June 20, 2019
by Meena Srinivasan

Lesson plan

Superhero Senses

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Grade Subject
  • Students will be able to practice mindful listening and speaking.
  • Student will be able to explain how and why mindful listening and speaking are important for friendships.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring students into a circle, either seated in chairs or on the floor. (Note: If some students have a difficult time sitting still or may be disruptive, ask them to sit with you before the session and ring the chime with you.)
  • Ask them to sit in mindful bodies. This means they should become quiet and close their eyes or look down. Ask the students to notice how straight their spine is.
  • Remind them that practicing mindfulness helps us focus on one thing with kindness and curiosity. In this activity, they will be guided to listen to sounds with curiosity, which is like a superpower.
  • Guide the class to take two deep breaths and to notice their belly rise, just like the bellies of frogs when they croak.
  • Ring the chime three times, and ask the students to focus on its sound. Also guide them to listen to the space in between each chime.
  • After, ask the class to listen to the sounds as far as they can hear behind them. Pause.
  • Then, ask them to listen to the sounds as far as they can hear in front of them. Pause.
  • Finally, ask the students to listen to the sounds closer in. Ask if they can hear their breath.
  • As the students focus on these sounds, explain to them that they may notice thoughts rising in their heads. That is okay, but they should gently bring their attention back to the sounds around them.
  • Guide them to take a deep breath in and out, and then to open their eyes when they are ready.
  • Ask the class what they noticed. What did they hear? How do they feel?
  • Explain to students that today we are going to be practicing using our superpower senses—the same ones we used with this session—in listening and speaking.
  • Remind them that mindfulness is like a superpower that helps us focus on one thing with kindness and curiosity.
  • Ask the class, "How is listening with care and curiosity a superpower?" (Potential answer: It helps us understand others, know what to do in a situation, and relate to others more deeply.)
(5 minutes)
  • Select partners for the class.
  • Guide students to turn to their partner and get ready to use their superpower sense of listening when their partner speaks.
  • Choose a student in the classroom to model speaking and listening with you for the class. For one minute, ask the student to talk about their favorite stuffed animal and explain why it is their favorite.
  • Ask the class what you and the student did well as a team,and what they noticed.
  • Explain that now the class will complete this same exercise.
(5 minutes)
  • Partners will take turns talking for one minute, while the other partner will only listen with as much kindness and curiosity as possible.
  • Remind the class that they may think of something else or get distracted. If this happens, they should gently bring their attention back to their partner who is talking.
  • Ask each student pair to decide who will speak first.
  • Give the class the following prompt, "What is one of your favorite places you have visited, and why is it your favorite?" Allow the students to begin sharing.
  • Ring the chime at the beginning and end of the minute.
  • Then, ask the second partner to respond to the same question for a minute. Once again, ring the chime to notify the class when the minute of speaking begins and ends.
  • After the pairs have listened and shared, give them time to thank each other for their participation and attention.
  • Ask the class to come back together as a group.
  • Ask the class what they noticed while completing this activity. Was it easy or hard? Were they able to bring kind attention to the person who was speaking?
  • Ask the class reflection questions: "How does mindful listening help us in our friendships? In class? When interacting with others?"
  • Explain to students that they will now go back to their seats and complete the My Superhero Senses worksheet.
  • Ask the class how mindful listening can be a superhero sense.
  • Review the worksheet and say, "Through the practice of mindfulness we can be our own superhero. Just like superheroes, we too have superpowers that can help us and others around us! Mindful listening is a great tool to use and practice as a superpower! It can help us to find calm, to connect with our friends, and to understand others (and our teacher's directions so we don’t miss homework assignments)!"
(25 minutes)
  • Ask students to return to their seats and complete the worksheet in which they will write and draw all of the things they heard when practicing mindful listening.

Enrichment: Students who finish early may write about how listening with care and attention supports loving friendships and communities.

Support: Provide visuals and models to help students that are struggling with the My Superhero Senses worksheet.

(5 minutes)
  • Observe students at their seats during the independent working time. You may also collect their worksheets to check for understanding of the mindful listening excercise.
(5 minutes)
  • After all students have completed their handout, ask students to share what they drew and wrote about. What did they hear when using their superhero sense of listening?
  • Ask students if they have questions.
  • Ask students how the class can use mindful listening in the future. How can it help us learn?

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