Explain that students will be learning about “mindfulness” throughout the course of the semester (further discussion of mindfulness and its definition is provided later in the chapter). These lessons about mindfulness are designed to help them not only learn English, but to feel better about themselves and learn better. You may want to share the following research about mindfulness:
Put the word “mindfulness” on the word (provided for you in slides. Tell students that there are three parts to this word. Ask students to break the word down into three parts with a partner. Then have students share what they think.
After students share their thoughts, divide the word “mind + ful + ness”. Explain that in English, many words have smaller parts to them, called “affixes”. These affixes have meaning and are like puzzle pieces that come together to create a word. Present the three definitions of each part of this word on the board.
Mind: the element of a person that helps them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; different from brain
-ful: to be full of, have the qualities of
-ness: added to adjectives to form nouns
After explaining the affixes, have students look at the word “mindfulness” again. Then have them discuss with a partner the following prompt:
Have a few students share their ideas. Then give the following definition:
"Mindfulness is about being aware of yourself and your surroundings."
Explain that being aware can mean seeing something, understanding something, knowing something, or feeling something. Then ask students to discuss with their same partner:
Help students further understand the concept of mindfulness by contrasting “mindful” and “mindless”. Review what -ful means and give the definition for -less.
Ask students to find a different partner and brainstorm ideas to the following prompts together.
Ask a few students to share their answers with the class. Explain that today we will talk about being more mindful (even of mindless activities such as breathing) and how it can benefit our learning and our lives. Share that students will continue to practice mindfulness throughout the semester.
Present the following words on the board. Review definitions and pronunciations of each word.
Breathe - to push air in and out of our lungs
Breath - the air that leaves our lungs
Mindful - conscious or aware of something
Mindless - not thinking of or concerned about
Attention - focus on someone or something; the thinking of someone or something as interesting or important.
Judgment - an opinion or conclusion
Focus - the center of interest or activity
Present - the period of time now occurring
You may use the following image to better understand the word “mindful” (Also found in slides)
Retrieved from: https://edtechbooks.org/-gLEw
Watch the following TED talk about mindfulness. Hand out the printed cloze activity and ask students to listen carefully and fill in the blanks. Stop at 6:55 (the video in slides will stop automatically at that time).
After watching the video, review the answers with students from the cloze activity. They are as follows:
Discuss the following questions about the video, first with a partner and then as a class.
Possible answers might include her personal experience with mindfulness, to convince people to be more mindful, to educate people about mindfulness, etc.
Then have students discuss the following questions in groups.
Afterwards, discuss as a class. Praise students when they talk about coping with distractions, staying focused, etc.
Explain that sometimes it can be difficult to focus. Meditation can help us be more mindful. Invite students to listen and follow the instructions for this meditation. *you might need to explain that this meditation is for children, but it can help all of us practice paying attention.
After the meditation, ask students how it felt to only focus on one thing.
One way mindfulness can help us is in pronunciation. When we are mindful of our body, especially the way our mouth is shaped or moving, we are better able to pronounce sounds that are unfamiliar or difficult to us. You can demonstrate this by being mindful of your lips when you pronounce /b/ and /v/. For example:
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B vs. V
Ban vs van
Retrieved from: https://edtechbooks.org/-zguC
L vs. R
Rice vs lice
It might be helpful to ask students to really think about where their tongue/lips are. Encourage students to be curious and pay attention to how the sound changes when they move their lips/tongue.
Place students in partners. Have students practice the pronunciation by reading various sentences. (These sentences can be found in the slides) You might practice these as a class as well.
B vs. V
I bought a very nice volley ball.
Berries are very delicious.
L vs. R
I would love a little rice.
I really like rap music.
We really love waffles.
After reading the sentences out loud, ask how well they stayed focused on the pronunciation of these sounds. Invite students to share how that helped them with their pronunciation.
Ask the students to participate in their own meditation. Provide them with the following video (or they might find a meditation in their own language). Have the students share their experiences, either as an assigned recording or in class.
Invite students to pay close attention to the way they feel during the meditation exercise and to stay focused on the activity while they are doing it. It can also be helpful to remind them that it is okay if they get distracted, they can just kindly bring back their attention to the meditation.
Have students share their experiences with meditation from their homework. You can ask questions such as:
Praise students when they talk about coping with distractions, staying focused, or even when they open up about how they felt, etc.
Share the following quote and ask students what it means to them. Highlight any comments related to focusing one’s attention in the present moment. You can encourage students to briefly discuss what strategies they use to stay focused in the present and how this helps them be happier. Review what it means to be present.
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Watch this one-minute nature meditation video. Before watching the video encourage students to kindly bring their attention to the present moment and to try to stay focused.
Help students make a plan to be more mindful during this semester.
This content is provided to you freely by EdTech Books.
Access it online or download it at https://edtechbooks.org/PositivePsychologyintheClassroom/mindfulness_overview_intermediate_high.