Mindfulness in Schools

"Release" video. Introduction to mindfulness for students​​​

Mindfulness in Education Website:https://www.mindfulschools.org/

Class DOJO Mindfulness exercises:

Emotions are powerful: they can either overwhelm you, or become your best friend. Take your child/students on a journey to understand how they can manage their powerful emotions through mindfulness. This set of activities was created in partnership with Yale University's Center for Emotional Intelligence.
Episode 1: MOJO meets the Beast:
This episode introduces students to the idea that sometimes our emotions can be overwhelmingly powerful. After the video, there are discussion questions and a fun game called "Name that Emotion" to help students identify strong emotions. This activity is part of helping students realize that these powerful emotions are a normal part of life. In later activities, we'll look at some tactics for dealing with these powerful emotions in our lives.

Episode 2: Draw Your Beast:
In this activity, your child/students will think about a time when their "beast" appeared and what it felt like. They'll then get a chance to draw their "beast"!

Episode 3: Mindful Breathing with MOJO:
Focusing on your breathing can help calm down the Beast! Your class will follow along with Mojo and take away a powerful tool to help them calm down powerful emotions that might flare up. Afterwards, there are discussion questions asking students to reflect on how mindful breathing might help them in the future.

1. When things go wrong, or when you have scary thoughts or strong feelings, you may need help to sort it all out, no matter how old you are. Learning and practicing mindfulness can make it easier to deal with the issues you face every day by showing you how to tap into your own inner strength in times of stress. So, why not use mindfulness and start being your own superhero today?

2. What does being present look like? Noticing when someone in your class needs help and taking the time to help them. Sound like? The rain outside your window. Smell like? Briny seaweed at the beach. Taste like? A bite of orange. Feel like? Allowing the rhythm of your breath, in and out … to make you feel peaceful.

3. Children pay close attention to their parents' moods. When parents feel upset, their kids may become anxious, and when parents wind down, children also get the chance to relax. When you feel overwhelmed and stressed, it can be hard to help your child feel balanced. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook for Kids, written by two child therapists, offers more than fifty activities you can do together as a family to help you and your child replace stressful and anxious feelings with feelings of optimism, confidence, and joy.
You'll learn proven relaxation techniques, including deep breathing, guided imagery, mindfulness, and yoga, and then receive guidance for teaching them to your child. Your child will also discover how taking time to do art and creative projects can create a sense of fulfillment and calm. By completing just one ten-minute activity from this workbook each day, you'll make relaxation a family habit that will stay with both you and your child for a lifetime.

Lesson Plans:

Mindfulness Lesson Plan #1
  • Explain how I have a new topic that has changed my life and the life of my family. Explain how our thoughts can bring on emotions and feelings that won't go away. Then introduce mindfulness as a way to be present in the moment and how we can use it to calm our minds and our bodies.
  • Go Zen Video https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-1/

  • Read the book  "I Am Peace" and have discussion      

  • Do "Find your anchor" exercise then complete mindful breathing exercise with glitter jar
(Teacher plays these videos on in-between days and completes at least one mindful minute each day)

Mindfulness Lesson #2
  • Recap mindfulness and previous lesson with kids sitting on carpet in a circle.  Revisit"Mindful Minute" and how we are going to begin each lesson with one.  Use glitter jar. 
  • Talk to kids about mindful bodies See this lesson plan for help: (https://www.mindfulschools.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/starter-lesson.pdf) and have them breathe for one minute, just noticing how their bodies feel.  
  • Read the book "Silence" and then talk about mindful listening. 
  • Show mindful listening video: https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-5/
  •  Have students go back to their desks and complete the paper "What can I hear around me?"  Play your own sounds as the close their eyes (stapler, scissors, coughing etc)
  • Mindful-Listening coloring page.pdf
(Teacher playes these videos on in-between days and completes at least one mindful minute each day)

