- Participate in a “mindful walk” that encourages them to pay attention to the different parts of walking that they normally don’t notice
- Increase awareness of the emotions and sensations they experience as they explore their surrounding area
Research has found that a walking meditation included in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program improved physical symptoms and psychological wellbeing in people with various health conditions, as well as healthy people who were experiencing stress. Thus, educators are encouraged to make time for this exercise, and other meditation-based activities, throughout the school day to foster students’ mindfulness.
To learn more about this skill, and how it promotes students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.
- Introduce students to the exercise by explaining: “Can you remember a time when you felt nervous, and felt butterflies in your stomach? Or a time when you felt sad, and felt a lump in your throat? It’s okay to feel different sensations - they are not right or wrong. Today, we’re going to practice noticing these sensations, so we can figure out what to do if we want to feel differently, like relaxing our muscles if they feel tight. To do this, we’ll take a short walk, and try to notice how our bodies are feeling.”
- Guide students through a mindful walk by explaining the steps below.
Mindful Walk Steps
- Find a peaceful place where you can walk slowly back and forth for ten steps. Try to find a place with different surfaces, like grass, concrete, and dirt.
- Pick a surface, and walk slowly back and forth on it. As you walk, try to notice how your breath is coming in and out of your body, how your feet and legs are moving, the sounds nearby or the sounds of your body moving, how the surface under your feet feels, and whatever your eyes are seeing.
- Now, pick a different surface to walk on. What feels different about this surface? Has your breath changed? Are your feet and legs moving differently? Do you hear different sounds nearby or from your body?
- Pay attention to the feelings and sensations in your body as you walk, and try taking actions that help you feel calmer, like relaxing your muscles if they feel tight or taking deep breaths.
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.