Mindful Breathing

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Learning Goal

Students will learn why and how to breathe deeply.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Understand the value of breathing
  • Learn multiple breath techniques
  • Understand the connection between breath and feelings
Learning Summary

The lesson starts with students watching a video (we provide two options, review and choose which one is best for your class). After the video, you will assign small groups different breathing techniques to teach the class. After some time in small groups, the students will present to the class the technique followed by a class discussion of reactions to the breathing practices. Students end by reflecting in their journals how they might use different breaths throughout their day.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for Mindful Breathing

When modeling breathing, live or recorded, breathe loudly and have the microphone closer than usual. You want your breathing to be audible.

Pre-assign students to lead different breath techniques.

You can have all students watch a video at the same time: ideally your platform allows you to share screen and sound as giving out the link to a youtube video can lead students down a rabbit hole of videos…

Consider modeling and assigning the cotton ball and straw activity (students can use a crumpled up piece of paper for a cotton ball if needed). Have them draw a maze and practice blowing their cotton (or paper) ball through it. It’s silly but forces attention on the breath.

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.