In this lesson, students will answer questions, role-play different scenarios, and explore their feelings as they make healthy choices. They will also learn some questions to ask themselves when making decisions.
Students will be able to reflect on how it feels to show kindness to others.
Students will be able to articulate how mindfulness can support us in making healthy choices.
Bring students into a circle, either seated in chairs or on the floor.
Ask them to sit in mindful bodies (quiet and still, with their eyes closed or looking down).
Ask the class to take a few full breaths. As they breathe in, tell them to say "breathing in" in their minds, and as they breathe out, they should say to themselves "breathing out."
After 1–2 minutes of this exercise, ask students to slowly open their eyes.
Ask the students how they feel and what they noticed.
Explain to them that today they will be talking about making positive choices and spreading kindness to others.
Ask the class what helps them make choices in their lives and how they know when to make a healthy choice.
Ask how mindfulness, which is the practice of paying attention to a specific thing happening in the present moment (like they did with their breathing), can help us make healthy choices.
Explain to students that scientists have found that pausing and practicing mindfulness each day, for as little as 1–2 minutes, helps us make positive choices and share kindness with others.
Place your hand over your forehead, and ask the class to do the same. Explain that the front part of their brain (where their hands are placed) is known as the prefrontal cortex, or PFC. Explain that this part of the brain is responsible for making decisions, and ask the class to repeat "PFC" so that they remember this term.
Explain that when we take time to breathe, we are able to slow down and make the choice that is best for us, which is also most likely the healthiest choice.
Show the class an image of the brain, highlighting the PFC.
Review all the things the PFC does for us (makes healthy choices; helps us be calm, focused, attentive, kind, and compassionate).