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Mindfulness: The Outside and Inside Present
Students will be able to differentiate the outside present and the inside present. Students will be able to describe mindfulness in their own words.
- Introduce or review mindfulness as a word that means paying attention to what is happening right now or in the present.
- Tell students that they will practice noticing the present moment in a few different ways today.
- Ask students to share ways to pay attention to the present. Some prompts could be: "How do you notice the world around you? What tools do you have to observe what is happening right now?"
- Encourage students to focus on the five senses, if prompting is needed. (For example, "We look around. We use our eyes. We listen. We use our ears.")
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Ask students to share what they are noticing right now. Make a list of their observations on chart paper or the digital whiteboard.
- After five to seven responses, explain that everything that has been listed is happening around them, or "outside" of their body.
- Review each observation, and explain how it is happening "outside," because if it was happening "inside" no one else could see it. For example: "We can't see what is going on in someone else's body, can we?"
- Make the connection that what we notice with our senses is happening in "the outside present."
- Explain that students will now use some of their senses and mindfulness to explore "the inside present."
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Ask students what they think "the inside present" might mean, and take some guesses.
- Explain that you will use mindfulness to look, listen, and feel on the inside — and will practice each, one at a time.
- Explain that there are many things going on inside the body, which you can't see from the outside. Examples include: "Your heart is beating, your lungs are breathing, you are having thoughts and feelings."
- Explain that students will practice using each of the three senses (sight, hearing, feeling — leaving out taste or smell) on the outside and then the inside.
- Explain that they will practice using their senses on the outside by leaving their eyes open, and practice using their senses on the inside by closing their eyes.
- Explain that you will use the chime to start and stop each practice.
- Explain that first you will practice looking/seeing on the outside, and ask them to sit with their eyes open and notice.
- Ring the chime to start the time, keep track of 30 seconds with the timer, and ring the chime to stop. Make sure that the timer is silent.
- Lead students to practice looking/seeing with their eyes closed, focusing on the inside. You can prompt: "Turn your eyes to the inside."
- Ring the chime to start the time, keep track of 30 seconds with the timer, and ring the chime to stop.
- Transition to to listening.
- Using the chime, have students listen with their eyes open for 30 seconds, and then with their eyes closed for 30 seconds. You can prompt: "Turn your ears to the inside."
- Transition to feeling. Using the chime, have students feel with their eyes open for 30 seconds, and then focus on feeling with their eyes closed for 30 seconds. You can prompt: "Turn your feeling to the inside."
- Have students share what it felt like to look, listen, and feel on the inside.
- Ask students how it felt different to notice the outside and the inside.
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Preview The Outside and Inside Present worksheet together as a class.
- Hand out the worksheets and have students complete them independently. Walk around the room and support students with their work.
- Allow students to just draw responses on the worksheet if they are having difficulty with writing.
- Allow students to stand and practice mindfulness if they need a body break during the lesson.
- Encourage students to write in complete sentences on their worksheet.
- Have students generate a list of times it might be helpful to focus on the inside present. They can do this on the back of the worksheet.
- Use a digital whiteboard instead of chart paper
- Have students turn and talk to a friend, sharing how focusing on the inside present made them feel.
- After a few minutes, bring the group together and ask students to share.
- As follow-up questions to assess understanding and impact, ask the following questions: "Why might noticing the inside present be important? When might focusing on the inside present be helpful?"
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Ask students to describe mindfulness in their own words. Write responses on chart paper or the digital whiteboard.