Thoughts as Bubbles
Students will be able to identify how thoughts come and go, like bubbles, through practicing mindfulness. They will practice mindful breathing and notice how their thoughts may float away, just like bubbles!
- Join the class together in a circle, seated on the rug or in chairs.
- Bring your small container of bubbles with you, but hide it from students.
- Ask students to share some things in life that come and go. Suggest thinking about nature, things at school, etc.
- Mention that you know of one other thing that comes and goes. Ask them if they can guess what you're thinking of.
- Give them hints: "They are round..." (Pause.) "They are shiny... "(Pause.) "They float in the air..." (Pause.)
- After some time, tell the students what you're thinking of: "Bubbles!"
- Take out your bubble container.
- Ask students to stay in their seats and to watch the bubbles as they float, then pop. If a bubble comes near them, tell them that they can pop it!
- Explain to the class that something else that comes and goes is our thoughts.
- Demonstrate how thoughts come and go by saying, "Oh! I just had a thought about the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I have for lunch! Oh wait, it's gone now... Oh! I just had a thought about how I cannot wait for recess! Oh wait, it's gone now..."
- Guide the students in a mindful breathing session. Ask them to come into as much stillness as they can and to gently close their eyes (or look down at the floor).
- Tell them to feel their breath right at their belly, noticing how their belly rises and falls as they breathe.
- Ask students to raise their hands when they have a thought, and to gently lower their hand as the thought passes.
- Explain to them that having many passing thoughts is totally okay and normal. Have students notice how their thoughts float up, pass, and then pop (or disappear), just like a bubble.
- After a few minutes, have them gently open their eyes.
- Ask students if they noticed thoughts coming and going.
- Ask if anyone would like to to share a thought they had.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Tell the class that you will be reading them the book Mind Bubbles by Heather Krantz.
- Show them the cover, and read through each page, pausing periodically to ask comprehension questions.
- At the end of the story, ask students what stood out for them and how mindfulness helps us.
- Ask, "Thoughts come and go. What else comes and goes in the book?" (Answer: emotions.)
- Show the class the Thoughts as Bubbles worksheet, and read through its instructions. Explain that they will be returning to their seats to draw a picture of one thought they had during the mindful breathing activity.
Guided Practice(5 minutes)
- Model for the class how to complete the worksheet by drawing a picture of one thought you had during the mindful breathing session.
- Tell students that as they work at their desks, they will be asked to come up, one table at a time, to help you make the class' very own bubble mix.
- Show them your bucket and large bubble wand.
- Explain to them that after they finish their worksheets, they will be participating in an activity with the large bubble wand and container.
Independent working time(25 minutes)
- Dismiss students to go back to their seats, and distribute the worksheets. Have them begin making their drawings.
- Call up one table at a time to help you prepare the bubble mix by placing the water, soap, glycerin, and other ingredients into the container.
- Follow the instructions to make the classroom bubble mix:
- Place six cups of water into one tub or container.
- Pour one cup of dish soap into the water.
- Slowly stir it until the soap is mixed. (Be careful to avoid bubbles when you stir.)
- Place one tablespoon of glycerin or 1/4 cup of corn syrup into the container.
- Stir the mixture until it is mixed together well.
- Optional: Let your bubble solution sit overnight for better bubbles. (It's perfectly fine to use it right away.)
- Dip your bubble wand in the soapy water, wait a few moments, and then blow a bubble to test the bubble mix.
Enrichment: Ask students to write their own book, similar to Mind Bubbles.
Support: Give some students a copy of your sample of the Thoughts as Bubbles worksheet, and work with a small group of students to complete the worksheet.
- Observe students during the independent working time.
- Collect worksheets to assess their comprehension of mindfulness of thoughts.
Review and closing(20 minutes)
- After all students have completed their worksheets and helped make the bubble mix, ask them to come together in a circle again. (Have them bring their handouts with them.)
- It may be a good idea to go outside to avoid a mess with the larger bubbles.
- Ask students to turn to a partner and share one thing that they drew in their thought bubble.
- Show the class their new bubble mix container, made for large bubbles.
- Ask the class, one student at a time, to come up to you and share with the class one thing they drew in their thought bubble. Tell them to imagine that the bubble they create is their thought.
- Use the wand, and help each student make a large bubble. Allow the student to blow the bubble.
- Have each student notice how the bubble, which represents their thought, floats up, then pops and disappears.
- Call up the rest of the class to say their thoughts and blow bubbles.
- Ask students to notice their thoughts over the next few days, and to pay attention to how they come and go. Tell them to practice mindful breathing, and when they notice their thoughts, to return their attention back to their breath.
- Ask the class how they think mindfulness of thoughts may help us. (Refer back to the story.)
- Explain that their worksheets will be displayed in the classroom as a reminder that our thoughts are always changing, and that eventually, thoughts will float through us and pop!