Mindful Relationships - Novice High
Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes
- recognize the importance of their relationships with themselves and others.
- identify ways to use mindfulness to build healthier relationships with others.
- develop strategies to connect better with others.
Language Learning Outcomes
- elicit conversational language in a discussion.
We spend a lot of time with others (at school, at work, at home), so it is important to be mindful of our relationships. This includes the relationship with ourselves as well as others.
Activate Background Knowledge
Ask students these questions:
- What things are easy to do alone? (e.g. read a book, watch a movie, cook)
- What things are hard or impossible to do alone? (e.g. learn a language, play a sport)
- Are things that are more fun to do with other people than to do alone?
Having mindful relationships will help us to be more connected with ourselves, and those around us--including our friends, classmates, co-workers, and family.
Activity 1: Writing/Speaking
Have students get out a piece of paper and answer these questions:
- What are five things you love about yourself?
- What are two things you are good at and two things you aren't so good at?
IMPORTANT: Nobody is going to look at this so students should be completely honest with themselves.
Then, have students think of someone they love (a parent, a sibling, a friend, a significant other, etc.) and answer the same questions:
- What are five things you love about this person?
- What are two things this person is good at and two things they aren't so good at?
Have students share the five things they love about their person with a neighbor (they don’t need to disclose the name or title of that person).
Then, introduce the word “acceptance” to the students. Acceptance means you believe that something is sufficient or good enough. Acceptance welcomes and approves something as it is without changing it. Emphasize that it’s important we accept ourselves and others.
Activity 2: Listening
The movie Frozen is a good example of acceptance. Elsa can create ice and snow, but she doesn’t think she can control herself. She tries to hide her powers and “shuts people out.” “Shutting someone out” is an idiom, and it's like closing the door on someone, so you are on one side, and they are on the other.
Watch the following video:
After watching the video, have students discuss these questions:
- Does Elsa have a good relationship with her sister? With other people?
- How are Anna and Elsa different?
- Does anyone (in the class) know how the movie ends?
- How do Anna and Elsa help each other?
Have students think of a time when they needed someone's help or someone helped them. Here are some questions they can think of:
- Who was the person?
- What was their relationship? (close like family or friends, not close like a stranger you met on street)
- What was the problem?
- How did the person help? Or how did they help the person?
Then, have the students pair up and share these stories. They can use the above questions to ask their partner about their story.
Activity 3: Speaking
This activity will assess how well students think they know their classmates.
Give each student a handout (page 2 only; page 1 is teacher instructions) True or False Getting to Know You
Have the students fill out part A. (You might need to explain some of the vocabulary. e.g. "treasured possession" is a thing you own that is very important to you)
Then split the students into groups of three or four and complete part B of the worksheet.
Activity 4: Listening
This video talks about how to build social connections, especially in a new place. (Watch up to 2:03 or longer if you prefer.)
After watching the video (at least once but maybe more as needed), have the students answer these questions:
- How do relationships help us?
- Is it bad to not have relationships? Why?
- What activities can we do to find or build relationships?
Have students pick one relationship in their life that they want to make stronger. Then have them come up with and write down one (or more) ways they can make that relationship stronger.
What is feedback? We often need to receive positive and constructive feedback in our lives.
- Why is it useful or important to receive feedback from someone you trust?
Have students commit to asking for feedback on personal/professional goals they are currently working on from someone they trust and love.
Sometimes being mindful simply means being thankful for the people in our lives. Have students try to think of 10 people they are thankful for. Ask students to focus their attention to the feelings they experience when thinking about these people and invite them to share their thoughts. Highlight any comment about positive feelings and emotions.
Give students a few minutes to share their experiences from their homework.
- What did you do?
- Was it hard to do? Why or why not?
- Was there any positive result?
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