Meditate your way to English
Updated: Jan 18
Last week I shared with you why meditations are beneficial for our students. If you missed the post, you can read it here.
During my workshop EMPOWERING STUDENTS at EdYOUfest last month, I was glad to hear that meditations were part of regular PE classes. I know that over here in the UK more and more schools are introducing this mindfulness tool. Meditating is often included in school assemblies as well as after-class activities.
But how can we, English teachers, embrace this powerful mindfulness activity?
1) At the beginning of a lesson to calm our students, especially after they've had a PE lesson :)
It helps the students feel more present in the classroom.
2) Before a reading activity to help the learners focus better. My students often complain that they're struggling to calm their mind while reading. So I tend to play a short meditation before the start of the task. I've seen the calming effect of meditating and highly recommend it.
3) Before a writing activity
I usually play a short meditation and then give a writing prompt which could be:
-an extract from a book
-a question with 6 words for the students to use if they want to
-a sentence/paragraph from a story we've read in class
Then I ask the students to write one of the following:
- a poem
- a short story
- a diary entry
- an essay
- a letter
Or if they are kids, they can draw something.
I also give them a time limit, which is usually 10 min.
Of course, please, bear in mind that the prompt has to be appropriate for your students' age and level.
I firmly believe that it is in this moment of stillness, when we are able to connect with our inner power and creativity. I've seen students, who are not strong writers, create some amazing pieces.
At my workshop I demonstrated this technique to the teachers whose response was overwhelming. Not only did they write some great stories and poems but the prompt also brought lots of memories and they were not afraid to show the tears in their eyes.
I told you that this mindfulness tool could be powerful, didn't I?
So here's the mediation activity that I did during my workshop. It is suitable for older teenagers and adults.
1. I played a short breathing mediation. Link here
2. Then I gave the following writing prompt
I would like you to go back to your school years and remember a time when you felt seen/acknowledged by a teacher. How did it make you feel? What did the teacher do? What sounds and smells does this memory bring to you?
3. Here are six words that I dictated so that they could use them if they wanted to: simultaneously, accepted, presence, beyond, deep, judgement
4. I gave them ten minutes to write and as I mentioned before the results were incredible.
Next week I'll share with you an amazing mindfulness app that you can use with your advanced students.
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Wondering how to start your first English lesson this school year :) Why don't you bring the sights and sounds of the summer season with these powerful lesson plans?
"Sights and Sounds of Summer" includes three lesson plans:
1. The little butterfly
2.The prettiest pebble
3. Summer memories
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The lessons are a gentle mix of positive psychology and modern teaching.
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And before I say "tata", a couple of months ago I created a FREE Worksheet My AMAZING Summer Sketchbook. If you haven't had the chance to use it yet, you can help your students recapture their summer memories now.
Go to the FREE PRINTABLES page to download the worksheet
Have a wonderful weekend,