Here is a 5-10 minute activity that you can do with your students during a break, after lunch, or whenever the day begins to get stressful. Research shows that mindfulness training can help people in many ways.
At its core, mindfulness is simply becoming aware of “this moment.” How you’re breathing. The smell of the air. Muscle tension. Heart-rate. By stopping and focusing on these things in this moment, we can learn to control our reactions and calm ourselves down. But, additionally, research shows that regular mindfulness practice can also decrease depression, improve health, improve academics, manage ADHD, boost resilience and even improve cognition. Not bad for a few minutes of breathing!
How to Begin Mindfulness
This beginning lesson requires nothing from you except a few minutes. Or, if you’d like, you can put on some quiet music to help students key into the activity. But, here’s how to begin.
Describe your purpose. Mindfulness is a method of self-care and self-control. It is a nourishing activity where we focus on our present moment and present state to allow our minds and bodies to “re-boot” themselves into a state of calm and health.
Pass out worksheets. Pages 24-25 from Practicing Mindfulness show students exactly what steps they will take. Go through the steps so that students will understand what is expected from them, then allow them to complete the worksheet to check for comprehension.
Do the steps. Again, you may want to do this silently, or, if your students need some help with focus, put on quiet (vocal-less) music. Set a timer.
Analyze. When the activity is over. Have students describe their experience. Troubleshoot any difficulties they might have encountered. Remind them you will continue this regularly and that many difficulties will self-correct.
For More Information
This lesson comes from the Daily Living Skills workbook Practicing Mindfulness. Like all books in the series, it is written on a 3rd/4th-grade level and meets IDEA federal guidelines for transition. It is one of over 70 books in the series. For more information check us out our Teacher's Pay Teacher's store or at our store on our site, Transition2Life.