July 9, 2019
by Meena Srinivasan

Lesson plan

What Do You Love About Them?

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Grade Subject

Students will be able to express their gratitude for someone they love and care for by practicing heartfulness and making a craft for them.

(10 minutes)
  • Bring the class together in a circle.
  • Ask the students what they know about heartfulness. Write all of their responses on the board.
  • Write the definition for heartfulness on the board: "Sending kind wishes in our mind to other people and animals."
  • Ask the class if/when they have practiced heartfulness. What did they notice? How does it make them feel?
  • Explain that they will be participating in a heartfulness activity and practice session, and then they will make a craft connected to heartfulness.
  • Ask students to partner up.
  • Guide the class to come into a mindful body. They may close their eyes or look down. Then, have them take a few full breaths into their bellies.
  • Ask partners to turn to each other.
  • Explain that one person will first think of a person or pet/animal whom they love and care about. This person will speak about their chosen person or animal for two minutes, while their partner mindfully listens.
  • The listening partner will ask, "What do you love about them?" Then, the other partner will speak again and share what they love. This will continue for two minutes, until the chime has been rung (or the teacher signals the end of the sharing period).
  • Ask the person who is listening to only pause and listen, and to use their mindfulness in focusing on the person who is speaking.
  • Tell each group that each person will have two minutes to share.
  • Give the groups time to decide who will first speak and listen.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask for a student volunteer to model what this activity looks like for the class.
  • You can share what you love about a pet or person while your student partner asks you, "What do you love about them?" Have the student ask you this question at least three times.
  • Ask the class if they have any questions before they begin.
  • Remind the listening partner that they are only listening and shouldn't be responding (except to ask the question).
  • Ring the chime, and tell the students that they may begin.
  • After two minutes, ring the chime again. Ask the other partner to share what they love about a person or pet, and to do just as the first person speaking did in the activity. The first person who was speaking should now be asking their partner, "What do you love about them?"
  • Ring the chime and tell the students that they may begin.
  • After two minutes, ring the chime. Pause.
  • Ask the students to notice how they feel, and to take a few deep breaths.
  • Guide the students to close their eyes or soften their gaze, and to imagine the person or animal they spoke about.
  • Ask them to remember again all of the things they love about this person or animal (their smile, laughter, love for others, nature, etc.).
  • Ask the students to place their hands on their hearts, and to send kind wishes to this person or animal. Say the following statements out loud, pausing after each one so that the students can repeat them in their minds: "May you be happy. May you feel loved. May you love yourself just as you are. May you be free. May you feel peace. May you be healthy. May you live life in joy."
  • Ask the class to notice how they feel in their hearts, and to soak in this positive feeling. Explain that they may feel neutral or sad, and that is okay.
  • Ask them to take a few deep breaths again, and to allow for any image to fall away with their exhale. Have them gently open their eyes when they are ready.
  • Ask the students to share what they notice and describe what this practice session was like for them.
  • Explain to them that they will be creating a letter, poem, or symbol that represents their love and care for this person/animal. They may give their craft to this person or animal, too.
(5 minutes)
  • Review the instructions of the Reflecting on Love worksheet. Explain to the class that they can choose whether they would like to create a letter, poem, or symbol of love, and that they will have 20 minutes to work on their project.
  • Ask if the students have any questions.
(20 minutes)
  • Have students individually complete the Reflecting on Love worksheet. (Note: Those that choose to write the letter will need to complete it on the back of the worksheet or a separate piece of paper.)

Enrichment: Ask students to research the science of heartfulness, and how focusing on love benefits oneself and others.

Support: Pair students with partners for the heartfulness practice period. Provide examples and templates on the Reflecting on Love worksheet.

(5 minutes)
  • Observe students at their seats during the independent working time.
(5 minutes)
  • After all students have completed their worksheets, call them back to the circle.
  • Ask, "Would anyone like to share their letter, poem, or symbol of love? What was it like to complete this activity?"
  • Remind students that at any time they can practice heartfulness and return to the image or feeling of love they have for someone.
  • Ask the class to share when they might practice heartfulness (e.g. on the bus, waiting in line, when feeling down).

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