One day while reading aloud the book The Lemonade Wars, a student raised his hand and said, ' He needs to breathe before he yells." It was one of those powerful teachable moments that led to a discussion about using our breathe to pause before reacting. It is common for me to pick books where I can integrate our SEL lessons, concepts and strategies. But this boy brought in a mindful lesson and our daily practice of breathing as well. So, I began to integrate what we were learning and practicing from our mindful lessons as well. The integration between the mindful lessons and activities and SEL became seamless.
A book does not have to be about mindfulness to teach or expand on lessons/activities. Many good pieces of literature have characters and themes that could be discussed with mindfulness in mind. For example, when a character could have used breathing, noticing their choices, reactions vs responding, thinking about others, deliberate kindness, thoughtful speaking/listening.
Asking guided questions and opening up a discussion about character, setting etc. What do we as listeners notice? Is the character aware of others or what is going on around him/her? Did he use the THINK strategy before speaking? Did s/he show kindness towards and animal or others?
In addition many books lend themselves to personal self reflection & deepening self awareness. By asking guiding questions this can be facilitated. If you were in this story what would you do?
There is great power in a good read aloud and story. Additional benefits of reading aloud to my students are here.
Welcome to my classroom!
I am passionate, a little bit quirky ( some may say a little bit more) and dedicated to serving children with Autism. These young people have touched me deeply and have made me a better teacher & hopefully person. I want to share what I have learned that allows these beautiful children to grow & sometimes thrive in my class.