We are missing our in-person student groups and classes. PRIMEtime, our before school program, began just before the pandemic. We only had four weeks of class, but we had lots of fun.
WTN PRIMEtime (Positive Readiness Influence of Mindfulness and Exercise) combines movement and awareness to challenge the body and condition the brain. Through play and social interaction, the group also cultivates connectedness within their school community. The result: students start their day in a way that brings a sense of accomplishment and belonging. What better way to prepare for the demands of learning?
We know the benefits of this type of programming and look forward to resuming in-person classes when we can (especially in the Northeast, where it is about to get colder and darker in the morning). Until then, here is a 5-minute activity from the PRIMEtime Mindful Cooldown catalog. Using imagery like a flashlight helps maintain and guide focus. Sensation Exploration is also an easy practice for teachers who want to introduce their students to mindfulness. Feel free to vary or extend this body scanning activity to suit your needs.
Use the buttons at the bottom of this post to download the short and long script for Sensation Exploration.
It is time to cool our bodies down and prepare our minds to focus for the day. Let’s begin by settling into a seated position and taking 3 STARTER BREATHS.
Breathe in and pull your shoulders up toward your ears. Breathe out and let them drop.
You have probably heard your teachers say, “Pay attention.” Today, we are going to use our attention to learn more about the feelings we experience in our bodies. When we listen carefully to our bodies, we learn to understand what our feelings are trying to tell us. Close your eyes if you can. If you don’t feel comfortable closing your eyes, then find a spot on the floor and rest your sight there.
I am going to guide you. As you listen, imagine a flashlight shining on your body as we move from place to place. This light can help to focus your attention on a small space.
Shine the flashlight on your right hand. Keep your attention here until we move the light. Ask yourself, what do I feel here?
Notice if there is warmth or coolness. Maybe you feel some tingling. It is okay if you don’t feel anything at all. There are no wrong answers or wrong feelings. You are just trying to notice what you feel here and now.
Now, shine the flashlight on your left hand. Keep your attention here until we move the light. Ask yourself, what do I feel here?
Does this hand feel different from the other? Stay with this hand for a few more seconds.
Next, shine the flashlight on your belly. Keep your attention here until we move the light. Ask yourself, what do I feel here?
Notice how your belly moves with your breath. Does it move fast or slow? Does your belly feel empty or full? There are no wrong answers. Just keep your attention in the light on your belly.
Let’s finish by shining the flashlight on your chest. Ask yourself what do I feel here?
How does your chest move with the breath? Do you feel your heart beating?
Excellent focusing. To close our cool down, let’s take 3 BUTTERFLY BREATHS.
Breathe in and spread your wings.
Breathe out and close your wings.
This ends our mindful cool down for today. How do you feel? Take a minute now to check in with your body and remember that you can come back to this practice anytime during the day and use your flashlight to help focus your mind or calm your body.
Download PDFs of the mindfulness scripts here:
Follow up with students to debrief the experience. Ask questions like:
Is it more challenging to be active or to be still?
Did you decide to close your eyes or keep them open? How did that feel?
Did your attention wander during the silent pauses?
What did you think about?
Did 30 seconds feel longer than you expected?
Did anything surprise you?
Subscribe to receive the latest updates on Well Together Now programs, activities, and news.