Activities and Teaching Resources




Resources for practicing and teaching mindfulness and meditation, kindness and compassion, generosity and gratitude, social responsibility and social-emotional skills.

Photo by Nine Köpfer on Unsplash

    Are You New to Teaching Mindfulness?

    Many teachers find this site because they've heard about the benefits of mindfulness and are looking for 'mindfulness scripts' or activities. 

    Please don't teach your students meditation or formal mindfulness practices unless you have experience doing these practices yourself and have some training in working with the student population you plan to teach.

    You may actually want to leave this page for now and go to the Start Here page, which has advice on teaching different ages of students in different contexts. 




    Activities for Practicing and Teaching Mindfulness, Compassion, Gratitude, and Social-Emotional Skills


    I've gotten a lot of requests to use these activities in various contexts, and I've found some of this content illegally copied onto other sites.  Please link to these activities; do not copy them to your own site.  (If you'd like to use them for anything other than your own personal practice or teaching your current students, please see the Frequently-Asked Questions for information on permissions and copyright issues.) 
    Several of the following are sample/promotional activities from books on teaching mindfulness. If you really like an activity from a particular book, I encourage you to buy the book in order to see the activity in context and find more lessons that will work well with your students. (Purchasing a book also helps to support the author. I don’t have an Amazon affiliate account and don’t track or benefit from purchases made through links from this site.)


    Posters, Quizzes, and Infographics About Mindfulness and Self-Care


    Songs for teaching mindfulness, compassion, gratitude, social-emotional skills and social responsibility.

    Video Playlists for Teachers

    Creative Ways to Make a Difference: short videos about people with unique abilities and inclinations supporting the community in creative and unusual ways.
    Inspiring Videos of Young People Serving the Worldchildren, teens, and young adults who've made a difference in their own communities or communities in other parts of the world.  
    Inspiring Videos of Service to Humanity: helping child soldiers, victims of human trafficking, and former gang members, and providing 'spiritual and mental nutrition' to the starving.
    Videos about Kindness, Compassion, and Service (part 1):  short videos about small acts of kindness and large acts of philanthropy. 
    Videos about Kindness, Compassion, and Service (part 2): short videos about empathy and aid for people from different backgrounds.

    Self-Care Videos: Gentle Yoga, Mindful Movement, and Indoor Walking




    Noncompetitive Games and Group Activities  
    This might be a good place to start if you teach kids and don't have training in teaching mindfulness.  (You might also be interested in the gratitude and five senses activities for individuals or groups, in the section below.)


      Activities for Individuals or Groups 
      The following practices and activities should be appropriate or adaptable for most contexts: adults or kids, individually or in a class.  (Within reason: I'm obviously not advocating that groups of children start driving, but the 'Red, Orange, Yellow' practice best fits in the five senses category.) 


      Five Senses 

      Gratitude



      Mindful Communication


      Integrating Mindfulness and Compassion Training with Academic Content


      Quotations and Class Discussion Topics 
      Many of these would also be appropriate for journaling or as reflective writing assignments.
      • What is Mindfulness? quotations about mindfulness meditation, informal mindfulness practice, and nonjudgmental awareness.



      Yoga and Mindful Movement
      Especially if you don't have training or experience teaching yoga or other forms of mindful movement, please try these movements yourself a few times before teaching them to others. 


      Meditation and Formal Mindfulness Practice
      These are appropriate for personal practice or for use by teachers with an established personal practice and preferably some training in teaching mindfulness and meditation.



      Emotions and Thoughts    
      These are appropriate for teaching kids. (Please try them yourself first. For meditation or breathing practices, it's preferably if you have your own established personal practice before teaching others.)


      Compassion, Self-Compassion, and Self-Awareness
      These are appropriate for adults or mature teens. If you plan to use them in teaching others, please respect participants' decisions about how much they choose to share with the group.






      Links to Resources on Compassion, Meditation, Social-Emotional Learning, and related topics    


      resources for Elementary School Counselors, including mindfulness and social-emotional learning

      Sesame Street in Communities has resources for helping young children cope with grief and trauma.

