Mindful Moments

Use these journaling prompts to help students reflect on their day and nurture their well-being.
Ages 8-14 / 20
min Activity
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Objectives

  • Practice mindfulness strategies to foster a deeper connection with themselves and their surroundings 
  • Respond to journaling prompts that explore gratitude, challenges, moments of joy, and other emotions 

Supporting Research

When students engage in reflective journaling, research shows an improvement in their behavior and coping skills, critical thinking, and understanding of their own experiences and emotions. During this activity, educators should encourage students to reflect on their day, including their accomplishments, challenges, and moments of joy and gratitude. This experience helps reinforce mindfulness and self-awareness as students explore their emotions, behaviors, and needs.

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.

Materials

Activity Partners

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Instructions

  1. Introduce mindfulness to students. You might say: "Do you ever feel overwhelmed, or have trouble paying attention? Mindfulness is an important skill that guides us to feel calmer and more focused. As we experience different emotions, mindfulness helps us understand our feelings and why we’re feeling them. It also helps us slow down and notice what’s happening around us. We’re going to build our mindfulness skills by taking some time to reflect at the end of each day.”
  2. At the end of each day, share one of the following prompts with students, and provide 10-15 minutes for them to write their reflections in a private journal.  

    Afterwards, invite students to share their reflections (if they feel comfortable) with a partner, or with the rest of the class as part of an afternoon circle routine. 

Journaling Prompts

  1. Write down three things that you are grateful for today.
     
  2. Think about someone who you really appreciate. Draw a picture of them, and write down three reasons for why they’re important to you.
     
  3. Think about a moment that made you smile today, and describe what happened and how it made you feel.
     
  4. Write about a hobby or activity that you enjoy, and describe how it makes you feel and why it nourishes you.
  5. Take two minutes to quietly pay attention to your surroundings. Then, write down what you saw and heard, and any emotions or sensations that you felt.
     
  6. Choose an object in the room and carefully observe it for two minutes. Then, describe it below, including its colors, textures, shapes, and shadows.
  7. What is your favorite place in nature? Write about it, or draw a picture, below.
     
  8. What is a goal that you have for the week ahead? How will you feel when you accomplish this goal?
  9. Reflect on your day, and write about something that you’re proud of (like trying or learning something new).
     
  10. Describe a small act of kindness that you witnessed or performed. What happened? Who was there? How did this moment make you feel? 
  11. Think about something beautiful that you saw today, like the sky or an interesting building, and describe what it looked like and how it made you feel. 
  12. Write about a time when you felt really happy. What were you doing? How did you feel, and what sensations did you notice in your body? How does it feel to remember this moment? 
  13. Describe a time when you felt really sad. What happened? How did you feel, and what sensations did you notice in your body? What helped you (or could have helped you) feel better? 
  14. Create an “energy thermometer” by drawing a rectangle, and labeling it with “low”, “normal”, and “high” levels of energy. Mark where you feel on the thermometer, and any emotions or sensations that you are feeling.
  15. What type of weather (e.g., sunny, cloudy, stormy, rainy) would you compare your current mood to? Why? 
  16. Think about something that you are worried about. Then, write down how you can overcome this worry or turn it into a positive action. 
  17. Write down a positive affirmation that starts out with “I am…”, like a special strength or value that you have. 
  18. Think about your favorite song. Write it down below, and describe what it sounds like and how it makes you feel when you listen to it. 
  19. Think about a place where you feel peaceful. Describe it below, focusing on the colors, sounds, sensations, and feelings that you imagined. 
  20. Draw a picture of how you are feeling today. Try to use different colors, symbols, or words to describe the emotions and sensations that you feel inside your body. 

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.