Mindful Storytelling has been a year in the making. If I think of the skills I use it has been about 10 or more years.
All of 2016 I volunteered in different settings, primary and kinder classes, to try out different lesson ideas to see what kinds of drama, movement and mindfulness activities would work with different age groups.
The initial workshops had a lot of intensity and activity but no quiet. Reflection times at the end of the lesson were only verbal. Once I started breaking up the sessions with short mindfulness check ins the lessons had moments of high energy followed by calm.
What has emerged is the importance of a reflection time. In each session, students get the opportunity to stop and focus on a reflection piece that they can take away with them.
The quiet in these moments is such a stark contrast to the high-energy moments in the rest of the class!
Reflection that works…Dreams
In my recent workshop, Dreams, we created a collective dream journal!
I took out my own personal dream journal, early in the lesson. I told the children,
“This is my dream journal. Some people believe that our dreams are trying to tell us something. However, I have always just looked at dreams as being great stories. Can you remember your dreams?”
I had blankets set up throughout the space. Students were encouraged to choose their very own special bed. Once they found their special bed, I demonstrated mindfulness techniques for bedtime.
With each piece of music students explored different types of dreams: Happy, strange, scary and back to happy.
After each musical piece, I checked in with them about their dream and wrote it in my dream journal. At the end of the lesson each student drew, or wrote about one of their dreams.
The quiet in the room, during this part of the lesson, was truly amazing. It was so different to wishes, where the students excitedly chatted while taking part in the reflection piece.
Each lesson, I conduct helps me to tweak and strengthen my program. The focus that was achieved here, with 5 year olds, was incredible and confirms what studies have demonstrated with reference to mindfulness.
More Reflection ideas:
- Mindfulness in Primary School Reflection. What was your favourite part of the lesson today?
- In wishes we made wishing Jars. Kids and parents made wishes to put in their Jars.
Allowing children, the time to reflect on new experiences is an important skill that once developed can be very beneficial in other areas of their life.
I hope this was helpful and gave another sneak peek inside of a Mindful Storytelling lesson.
Wishing you and the kids you hang with reflective fun in contemplating life’s little moments.
P.S. If you would like to see Mindful Storytelling at your school or kinder check out the Workshops page.