Setting the Stage
Ask students if they have heard of meditation or mindfulness. Ask them to describe what they know. One definition of mindfulness, provided by the Greater Good Science Center is the ability to maintain a moment-by-moment "awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment."
Tell students that they will engage in a five-minute mindfulness activity. Ask them to sit comfortably at their desks. Have students close their eyes and take a few deep breaths. Ask them to:
- Bring their attention to the physical sensations of their bodies. For example, ask them to put their feet on the floor, their arms or hands resting on their desks or legs, and pay attention to their breathing.
- Ask students to simply sit in their chairs, aware of how they feel. Tell students they should not be concerned if their mind wanders (either with their thoughts or outside noises.) They should try to return their attention inwardly to their breath and sit quietly.
After the exercise, ask students the following questions: Was it easy for you to stay still and quiet? Why or why not? Ask students to select an adjective that describes how they felt before the exercise and how they felt afterwards.