Lesson Plan

Mindful Communication

Communicating effectively during conflict is tough. In this lesson, students will practice mindful communication and discuss ways they may use these tools in their lives.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify how they can communicate effectively when conflict arises.

Introduction

(30 minutes)
Mindful Communication Phrase Game: Connecting or Disconnecting?
  • Join the class in a circle, either seated on a rug or in chairs.
  • Tell them that today they will reflect on how to handle conflict effectively, and that they will be participating in a personal experience panel.
  • Explain that in the panel, three to four volunteers will describe a time when they had to speak to a friend or loved one who they were in a disagreement with. Ask them not to use any names in their stories.
  • Mention that everyone who is not speaking will be asked to listen to each volunteer on the panel with kind attention.
  • Write the following guidelines on the board for the panel:
    • Each person has equal time to speak.
    • No one interrupts, gives advice, or breaks in with a personal story.
    • What is said in the classroom, stays in the classroom.
    • Focus on each speaker with eye contact and listening ears.
  • Ask for three to four volunteers to come into the center of the circle and form a smaller circle.
  • Tell them that they will have three minutes to respond to each prompt.
  • Ask the class to take a few deep breaths into their bellies, and to relax their shoulders and hands.
  • Then, have them return to normal breathing and feel their feet in their shoes or on the floor.
  • Give the following prompt: "Describe a time you had to speak with someone who you may have been angry or in a disagreement with at some point. What happened? How did you feel? Were things resolved? Why or why not?"
  • Remind the listeners of the guidelines on the board, and have each volunteer speak one at a time.
  • After all volunteers have spoken, give the next prompt: "How can we use communication as a tool to resolve challenges and disagreements?"
  • Again, remind the class of the panel's guidelines, and give each volunteer three minutes to share their ideas.
  • Thank the volunteers, and ask them to return to the larger circle.
  • Ask the class, "What was it like to hear your classmates' stories? How did their experiences impact them? How can communication help us resolve conflicts?"