Mindfulness Lesson #3
  • Recap mindful bodies and ask students what they noticed over the past week. Peaceful warriors is the name we came up with for the students.  Then play "Mindful Breathing" video: https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-2/
  • Begin with a mindful minute exercise (recap "find your anchor")
  • Discuss Mind/Body connection, how our thoughts and emotions can affect our body physically and do "lemon exercise" below

  •  Do "dance exercise"  Turn on fun dance music and let the students get silly and dance around the room for about 30 seconds.  Then challenge them to stop, find their anchor, and practice mindfulness standing up, in the middle of the classroom.
(Teacher playes these videos on in-between days and completes at least one mindful minute each day)

Mindfulness Lesson #4
  • In circle on carpet: Mindful minute exercise/find your anchor 
  • Ask students to stand up really quick from the circle.  Then ask them how exactly they got up.  Did they sue their hands?  Which leg pushed up first? etc, etc.  Then, have them sit down and stand up again, this time being mindful of their bodies.  Ask how that was different. Introduce Mindful movement
  • Students go back to their desks and watch "Mindful movement" video from GoZen: https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-4/
  • Practice Mindful movement with the following 2 exercises:
  • #1 Pass the cup
  • #2 Slow motion 
(Teacher playes these videos on in-between days and completes at least one mindful minute each day)

Mindfulness Lesson #5
  • Mindful Minute, then recap mindful listening with this video and listening activity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0Kp_J9kvNM  Recap mindful movement: Have students stand up and mirror your movements.  Then get a couple of student volunteers and have the class mirror their movements.
  • "Mindful eating" video from GoZen: https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-3/
  • Practice mindful eating. See card below: I brought chocolate chips for the class.

(Teacher playes these videos on in-between days and completes at least one mindful minute each day)

Mindfulness Lesson #6
  • Why mindfulness?  Talk about swimming pool: See below
  • During meditation, your awareness settles to finer and finer levels of thought until you slip into the spaces between the thoughts, you dip into the silence, the infinite possibilities, you bump into the Self. When you jump into a swimming pool, you come out wet, you bring some of the water with you. Just so, when you slip into the spaces between your thoughts, you bring the silence and infinite possibilities back into your life. You begin to restore the memory of who you really are.By making this journey back and forth on a regular basis, you begin to reintegrate these qualities into your everyday life. You reestablish the silence that underlies all the noise and activity so that even in the midst of chaos and confusion, even in the midst of dynamic activity, you can still remain calm, you can still think clearly and creatively.
  •  Play Still, Quiet Place video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIJn5XhqPN8
  • Have them draw their still, quiet place.  When done, do the mindfulness exercise below (guide them around their still, quiet place) with this relaxing music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZYbU82GVz4                           
    Still, quiet place mindfulness exercise:
    • Draw a picture of your Still Quiet Place.
    • When you finish, close your eyes and imagine you are there.
    • Breathe in… and out.
    • Look to the left, what do you see?
    • Breathe in… and out.
    • Look to the right, what do you see?
    • Walk around and explore your Still Quiet Place.
    • Observe every detail.
    • What does it smell like?
    • What sounds do you hear?
    • Touch something. What does it feel like?
    • Breathe in… and out.
    • Now return from your Still Quiet Place.
    • Slowly open your eyes.
    • Breathe in… and out.
  • If time permits:
    Show gratitude video:https://www.gozen.com/go/gotothenow/lesson-8/
  • Practice Gratitude Mindfulness
    • Pretend you’re in the Gratitude Zone like Nik. Choose ONE person, place or thingyou are grateful for.
    • Really visualize this person, place or thing.
    • List specific reasons why you are grateful for this person, place or thing.
    • How does this person, place or thing make you feel?
    • Now imagine your life without this person, place or thing.
    • Are you sadder? Lonelier? Less fulfilled?
    • Now exit the GZ and show gratitude for this person, place or thing!

Mindfulness Lesson #7
  • Final lesson recap
  • Hand out certificates




Mindfulness in Schools