Mindful Breathing

GRADES 6-8

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.

Lesson Plan

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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