What resources are there for teaching school children about cancer? Quite a few, if you know where to look! Some people believe that children should not be taught about cancer, but as 1 in 3 people will develop cancer at some point in their lives, it seems obvious that most children will know someone with cancer and pretending it doesn’t exist only makes it seem more frightening.
Cancer Research UK have a lot of information aimed specifically at Youth and Schools, here you will find lesson plans for teachers, games and puzzles. Information about a career in cancer research and updates from the lab. Two of the lesson plans are concerned more with the biology of cancer and cancer viruses, while the other too look at the social issues such as the use of human tissue and planning a healthy eating campaign.
Macmillan have an area of their website called CancerTalk, again they have lesson plans for discussing cancer with both primary and secondary school pupils. They also have a link to their website Why Bother Here pupils can find out facts about cancer, they can also read real life stories about children who have cancer, or young people who have a brother or sister with cancer.
Another website aimed at teenagers with cancer is TiC (Teen Information on Cancer) and is produced by Backup (now part of Macmillan). They also have chatrooms and forums. Although they don’t produce any resources specifically aimed at the curriculum.
Winston’s Wish is a charity for supporting bereaved children and they produce information on supporting a bereaved child. They have downloads for schools aimed at children from Key Stage 1 -4. Teachers can also phone the Winston’s Wish helpline, details are on the website. There is also a link to a Teachers TV programme on dealing with bereavement.
Finally if you can find a friendly local scientist (try looking on the biology4all website, they have a speakers database) you could apply for a Royal Society Partnership Grant to enable you to get your project off the ground.
If you know of any other good resources, please let me know.