Lesson plan

My Magical Breath

In this lesson, students will learn how their breath can be their greatest friend. They will practice and learn how to use their breath when they feel tense or overwhelmed, just like a magical tool!
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  • Students will be able to practice calming down through mindfulness of breath.
  • Students will be able to articulate how their breath may support them when they feel stressed.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring students together in a circle, either seated in chairs or on the floor. Bring a small pom-pom with you, but hide it in your back pocket.
  • Ask the class what the word "magic" means to them. (Potential response: when things appear and disappear.)
  • Say to students, "Now, what if we have something magical that can help us feel calm when we are upset? We actually have that magic with us right now, and we may not even know it! Can anyone guess what this might be?"
  • Build on student answers and say, "The magic you always have with you is your breath and mindful breathing, which is feeling our breath in the present moment."
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that you will demonstrate mindful breathing. First, show them your empty hands. Then, bring your hands behind you and remove the pom-pom from your back pocket. Take a big breath in, and then blow the pom-pom as far as you can to the side.
  • Ask the students to give each other space between their seats.
  • Explain to the class that they will each receive a pom-pom, but when they get it, they must calmly hold it in their hands. Explain to them that they will be blowing their pom-pom off to the side away from their classmates.
  • Give each student a pom-pom.
  • Guide the class to breathe at the same time (on the count of three). Ask the students to take a big breath in, and then blow their pom-pom as far as they can. Repeat this a few times.
  • Ask the students to come to stillness and notice how they feel after a few deep breaths.
  • Collect the pom-poms from the class. (Ask for student volunteers to help collect.)
(10 minutes)
  • Show the class the book My Magic Breath.
  • Ask them to make a prediction of what the book will be about.
  • Read through the book, and pause periodically to check for comprehension by asking some of the following questions: "What is happening here? How is breath helping the character in the book? How do you feel after taking deep breaths?"
  • After reading the book, ask students to think for themselves about how our magic breath helps us.
  • Ask the class to turn to a partner and share their answers to the question "How does our magic breath help us?"
  • Ask if anyone would like to share their response with the class.
(25 minutes)
  • Explain to students that they will be working independently at their seats to create a poster to remind others to breathe mindfully using their magic breath.
  • Explain to them that their posters will go up in the hallways at school, or in the peace corner in the classroom.
  • Show the class the sample Magical Breath Poster (included on page two of the worksheet).
  • On the board, write "Words for Poster." Under that, write the following statements from the book: "Remember your magic breath!" and "Breathe deep to feel more calm."
  • Ask the class what other words or phrases they could put on their poster. For example, they could write "Breathing feels good," or "Our breath is our best friend."
  • Explain that they can use these phrases on their poster if they would like. They should also include pictures and lots of colors on their posters.
  • Ask students if they have any questions.
  • Dismiss them back to their seats to complete the poster.

Enrichment: Ask students to offer three techniques from My Magic Breath to place on their Magical Breath Poster.

Support: Work one-on-one with students who have a difficult time responding to the question "How does our magic breath help us?" during the pair-share activity. Give students a copy of the sample Magical Breath Poster, and ask them to color it in. Provide breathing phrases on the board for students to refer back to.

(5 minutes)
  • When students are working in pairs, move around the room to hear their answers to the question "How does our magic breath help us?"
  • Observe students during the independent working time.
  • Collect posters to assess students' understanding of mindfulness of breath.
(5 minutes)
  • After all students have completed their posters, ask them to place their work around the room.
  • Have the class quietly walk around the room and pay attention to what reminds others of their magic breath.
  • After students finish walking around the room, ask them to come back into a circle and share what they noticed about their classmates' posters.
  • Ask the class, "How can our magic breath help us? How can we remember to breathe?"
  • Explain that their work will be displayed in the school (or in the peace corner) as a reminder to be mindful of our breath in difficult situations.

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