Lesson plan

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When we practise mindfulness we are better able to regulate our emotions, build compassion, and support greater ease. In this social emotional learning lesson plan, students will practise mindfulness and create a video that teaches others about mindfulness.
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Students will be able to define mindfulness, practise mindfulness, and understand the benefits of mindfulness.

(10 minutes)
  • Join students together in a circle, either seated or standing.
  • Ask them to become as still as they can.
  • Guide them to take a few deep breaths and to puff out their belly as they breathe in.
  • Ask them to count to four (in their mind) as they breathe in and then to count to seven as they breathe out. (Pause.)
  • Explain that their mind might wander and that this is normal. Have students gently bring their attention back to the numbers or the feeling of their breath.
  • Give students 1–2 minutes for counting breaths.
  • Ask them to release the numbers slowly, during an exhale, and to start to notice the sounds they can hear. (Pause for one minute.)
  • Ask them to take a few deep breaths again and to open their eyes when they are ready.
  • Invite them in quiet to look round the room and to notice the lighting, shadows, and colors they may not have noticed before.
  • Ask, "What did you notice? How do you feel? What did you pay attention to (or what were you mindful of) during this mindfulness session? (Answers might include breathing, listening, and seeing.)
(15 minutes)
  • Ask students to pair up with a partner.
  • Pass out one whiteboard and one marker to each pair.
  • Ask pairs to discuss and write their answer to the question, "What is mindfulness?" (Give them one minute to talk and write.)
  • Ask groups to lift up their answers and share.
  • Review the definition of mindfulness together: "MindfulnessMeans paying attention to the present moment, on purpose, with kindness and curiosity."
  • Ask students to turn back to their partners and discuss and write their answer to the question, "What are the benefits of mindfulness? How has mindfulness supported you, in your experience?"
  • Ask groups to lift up their answers and share.
  • Review the benefits of mindfulness together. Say, "According to scientists, the benefits of mindfulness include greater ease, improved sleep, and better focus. It also builds compassion and connection (with yourself and others) and helps to regulate (manage) emotions."
  • Ask the class, "How can mindfulness benefit communities? The world?"
  • Explain that today, with their partner, students will create a video that teaches others about mindfulness and guides others to practise "mindfulness of senses," just like in the beginning of class.
(5 minutes)
  • Review the Mindfuless of Senses worksheet with the class.
  • Model how to answer the reflection/planning questions and create a video using your chosen app.
  • Ask students if they have any questions.
(20 minutes)
  • Dismiss partners to go back to their seats to work on their worksheet and video. Circle around the room and connect with as many groups as possible to check for understanding, answer questions, and provide support as needed.

Enrichment: Ask advanced students to lead a mindfulness of senses practise session for the students at a later time.

Support: Work one-on-one or in small groups with some students during independent work time that need extra support.

(5 minutes)
  • Walk around the room and check student comprehension of their assignment. Field any questions and support students individually as needed.
(15 minutes)
  • Bring groups back together in a circle.
  • Ask each group to present their video.
  • Ask students to facilitate P-Q-S (praise, question, suggestion) after each presentation to practise active listening, integrate learning, and build connection.
  • Have students reflect on what they learned through the process of working together to plan out and create their videos. Choose a few students to share their reflections with the class.

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