July 8, 2019
By Meena Srinivasan

Lesson plan

Heart to Heart

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  • Students will be able to practise sending kind wishes to others.
  • Students will be able to express appreciation for a classmate through writing a letter or drawing them a picture.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring students into a circle, either seated in chairs or on the floor.
  • Ask them to sit in mindful bodies (quiet and still, with their eyes closed or looking down), and to take a few full breaths into their bellies.
  • Ask the students to place their hands on their hearts, and to notice their breath at their heart area.
  • Have them slowly open their eyes after 1–2 minutes of mindful breathing.
  • Ask, "How do you feel? What do you notice?"
  • Ask the students to share some things that sometimes create unhappiness and disconnections between each other.
  • Ask students to describe what helps bring the class closer together, so that they can strengthen friendships and work as a team.
  • Explain to the class that heartfulness is another way we can share kindness and care for others.
  • Ask, "Does anyone want to share what they think heartfulness is?" Then share the definition of HeartfulnessWith the class: Sending kind thoughts and messages to others in our mind, as we hold our attention on our heart.
  • Invite the students to turn to a partner sitting next to them.
  • Ask each partner to share a challenge they have had in the day.
  • Then, ask partners to share the things they appreciate and are grateful for with each other.
  • Afterwards, ask partners to face each other and guide them through a heartfulness practise session, in which they will send kind wishes to each other.
  • Ask the students to sit in mindful bodies again, and to close their eyes or look down.
  • Have them place their hands on their hearts and to notice their breath at their chest.
  • Ask them to think of their partner and what they appreciate about them, such as their smile, kindness, sense of humour, etc.
  • Guide the class to send kind wishes to their partner by saying the following sentences in their minds: "May you be happy...(Pause.) May you feel appreciated...(Pause.) May you be healthy...(Pause.) May you feel peace...(Pause.)"
  • Now, ask one student from each pair to say these sentences out loud to their partner: "May you be happy...(Pause.) May you feel loved...(Pause.) May you be healthy...(Pause.) May you feel peace...(Pause.)"
  • Ask the students to notice how they feel after giving or receiving kind wishes.
  • Switch partners, so that the one who previously sent heartfulness is now the receiver, and the previous receiver is now sending messages.
  • Repeat the heartfulness practise by having the students say the same phrases to their partners, first in their minds, then out loud.
  • Ask the students to notice how they feel after giving or receiving kind wishes.
  • After the heartfulness exercise, explain to the class that this practise is not always easy and that it may have felt a little funny. However, it can get easier over time and with practise.
  • Thank the class for their attention and the care that they have given to each other.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to students that they will now write a gratitude/heartfulness letter to (or draw pictures for) their partner. (Note: There are two worksheet options depending on student level.)
  • Model for the class how to complete the Sharing Kind Wishes worksheets on the board. Quickly draw sample pictures, or demonstrate how to write a letter to a colleague or friend of your own.
  • Explain to students that their worksheets will be collected and given to their partners at the end of the day.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask the class if they have any questions.
  • Before students start the worksheets, ask one person to repeat the instructions for the class.
(25 minutes)
  • Dismiss students to go back to their seats to complete the Sharing Kind Wishes worksheets.

Enrichment:Ask students to watch and reflect on the video "Students Discover the Power of Gratitude on a Community." Have them research the heart, and how gratitude can help us be happy and build connections with ourselves and others.

Support:Pair off students to work together during the heartfulness practise period and on the worksheets.

(5 minutes)
  • Observe students during the independent working time. Collect and review their worksheets to check for understanding of heartfulness exercises.
(10 minutes)
  • After all students have completed their worksheets, collect them to give out at the end of the day.
  • Ask the class, "What did you notice when writing your letters and making drawings for your classmates? How do you feel after this exercise?"
  • Before distributing the worksheets, read through all letters and look over drawings to make sure that they are kind and appropriate.

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