I gotta tell this: I have no regrets about starting a “Mindfulness activities with kids” series! As I have been sharing my lesson plans, flows and activities with you; now I feel I have to find something better for each month or at least find something 😀
Thank you for all your messages and views as this motivates me to keep on going!
If this is your first visit, you may wanna check the “Mindfulness in the Classroom, an introduction” post to learn more about mindfulness activities with kids, especially in the “English classroom.”
This is gonna be the 3rd lesson flow I’m sharing: The November Mindfulness Lesson Plan. So, if you haven’t checked the previous ones here is the September Mindfulness Activities with kids no.1 and October Mindfulness Activities with kids no.2 posts where you can also find lots of tips!
November Mindfulness Activities Lesson Plan
This month I’ve focused on the breathing techniques we have learnt the previous month with the help of “Breathe with me” story. I used every opportunity to use these 5 breathing techniques 😀 (Rainbow breath, Belly Breath, Counting Breath and Dandelion Breath)
I started the morning lessons with the Rainbow Breath.
If there was tension in the class, I used Dandelion Breath.
If someone was sad, I used Belly Breath.
I used Counting Breath whenever I need kids to focus.
Eventually, mindfulness becomes a part of your lesson flow. Past 2 months I specially had a separate lesson for mindfulness; now whenever I think it is necessary I just stop and take us back to the moment with something we have learnt in our mindfulness lessons.
If you wanna read more about this and listen to the story “Breathe with me” you can visit my October Mindfulness Lesson Plan.
App: Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame
I’ve found an amazing mindfulness app for kids! I’m so excited to use it in my face to face lessons! For the distance learning part, I’m planning to send this app link to the parents so that they can download it and have kids practice and play around with breathing techniques and problem solving activities.
“This bilingual (English and Spanish), research-based app helps your child learn Sesame’s “Breathe, Think, Do” strategy for problem-solving. Tap and touch to help the monster friend take deep breaths, think of plans, and try them out!”
Story: The Lemonde Hurricane
For October, I wasn’t sure whether I should use a story or just some other breathing techniques combined with yoga poses… But I found a perfect story which will help me cover lots of vocabulary and structures, too!
So, this month’s book is “The Lemonade Hurricane: A Story of Mindfulness and Meditation” by Licia Morelli and illustrated by Jennifer E. Morris.
“Emma doesn’t really like hurricanes. After a busy day of school and activities, Emma likes to sit still and rest. Her little brother, Henry, does everything but. She calls him The Lemonade Hurricane. Henry is a lot of fun when he’s not storming through the house, so Emma decides to teach him how to be still.”
Lemonade is a metaphor for how meditation and mindfulness works.
“In Planting Seeds, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teaches that by sitting still and meditating, the mind can become clear. Like Hanh’s apple juice story, when a glass of lemonade is stirred, the pulp swirls around. When it sits quietly, the pulp settles and the liquid becomes clear.”
That is why this story is called The Lemonade Hurricane.
Practicing mindfulness and meditation helps us tame the hurricane within.
How to use story read alouds
I got couple of questions about how I show these story videos to my students. If it is a face to face lesson, I have kids watch the whole story at once. Then, the second one I stop each moment when I see something to tell, explain, ask or talk about…
But virtual lessons change the whole experience a little bit :/ I can’t let kids watch the whole story as it is gonna be too long to focus in front of the screen. So, instead of this, I skip this step and jump directly to the second one where I stop and ask questions or make explanations.
It is very important to explain and simplify everything they see or hear in these stories. I never use L2 (mother tongue), so whatever I tell them or all my simplified explanations are in English. Plus, I use gestures A LOT! 😀
Teachers can tell a story with their body language without using a single word, right? 😀
Ok, stop and talk about it part is over. Next step is, using the visuals to retell the story.
Please don’t force yourself to read and tell every single detail in the story. This is not story analyzing time 😀 We need the backbone of the story which will help us to focus on the mindfulness part.
If you download the visuals I’ve prepared to use as story puppets, you will see how I retell the story. If you only use these story cards, you don’t have to read every single sentence of the text. Just retell your own simplified version by using these images.
or you can visit it in preview mode to view the latest changes without downloading a copy to your computer.
Thank you for being here…