Mindful Body

GRADES 3-5

Learning Goal

Students will understand the value and characteristics of a mindful body.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe a mindful body
  • Practice a mindful body

Learning Summary

Mindful body has two meanings: 1) being aware of your body; 2) the traditional sit-up-straight posture used in seated mindfulness practice to encourage attention and deep breathing. (Note that mindfulness practice can be done while walking, singing, slouching, or doing most anything!) This lesson touches on both aspects of “mindful body.”

In the mindful moment, students look at or draw a square and trace it (with eyes or finger) while they breathe in and breathe out. Then the class discusses posture and body awareness and then practices the mindful body posture. The teacher then leads the students through a muscle relaxation activity, and then a quick reflective discussion. Students end by journaling on the mindfulness experiences from that lesson.

computer icon    Online Teaching Tips for Mindful Body

While you might think that a lesson on the body is not well-suited for a remote teaching, in fact, students can feel more comfortable doing this sort of activity in their home, away from the gaze of their peers. Encourage students to do this lesson away from siblings who might disturb them.

Regardless of whether you’re teaching live or through a recording, when you do the mindful relaxation (and if you do the tricky body awareness scan – a recommended addition) consider turning off your own camera so that students don’t feel they’re missing out on anything by closing their eyes. 

See lesson one on Mindfulness for some general teaching recommendations about doing live or recorded social-emotional lessons.

If you are technically comfortable switching between allowing students on camera and forcing them off, use this capability. Alternatively, you can simply ask students to turn off their cameras when you so choose. You want to see them doing a seated mindfulness so you can provide positive reinforcement, but you also want to give them an opportunity to do the activity without their camera on so they feel less vulnerable. You can start with everyone on camera and then move everyone off.

Have some fun as you model a mindful body posture. Slouch, get a stuffed animal to demonstrate, or even bring your pet on camera and evaluate their posture! 

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”

Self-management: The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.

Classroom Teaching Example

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