Lesson plan

Reflections on Positive Relationships

Reflecting on growth can support deeper learning and understanding of ourselves. In this lesson, students will reflect on ways they have grown in practicing mindfulness and living in a community through writing and planting a tree together.
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Students will be able to identify ways they have grown in their practice of mindfulness, in learning about themselves and their gifts, supporting each other in their classroom community, and in deepening their connections with nature and the planet.

(10 minutes)
  • Place the sapling outside in a hidden place, before students go outside.
  • Bring students outside to a quiet area (if possible).
  • Join students together in a circle, either seated or standing.
  • Ask students to stand up tall and take take three full breaths.
  • Ask them to come back to natural breathing.
  • Guide them to place their hand on their heart.
  • Invite them to close their eyes or lower their gaze.
  • Ask them to reflect on the positive things they have done for themselves this year (e.g., the tools they have learned from mindfulness lessons, healthy choices they have made in food or exercise, healthy routines and habits, etc.).
  • Ask them to now consider the positive relationships they have built with others over the year and how they have helped and supported others.
  • Invite them to consider how they have grown in their relationship with the planet (e.g., taking quiet time outside for a walk, appreciation for nature, etc.).
  • Ask them to notice how they feel in their heart as they reflect on these moments of growth and connection.
  • Ask them to take a few deep breaths into their belly and to open their eyes when they are ready.
  • Ask, "What did you notice? How do you feel? How have you grown this year?"
(5 minutes)
  • Explain that today they will have time to reflect on what they have learned with relation to mindfulness, self-care, caring for others, and caring for the planet.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out and review the My Growth worksheet.
  • Ask students if they have any questions.
  • Ask students to choose one quiet place in nature (if possible) to answer the questions on the worksheet.
(20 minutes)
  • Circle through the students and provide support as needed.

Enrichment: Ask advanced students to write a poem connected to mindfulness and community.

Support: Work one-on-one or in small groups with some students during independent work time that need extra support.

(5 minutes)
  • Walk around to each student and check student comprehension of their assignment. Field any questions and support students individually as needed.
(15 minutes)
  • Bring students back together in a circle.
  • Bring the tree sapling out to show students.
  • Explain that as a class they will plant this tree as a reminder of their growth and connections to each other and the planet.
  • Read through each prompt on the My Growth worksheet and ask students to share their answers.
  • Dig the hole with student support as students share their answers.
  • Place the tree in the hole (with student support) as students continue to share their answers to the questions.
  • Fill the hole with soil (with student support).
  • Water the tree with the watering can (with student support).
  • Ask, "When you see this tree, what will you be reminded of?"

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