July 29, 2019
|
by Meena Srinivasan

Lesson plan

To Groove or Not to Groove?

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Grade Subject

Students will be able to explore and experience calming and energizing techniques to relieve stress or provide motivation.

(10 minutes)
  • Join the class together in a circle, either seated or standing.
  • Tell them that they will be exploring different ways to feel more calm or energized.
  • Write the following phrases on the board: "Calming Techniques" and "Energizing Techniques."
  • Dance in place and jump around.
  • Ask the students, "Do you think what I'm doing helps bring calm or energy to my body?" After taking some responses, explain that this activity brings an energizing feeling to our bodies and minds.
  • Sit still and calm.
  • Ask, "Do you think this helps bring calm or energy?" Explain that this brings a more peaceful energy to our bodies and minds.
  • Under "Energizing Techniques" on the board, write "Movement and Dance." Under "Calming Techniques," write "Sitting and Breathing."
(15 minutes)
  • Tell the class that they will explore these two techniques to see how they feel, and to see if they are correct.
  • Play the "Animals in Action" video.
  • Ask students to join you in movement and dance.
  • After the video, ask how they feel and what they notice.
  • Then, ask the class to sit as still as they can.
  • Guide them to close their eyes or look down, and to feel their bellies rise and fall as they take a few deep breaths.
  • Tell them to breathe in and tense their arms and hands. Pause.
  • Then, tell them to breathe out and relax their arms. Pause.
  • Repeat this two more times.
  • Ask them to breathe in and tense their legs and feet. Pause. Then, have them breathe out and relax and release their feet and legs. Pause.
  • Repeat this two more times.
  • Next, guide students to breathe in and tense their whole body. Pause. Then, tell them to breathe out and relax and release their whole body. Pause.
  • Repeat this two more times.
  • Guide them to feel their feet with gentle attention, as if a butterfly were landing on each of their toes.
  • Ask them to feel their hand with soft attention, as if a butterfly were landing on each of their fingers.
  • Guide them to feel their nose with a kind attention, as if a butterfly were landing on their nose.
  • Tell them to feel their breath right at their nose.
  • Have them take a few deep breaths and open their eyes when they are ready. Pause.
  • Ask the class, "How do you feel after sitting and feeling your breath? What do you notice?"
  • Ask them to raise their hands if they felt that movement gave them more energy. Then, ask them to raise their hands if they felt that movement made them feel calm.
  • Say, "Raise your hand if you felt that sitting and breathing gave you more energy." Then say, "Raise your hand if you felt that sitting and breathing made you feel calm."
  • Explain to the students that these two different techniques can support them in changing how they may feel. Movement can provide more energy, while sitting and breathing makes us feel more calm.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the class that they will be creating their own paintings using their fingers.
  • Explain that you will play music for them to paint along to. When the music stops, they should also stop painting, become still, and feel their breath.
  • Tell them that they must keep their finger on the paper at all times when music is playing, then take it off when the music stops.
  • Ask, "What are some things to remember when using paints?"
  • Model for them how to paint to the music, then pause, take your finger off the paper, become still, and feel your breath when the music stops.
  • Explain to them that they will practice just what we did at the start of class, where they engaged in movement, then paused as they breathed.
(15 minutes)
  • Dismiss students back to their seats.
  • Review rules for using paints.
  • Pass out the Groovy Finger Painting worksheet, smocks, and paints.
  • Play music, and ask students to begin painting with the music. Remind them to keep their fingers on the paper.
  • Stop the music periodically, and ask them to take their fingers off of the paper, come to stillness, and feel their breath.

Enrichment: Ask advanced students to guide their classmates in practicing sitting and breathing.

Support: Work one-on-one or in small groups with some students while they complete the Groovy Finger Painting worksheet.

(5 minutes)
  • During the independent working time, walk around and observe students. Check for understanding of how movement and stillness create different energies and feelings in our bodies and minds.
(5 minutes)
  • Gather the class back in a circle.
  • Ask them when they can use these techniques. Take 2–3 comments.
  • Build upon their answers, and emphasize the meaning of taking movement or stillness breaks.

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