THINK for Mindful Speaking
Students will be able to practice mindful communication and use the THINK acronym while speaking to others.
- Join the class together in a circle, either seated or standing.
- Ask, "What is something very important when we talk with each other?"
- Tell them that listening to others is a very important skill.
- Play the "I Am a Good Listener" video.
- Afterwards, ask, "What happened to the beaver that made him unable to talk? Who helped him learn to listen?"
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(15 minutes)
- Tell the class that now, we will practice listening quietly together.
- Ask students to become very still.
- Invite them to close their eyes or look down at the ground.
- Guide them to take a few deep breaths.
- Then, ask them to return to normal breathing and to notice the sound of their breath. Pause.
- Guide the class to listen to the sounds they hear outside the window.
- Say, "You may want to talk or move, but see if you can stay still and listen to the sounds."
- After a couple minutes, tell students to gently open their eyes.
- Ask, "What did you notice? What was it like listening and focusing on the sounds?"
- Share with them that this was important practice to really listen, and in a moment, we will try to really listen to what our classmate says when they share.
- Tell them that sometimes, when someone is talking to us, we think about our response instead of really listening to what they're saying.
- Explain that while listening is really important, we also want to take a breath before we speak to make sure that what we are sharing is kind.
- Ask, "Are you ready to try the same thing, but now listening to a classmate?"
- Have students turn to a partner.
- Ask one person to be the listener, the other the speaker.
- Explain that the listener will only listen, and stay as quiet and as still as they can.
- Ask the speaker to talk about something that makes them happy for a minute.
- Ring the bell after one minute.
- Have partners switch roles, and repeat.
- Bring the class back together.
- Ask the following questions, one at a time:
- What was it like to listen?
- What was it like to have someone listen to you with kind attention?
- Why is it important to listen?
- Why should we reflect carefully on what we want to share before we speak?
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- Share that speaking is also an important part of communicating with others.
- Project the THINK image or poster on the board.
- Tell students that we can "THINK" before we talk, so that we can speak with kindness and care.
- Explain each letter of the THINK acronym: "T is for 'Is it True?' H is for 'Is it Helpful?'"
- Pause when you come to the letter I for "Inspire."
- Write "Inspire" on the board, and ask the class what it means.
- Write and draw pictures of the definition on the board.
- Pause at the letter N for "Necessary."
- Write "Necessary" on the board, and ask the class what it means.
- Write and draw pictures of the definition on the board.
- Share that the letter K is for "Is it Kind?"
- Ask students to repeat each statement of the acronym after you:
- T is for "Is it True?"
- H is for "Is it Helpful?"
- I is for "Is it Inspiring?"
- N is for "Is it Necessary?"
- K is for "Is it Kind?"
- Model for them how to use the THINK method when speaking. Emphasize that before we speak, we can ask ourselves if what we are about to say answers "Yes" to each question in the acronym.
- Share about a time you were upset with a friend, but you were able to communicate mindfully by using THINK before you spoke.
- Explain that sometimes it can be tough to remember all the steps of THINK, so as a class we will focus on one letter each week for the next month. This way, we will continue practicing until we feel comfortable with the whole acronym.
- Tell the class that this week, we will focus on T: "Is what I'm saying True?"
- Have a student volunteer model the THINK method using the letter T.
- Make a plan with the class on how you will focus on adding each letter in the following weeks, until you have the whole practice down.
Independent working time(25 minutes)
- Show students the THINK Poster Reflections worksheet, and read through its instructions.
- Ask 4–5 students to come up to the board and draw an image for "Truthfulness." Be sure to spend some time building common understanding of what "truthfulness" is. Provide examples like being honest, and reinforce why it's important to be truthful.
- Give these students their worksheets.
- Ask 4–5 students to draw an image for "Helpful" on the board.
- Distribute their worksheets.
- Continue to divide the class into groups of four or five, having each group draw an image for one word in the acronym.
- Show the class the pieces of chart paper with the THINK words written on top.
- Tell them that they will come up and paste their drawings on the chart paper at the end of class.
- Ask if they have any questions.
- Dismiss them back to their seats to independently complete their worksheets.
- When the class is drawing pictures for specific letters of the THINK acronym, ask advanced students to draw a picture that shows the words "necessary" and "inspire."
- Have a few students develop a plan for adding new letters of the THINK acronym each week, in order to help the class focus on mindful communication.
- Provide one-on-one or group support to some students while they are completing the worksheet.
- During the independent working time, walk around the room and observe students.
- Check in with them one-on-one to assess their comprehension of the THINK acronym and how to use it to support mindful communication, focusing on the letter T.
Review and closing(10 minutes)
- Bring the class back together in a circle, and ask them to bring their drawings with them.
- Show them the chart paper with the THINK words on them again.
- Ask all students who had "truthfulness" drawings to come up to explain what they drew, and to glue their drawings on the paper labeled "True."
- Invite all students who had "helpful" drawings to come up to explain what they drew, and to glue their drawing on the paper labeled "Helpful."
- Repeat this until all groups have pasted their drawings on the labeled chart paper.
- Ask the class what they will think of when they see these drawings.
- Remind them that this week as a class, we will practice "T for 'Is it True?'" In each of the following weeks, we will expand our practice by adding a new letter and focusing on that as a class.