Mindful Art

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Learning Goal

Students use art as a mindfulness practice and coping skill.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Understand that everyone can practice mindful art
  • See art as a possible coping skill
Learning Summary

Using art as a mindfulness tool can provide a uniquely accessible opportunity to let the mind wander freely while focusing attention on a simple, engaging task – it is a ‘hack’ for present moment awareness. By providing students the chance to get hands-on with art we provide them with a fun and concrete experience that they can use to self-regulate during times of escalation. It provides a tangible coping strategy that students can use at home, at their desks, or any other time they need to calm down.

Start with a moment of mindfulness in which a student picks a breath they have learned and lead the class. Then lead a brief conversation on how art can be used as a coping skill as well as a mindfulness tool. Students then practice mindful art by “drawing their breath.” As they take deep breaths in and out, students free draw lines on their paper then color in the shapes creating their own unique art piece based on their breath. Students can share their drawings and discuss the experience. Students end by reflecting in their journals.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for Mindful Art

This lesson does not require any real modifications for online learning. Students will just need to have a piece of paper and any type of art supplies at home (a pen or pencils, markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.). See the additional activities for more options of mindful art activities that students can do at home on their own time with minimal materials required.

Start with a student-led mindful moment. At this point in the year, students have learned quite a few different techniques. Have a student turn on their cameras and microphones and lead a mindfulness practice for the rest of the class.

Lead a mindful moment of your chosen from a previous lesson or one you made up.

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.