Physical and Health Education

Active Living and Physical Literacy

Active Living and Physical Literacy by Education Librarian

Listed below are selected teacher resources, picture books, and non-fiction related to Active Living and Physical Literacy.

Teacher Resources

Moving with words & actions: Physical literacy for preschool and primary children

by Rhonda L. Clements and Sharon L. Schneider

Grades: K-3

This book focuses on establishing healthy habits from an early age to prepare children for later in life. Takes an interdisciplinary approach that encourages movement across the curriculum. Includes 70 lesson plans and various activities that will help teachers integrate physical literacy into the classroom.

Canadian quality daily physical activities. Grades 4-6: 80 activities adapted for classroom & outside

by Grace Price

Grades: K-8

80 activities that encourage physical activity everyday through play. Each activity includes a learning goal, necessary equipment, safety considerations, instructions, and possible extensions. Available for grades: PreK – 1, 2 – 3, 4 – 6, 7 – 8.

Everybody move!: A multimedia package for daily physical activity

by CIRA Ontario and John Byl

Grades: K-12

This book provides helpful suggestions on how to incorporate physical activity into various parts of students’ day, promoting active living in the process. Includes a teacher guide, over 50 activities, choreographed dances, DVDs showcasing dance routines, and a CD with music for dancing and activity stations.

Jump start health!: Practical ideas to promote wellness in kids of all ages

by David Campos

Grades: K-12

An in-depth overview of what wellness is and how to incorporate it into the classroom. Includes chapters on health and wellness, nutrition, physical activity, and school and community collaboration. Also includes clear learning objectives and step by step guides for activities.

Physical literacy on the move: Games for developing confidence and competence in physical activity

by Heather Gardner

Grades: K-12

This book focuses on building students’ physical literacy through games, activities, and reflection. Includes over 100 games and activities which are broken into four progressive levels of learning: beginning, exploring, competent, and proficient. Students are encouraged to take an active role in said activities and their own physical literacy by picking their own groups, equipment, set-up, and adaptations.

Gymtherapy: Developing emotional wellbeing and resilience in children through the medium of movement

by Rebekah Pierre

Grades: k-12

This book explores the connection between movement and emotional wellbeing, seeing the former as a way of improving the latter. This connection is explored across five key areas: Identity and Self Esteem, Mindfulness, Anger Expression, Protective Behaviour, and Gender Stereotypes. Includes lesson plans, real-life examples, and case studies that help to link active living with emotional well-being. eBook only.

Fitness for life Canada: Preparing teens for healthy, active lifestyles

by Guy C. Le Masurier et al.

Grades: 7-12

This book presents an evidence-based program focused on shifting teens from dependence to independence when it comes to healthy behaviours, including physical activity, fitness, and healthy eating.

Picture Books

Everyone can learn to ride a bicycle

written and illustrated by Chris Raschka

Simple text and warm illustrations tell the story of a father teaching his daughter all the steps it takes to ride a bike.

Hiking day

written by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

A family embarks on a hike up the mountain near their house for the first time. While hiking they come across all sorts of animals and plants and find the joy in being outside, active, and together along the way.

Lucy tries soccer

written by Lisa Bowes, illustrated by James Hearne

Lucy and her friends can’t wait to try out soccer for the first time! During a game of three-on-three Lucy and her friends learn how fun soccer can be. For more in the Lucy tries sports series, click here.

Bringing the outside in

written by Mary McKenna Siddals, illustrated by Patrice Barton

A rhyming story that encourages children to get outside and play in the great outdoors.

From head to toe

written and illustrated Eric Carle

“I am a buffalo and I raise my shoulders. Can you do it?”, “I am a monkey and I wave my arms. Can you do it?”, “I am cat and I arch my back. Can you do it?” This ask and answer book encourages students to get moving in a fun and interactive way!


In your activities

by Janet Gurtler

Grades: K-3

Explores the relationships and responsibilities we have when engaging in recreational activities, including why and how to be a good sport. For more in the Relationships and responsibilities series, click here.

Do your bit to be physically fit!

Rebecca Sjonger

Grades: K-3

This book explains the benefits of physical activity and active living, providing a variety of activities that encourage youth to get active. For more in the Healthy habits for a lifetime series, click here.

Hop, throw, and play: Build your skills every day!

by Rebecca Sjonger

Grades: 1-4

Encourages children to be activity in some way 60 minutes a day and build their skills in the process. Includes sections on healthy living, motor skills, skill challenges and more. For more in the Healthy habits for a lifetime series, click here.

Get active!

by Louise Spilsbury

Grades: 1-4

Describes how to get active and enjoy exercise and keeping one’s body healthy, including identifying which foods provide energy, why water is important, and which exercises are best for the heart.

The busy body book: A kid’s guide to fitness

by Lizzy Rockwell

Grades: 3-7

Through illustrations, text, and diagrams, this book explains how the human body functions and why keeping active is so important.

Finding More Resources

To find more resources in this area, try the following:

  • Search using the General tab on the UBC Library website to look for material in all UBC Library branches.
  • Search using “Search Education Resources” box in the left hand bar on the Education Library website to limit your results to materials in the Education Library.
  • Use specific search terms to narrow your results, such as “Health–Juvenile literature”, “Physical fitness”, “Physical fitness for children”, “Exercise–Juvenile Literature”, “Movement education”.
  • To find lesson plans, include “lesson plans”, “lesson planning”, or “activity programs” in your search terms.

For more help with searching, please visit the Library Service Desk or e-mail

Story written by Education Librarian


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