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Students will understand the value and characteristics of a mindful body.
By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:
- Describe a mindful body
- Practice a mindful body
Mindful body has two meanings: 1) being aware of your body—something that can be difficult for young children—and 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.”
This lesson starts with a quick mindful moment bringing movement to breath. Then the introduction focuses on body awareness followed by a Munchy and Jumpy story. The twin rabbits are part of a community parade but they are both not very aware of their bodies. Jumpy jumps out of control and Munchy eats way too much. They do a double-day to go back and pay more attention to their bodies. The students then practice sitting in the traditional mindful body posture and discuss how it feels. Students then draw a person or their favorite animal practicing a mindful body in their journals.
As always, the Munchy and Jumpy story can anchor this lesson. The follow-up activity is an exercise on showing students how to sit in a way that allows for a full breath during seated mindfulness. However, it’s also an opportunity to help students pay attention to their bodies.
While you might think that this is not well-suited for a remote lesson, in fact, students can feel more comfortable doing this 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, 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 show your cat and evaluate their posture!
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.