Mindful Art


Learning Goal

Students use art as a mindfulness practice and coping skill.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Understand that everyone can practice mindful art
  • See art as a possible coping skill

Learning Summary

 Using art as a mindfulness tool can provide a uniquely accessible opportunity to let the mind wander freely while focusing attention on a simple, engaging task – it is a ‘hack’ for present moment awareness. By providing students the chance to get hands-on with art we provide them with a fun and concrete experience that they can use to self-regulate during times of escalation. It provides a tangible coping strategy that students can use at home, at their desks, or any other time they need to calm down.

Start with a moment of mindfulness in which a student picks a breath they have learned and lead the class. Then lead a brief conversation on how art can be used as a coping skill as well as a mindfulness tool. For this lesson, to allow time for completing the arts and crafts activity, there is NO Munchy and Jumpy story. Consider telling your students in advance to help reduce disruption from the change in routine. Students practice mindful art by “drawing their breath.” Students discuss the experience and end by reflecting in their journals.

computer icon    Online Teaching Tips for Mindful Art

This lesson does not require any real modifications for online learning. Students will just need to have a piece of paper and any type of art supplies at home (a pen or pencils, markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.). See the additional activities for more options of mindful art activities that students can do at home on their own time with minimal materials required.

If you have students who are up for the task, 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.

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