Practical material to use in the classroom

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

https://www.edutopia.org/topic/brain-based-learning

Emotional readiness to learn (USA)

https://www.edutopia.org/article/starting-day-calming-routine

Jensen learning — a few classroom strategies (USA)

http://www.brainbasedlearning.net/classroom-strategies/

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Communication

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

Communication involves interaction on a variety of levels

businessdictionary.com

A history of communication (USA)

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/technology-communicate-27322.html

Non-verbal communication explained (USA)

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/nonverbal-communication.htm

Information about paralanguage

https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-paralanguage.htm

Information about body language

https://www.businessballs.com/self-awareness/body-language/

Information about verbal communication skills

https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/verbal-communication.html

Oracy Cambridge campaigns for effective spoken communication

https://oracycambridge.org/

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

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190404074947.htm

Two articles on the importance of writing skills

https://study.com/articles/Why_Writing_Skills_are_More_Important_Than_Ever.html

https://www.rlf.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/RLFwritingmatters.pdf

Article on interpersonal skills involving all aspects of communication

https://www.skillsyouneed.com/interpersonal-skills.html

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

https://careerwise.asu.edu/?q=home

An example of body language use in life (UK)

http://www.stroke4carers.org/?p=280

The Kids’ Storytelling Club (USA)

http://www.storycraft.com/

Communication: Practical material to use in the classroom

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

https://oracycambridge.org/2018/09/19/teaching-tone-of-voice/

An article on teaching children body language (Canada)

https://www.theatrefolk.com/blog/nonverbal-communication-exercises/

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

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/skillswise/communication-skills/z669f4j

Advice for teachers on speaking and listening (USA)

https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/speaking-listening-techniques/

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

https://ican.org.uk/i-cans-talking-point/

Access to a huge database of resources (UK)

https://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/about-the-trust/what-do-we-do/

https://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/resources/resources/resources-for-practitioners/communicating-the-curriculum

Articles about why writing is important for children (USA)

https://www.inspiringlifedreams.com/why-writing-is-important-for-kids/

https://pambarnhill.com/writing-importance-young-children/

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

https://www.teach-nology.com/themes/lang_arts/typesofwriting

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

https://www.securedgenetworks.com/blog/10-Reasons-Today-s-Students-NEED-Technology-in-the-Classroom

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Relationships

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)

https://developingchild.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2004/04/Young-Children-Develop-in-an-Environment-of-Relationships.pdf

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

https://education.gov.scot/parentzone/Documents/BetterRelationships.pdf

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

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/blog/why-relationships-are-so-important-children-and-young-people

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

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/why-children-need-ongoing-nurturing-relationships/

Relationships: Practical material to use in the classroom

Free resources for teaching about relationships (UK)

https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/twinkl-life/pshce-twinkl-life/relationships-pshe-and-citizenship-twinkl-life

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

https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/

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

https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/research-resources/schools/making-sense-relationships/

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

https://pivotaleducation.com/

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

https://www.thoughtco.com/develop-positive-relationships-with-students-3194339

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

https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/227-tips-on-helping-your-child-build-relationships

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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)

https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/connecting-communicating/connecting/helping-your-child-connect-with-others

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

http://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/2007/connecting-children-to-their-cultures-and-communities

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

https://hundred.org/en/articles/connecting-children-to-the-outside-world-benefits-everyone-here-s-why

Examples of community action to tackle community problems

Bringing people together from all age groups

https://www.unitedforallages.com/

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

https://www.theredcard.org/ourstory

No place for race hate incidents in the workplace

https://archive.acas.org.uk/racehate

Ending social isolation

https://www.goodneighbours.org.uk/about-us

Community: Practical material to use in the classroom

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

https://www.naeyc.org/resources/blog/why-creating-classroom-community-so-important

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

http://www.kias.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/The-Importance-of-Developing-Community-for-Children.pdf

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

https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/twinkl-life/pshce-twinkl-life/living-in-the-wider-world-pshe-and-citizenship-twinkl-life