      Benefits of Meditation from learnrelaxationtechniques.com

      Bullybust.org has film clips about different types of bullying, with discussion questions and teaching guides.   Plus videos of ‘Upstanders’—bystanders who stand up for those who are bullied.

      Classroom Lessons on Social-Emotional Learning and sensitively teaching current and controversial issues, from the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility.
        
      The Coalition to Support Grieving Students: "The site covers a range of grief-related topics to provide training resources specially designed for school professionals."                     

      Fables to Grow On, to promote social and emotional learning, as well as literacy skills    

      Five Reasons We Can't Ignore Social-Emotional Learning by Sasha Briggs at InformED

      FindaSit.com is a new site where you can search for a meditation group near you



      Here's What Will Happen to You When Your Body, Mind, and Soul When You Meditate, from BookMeditationRetreats.com
        
      Lesson Plans on civil rights, immigration, and discrimination from Teaching Tolerance    

      Love Is Respect has resources on healthy relationships vs. dating abuse.

      No Stigmas has a directory of mental health resources  and a peer support group.    
        
      Online Yoga Resources for Every Body: This is a list I put together of the best advice on teaching yoga to those of us who don't fit the profile of a "typical" yoga student.  (For example, because of a larger body or a disability.)       
        





      13 comments:

      1. Some great ideas here, I love Giant Strides, Rainbow Walk and Marble Roll. For some of my own ideas check out my recent blog post Mindfulness in the Classroom: some helpful suggestions http://www.joyfulmind.net.au/blog. And You Tube clip of my colleague Bobbi Allan and me from Mindfulness in Education http://www.mindfuleducation.com.au/ teaching at school last year. Shakti Burke at work in the classroom at Mindfulness in Education at Dunoon Public School https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry-sRjRFIW8.
        Great site, great ideas, wonderful to share. Thank you.

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      2. Thanks for sharing these links, Shakti:
        There are some great suggestions for elementary school teachers at http://www.joyfulmind.net.au/blog/mindfulness-in-the-classroom-some-helpful-suggestions

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      3. These are wonderful! Permission to use a few of these for a unit plan for high school teachers? I won't be charging anything or making money on it - I just want to spread the word.

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        Replies
        1. This second post is so that comments will get sent to my email. =)

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        2. Hi Joshua, I'm delighted that you're finding the activities useful. Permissions are a little complicated because I created some of the activities and others I have permission to post here but not to publish elsewhere---Could you email me at mindfulteachers@gmail.com to discuss this?

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      4. Due to a strange html error, this page disappeared a few minutes ago, and I'm trying to figure out what's going on. I will probably need to recreate the whole thing based on an old saved version on my laptop... Thanks for your patience as I get it back online...

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. I have no idea why, but it seems to be working to strip out the html and have the site automatically re-html itself. (Is there a technical term for that?) In any case, thanks for your patience as I got everything back online. This is by far the most popular page on MindfulTeachers.org, so let's just say this has been a challenging test of my 'mindful breathing'. (I confess that my first response was to yell, "Oh, [drat]!" In a calm and mindful way, of course.)

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      5. I am looking for approximately eight minute long mindful movement videos to show to students in the classroom. Does anyone have suggestions of where I should look?

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        Replies
        1. I'm not sure what age your students are, but here are a couple of possibilities.
          a 9-minute video with yoga for kids:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmeTZGr_R5Q
          an 8-minute video of Thich Nhat Hanh's '10 mindful movements', apparently from Thai television, but with instructions in English:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-gEO12BVNU

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      6. Great list of resources. It's going to take a while to explore all of these. Bookmarked!

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        Replies
        1. Thanks for your comment. I'm so glad you found this page useful. :-)

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      7. I agree, it's essential to establish a personal meditation practice before teaching meditation to others. I would like to share two of favourite guided meditation resources - hope they help you as much with your personal practice as they do mine. http://www.againstthestream.org/category/audio-catergory/meditation/ and https://mindfulnessandpsychotherapy.com/podcast/.

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        Replies
        1. Thanks for your comment, Lottie. Those look like great resources.

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      Your perspective and feedback are very much appreciated!