Take Mindfulness with You

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Learning Goal

Students will create their own mind-in-a-jar.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Understand the connection between their mind-in-a-jars and their
    thoughts and emotions
  • Practice using the mind-in-a-jar to calm down
Learning Summary

“Mind-in-a-Jar” is a popular lesson for teaching mindfulness to children and adults alike. In this mindfulness lesson turned arts and crafts project, students create a sealed jar of liquid and glitter to represent the passing states of the mind. When shaken, the glitter fills the jar and represents all of our busy thoughts and feelings. While we watch the glitter fall to the bottom and the water clears our minds settle.

Start with a moment of mindfulness in which a student can pick a breath they have learned and lead the class. There is NO Munchy and Jumpy story in this class. Consider telling your students in advance to reduce disruption from the change in routine. Next, show the class your own mind-in-a-jar and have a brief discussion on what it symbolizes. Students make their own mind-in-a-jar with supplies, then the class all tries it out through a guided mindfulness practice. Students end by reflecting in their journals through a drawing.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for Take Mindfulness with You

This is one of the most popular lessons for students, however, it is a material intensive lesson. Meaning, not all students will have the necessary materials to make their own mind in a jar. For both live and recorded, send out a recorded link of either you creating your own mind in a jar or use one of the video options from the lesson plan. That way, students can make their own on their own time. You can also challenge students to come up with some other creation, such as a drawing, that represents a calming mind, bypassing the issue of limited supplies.

Start with a student-led mindful moment. At this point in the year, students have learned quite a few different techniques. Have a student or two turn on their cameras and microphones and lead a mindfulness practice for the rest of the class. Make your own mind in a jar live on camera. As mentioned, this is a material intensive project, so consider making your own for students to watch and then sending a recorded link so they can make their own with their families later.

Lead a mindful moment of your chosen from a previous lesson or one you made up. As a recorded delivery, then show students how they can make their own mind in a jar at home. Since not all students will have the materials, offer a couple additional mindfulness at-home creations they can make found under the additional activities. 

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. This includes capacities to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a well-grounded sense of confidence and purpose.

Self-management: The abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations. This includes the capacities to delay gratification, manage stress, and feel motivation & agency to accomplish personal/collective goals.