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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)

https://greenpop.org/10-environmental-benefits-planting-tree/

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

https://www.ambius.com/learn/benefits-of-our-services/

An article on the benefits of nature (USA)

https://news.mongabay.com/2011/04/what-does-nature-give-us-a-special-earth-day-article/

Forestry Commission (UK)

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/forestry-commission

Forestry England (UK)

https://www.forestryengland.uk/

An article about the future of food

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/future-of-food/

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

https://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/techniques/environmental-factors-affecting-plant-growth

Information on five of the UK’s most poisonous plants

https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/meet-five-uk-s-most-poisonous-plants/

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

https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation

Plant life: Practical material to use in the classroom

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

https://www.saps.org.uk/

https://www.saps.org.uk/primary/teaching-resources

https://www.stem.org.uk/elibrary/collection/4089

https://www.stem.org.uk/resources/collection/84753/primary-science-investigations-plants

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

http://www.mbgnet.net/bioplants/earth.html

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

http://www.greeneducationfoundation.org/greenthumbchallengesub/curriculum-and-activities/garden-as-a-teaching-tool.html

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

http://www.ecofriendlykids.co.uk/naturalresourcesearth.html

Lesson-resource site aimed at ESL teachers:

https://eslflow.com/environmentlessonplans.html

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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)

https://www.britannica.com/place/United-Kingdom/Plant-and-animal-life

An overview of initiatives on the WWF website

https://www.worldwildlife.org/initiatives

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

https://thepoultrysite.com/news/2014/08/how-much-chicken-do-we-eat-in-the-uk

Animal life: Practical material to use in the classroom

Free lesson plans and resources from RSPCA Education (UK)

https://education.rspca.org.uk/education/teachers

Free resources from the Born Free organisation

https://www.bornfree.org.uk/teaching-resources

Lots of resources on animals from TeacherVision (USA)

https://www.teachervision.com/animals

Lots of resources from Twinkl (UK)

https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/science-investigation/life-processes-and-living-things/animals/4

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

http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/thezone/animals/index.htm

Information on the lifespans of different animals from a learning website

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/maths-power-laws/0/steps/12167

Useful information on endangered animals

https://a-z-animals.com/animals/endangered/

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The Physical World – MAC life-based learning theme 9

United Kingdom: Environmental Issues, Policies and Clean Technology

https://www.azocleantech.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=535

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

An article setting out 15 major environmental problems:

https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/15-current-environmental-problems.php

Information about persistent organic pollutants (POPs) (USA)

https://www.epa.gov/international-cooperation/persistent-organic-pollutants-global-issue-global-response

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

http://naee.org.uk/latest-report-from-naee/

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

https://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/Depletion-of-Natural-Resources

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

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

https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/ex/sustainablecitiescollective/six-ways-human-activity-changing-planet/8612/

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

https://www.ecoliteracy.org/about

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

https://www.livescience.com/25202-seasons.html

Website of Friends of the Earth (UK)

https://friendsoftheearth.uk/

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

https://www.ecowatch.com/how-to-teach-kids-about-sustainability-1881888830.html

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

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

http://www.ecofriendlykids.co.uk/

Geography resources for children (USA)

https://www.education.com/resources/geography/?referral_url=kidsgeo.com

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

https://climatekids.nasa.gov/menu/air/

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

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/earth/

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

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/

Lesson plans, teacher guides and environmental resources (USA)

https://www.epa.gov/students/lesson-plans-teacher-guides-and-online-environmental-resources-educators

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

https://www.factmonster.com/dk/encyclopedia/earth/human-impact

Interactive site for children exploring energy efficiency and other topics

https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=kids.kids_index

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

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/horrifying-photos-show-damage-done-5537329

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

https://www.teachingideas.co.uk/themes/the-environment

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)

https://www.amnh.org/explore/ology/earth/ask-a-scientist-about-our-environment

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