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Students will create their own mindfulness practice.
By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:
- Practice their own mindfulness technique that they created
It is said that the best way to learn something is to teach it. The purpose of this lesson, then, is to help students integrate their experiences with mindfulness this year by creating their own practice that they can teach to others. When it comes to mindfulness practices, there really is no limit to the variations that are possible.
This lesson starts with a student-led mindfulness in which a student volunteer selects one of the breathing techniques learned over the year and leads it for the class. Next, students review what mindfulness means to them and how/if their perceptions of it have changed. Students then spend the bulk of the lesson working individually creating their own mindfulness practice. Students discuss the process and end by reflecting in the journals on their own relationship with mindfulness.
For either live or recorded delivery, make sure students have access to the worksheet to create their own mindfulness practice. If that’s not an option, show the worksheet and give students time to copy it down to their own paper to fill out. A majority of this lesson is an individual activity that students can do on their own and even as homework.
The additional activity, Mind In a Jar, is an option for students to make their own calming jar at home. While it is a material intensive activity, students really enjoy it. We recommend either for live or recorded options to send students a link (either your own or one from the lesson plan) with step by step instructions how they can make their own mind in a jar on their own time. You can also challenge students to come up with some other creation 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 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.
A couple more ideas for students to create their own mindfulness practices at home:
Mindful Finger Trail: Just like the square, triangle, and figure 8 breaths, have students make up their own mindful breathing techniques using a new shape or by creating their own map. Students can create their own map and mark when they breathe in and out on the trail. Then, students can trace the trail with their finger while practicing deep breathing.
Create Mindfulness Recordings: Pick out the class favorites Mindful Moments from the lesson plan scripts and have students record them. They can record their own at home simply by having a quiet space and using a cell phone to record. Or, you can make it a video project and have students be filmed doing different mindfulness breaths or techniques learned through the year. Students can share their recordings with the class or their families at home.
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.